Why is she Mrs. C.J. Walker? It really was a matter of her trying to insist that people respect her, because during that time, white people would call any black woman 'Sally.' 'Aunt Sally.' So this was like... you can't call me that.
My mother was the fourth generation of women to have worked with the Walker company. As a little girl, I would go to her office while she worked. She was a very capable woman.
Both my parents worked at the Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company, with my dad eventually being hired by another company called Summit Laboratories that made chemical hair straighteners.
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.
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.
The real Annie Malone was not a light-skinned woman.
Madam Walker was an incredible woman, but she wasn't the only one of her time who was. She just took it to the highest height.
If a CEO takes an interest in you and he happens to be an Asian man, then that's great, but as an African-American woman, you want to make sure that if the executive vice-president of the company is an African-American woman that you get to know her.
Many people have told me that once they learn of Madam Walker's accomplishments they are surprised, even embarrassed, that they have never heard of her. But they shouldn't be. Her extraordinary story was simply omitted from the history books.