Madam Walker was a master marketer. But her brilliance was in taking it to another level by training women, by traveling, by making very motivational speeches and by providing independent income for women who otherwise would have to be maids and sharecroppers.
We buy too much stuff we just don't need. We're trying to look cute for next weekend when we ought to be thinking about the next decade.
Madam C.J. Walker was born in 1867, two years after the civil war ended. She was a daughter of a slave. She had no formal education. Both her parents died by the time she was seven. Yet, by the time she died in 1919 at age 51, she was one of the most successful businesswomen America had ever seen.
A'Lelia Walker did not subsidize specific writers, but she provided a place for all kinds of people to gather. She was one of the few blacks who had the money to allow her to entertain in the large scale.
There was a period of 10 years where the conventional wisdom was Black shows don't sell overseas, therefore nobody is interested.
Madam Walker was a woman who transformed herself in a very American, rags-to-riches way.
Today, there's no excuse for not learning how to get our financial houses in order. Some of us close our eyes, take a deep breath and say a prayer when it comes to managing our finances.
I have lived almost seven decades. So I've had my hair journey where I wasn't comfortable with my hair.
I think Michelle Obama ought to wear her hair exactly the way she wants to wear her hair. I am not looking for Michelle Obama to cut her hair off like I have mine, very short. I'm not looking for her to do twists. I'm looking for her to wear what's comfortable for her.
One of the key things for me about Madame Walker's life is that she really does represent this first generation out of slavery when black people were reinventing themselves, and as a woman who was the first child in her family born free, she was trying to figure out a way, and she moved from Delta, Louisiana.