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Madame C.J Walker

Madame C. J. Walker one of the most celebrated and recognized African American entrepreneurs, Madame C.J. Walker made her mark on the hair and beauty industry with her invention of a line of hair products targeting African Americans. Her success in the industry made Walker a millionaire and she went on to manufacture cosmetics through Madame C.J. Walker Laboratories. She built her Factory in Indianapolis for her Walker Manufacturing Company. An advocate of black women’s economic independence, she opened training programs in the “Walker System” for her national network of licensed sales agents who earned healthy commissions. Ultimately, Walker employed 40,000 African American women and men in the US, Central America, and the Caribbean. She also founded the National Negro Cosmetics Manufacturers Association in 1917. Walker’s business grew rapidly, with sales exceeding $500,000 in the final year of her life. Her total worth topped $1 million dollars, and included a mansion in Irvington, New York dubbed “Villa Lewaro;” and properties in Harlem, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis.

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