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The Walker Manufacturing Company was the largest African American-

owned business in the United States employing about 3,000 workers

 

 

  Books on the Walkers

Ben Neihart. Rough Amusements: The True Story of A'Lelia Walker, Patroness of the Harlem Renaissance's Down-Low Culture. 2003

Tananarive Due. The Black Rose: The Dramatic Story of Madam C.J. Walker, America's First Black Female Millionaire. 2001

A'Lelia Bundles. On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker. 2002

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Madam C. J. Walker

America's First Female Millionaire

 

Businesswoman

 

Sarah Breedlove Walker (1867-1919), known as Madam C. J. Walker, was America's first American women to become a millionaire, directing and managing the largest business owned by an African American in her day. She made a prosperous business out of selling her self-made hair care products for African American women.

 Born December 23, 1867,Walker was the daughter of former slaves and sharecroppers in Delta, Louisiana. 

Orphaned at the age of six, she was raised by an older sister and thus received very little formal education, but began supporting herself by the age of ten. At 14 she married Moses McWilliams and in 1885  had her daughter. A'Lelia. In 1887 her husband died; a widow with a daughter, she moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where she had relatives. There she worked as a hotel washerwoman for 18 years, earning a dollar and a half a day.

Around 1904 she developed the "Walker Method" of hair care. In 1906 Walker moved to Denver, Colorado, and married newspaperman Charles Joseph Walker. After developing scalp treatments and hair straighteners, Madam Walker's line of products eventually included hair growing tonic, strengtheners, toiletries, fragrances, and facial treatments. 

By 1917, the Walker Manufacturing Company was the largest African American-owned business in the United States employing about 3,000 workers. She died in New York City on May 25, 1919.

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Born Sarah Breedlove in Delta, Louisiana in 1867, Walker was orphaned by age eight and a widowed mother of a two year old by age 21. When left with the responsibility of raising her daughter on her own with little formal education, Walker found employment in one of the few areas available to African American women—domestic labor. After moving to St. Louis, she became increasingly frustrated with her limited economic prospects as a washerwoman and began working part time as a sales agent for the Poro Company, a beauty products manufacturing and educational company established by Annie Malone…Most likely, the product she eventually marketed as her “Wonderful Hair Grower” was a modification of a similar product offered by Malone. At any rate, with only $1.50 to her name, Walker and her daughter relocated to Denver and launched her company. When Madam Walker died in May 1919, her estate was valued at close to $700,000…

For [B]lack entrepreneurs to travel across the United States to sell their products was not unusual. Black beauty pioneers like Madam Walker, however, traveled throughout the Caribbean and South and Central America to introduce women of African descent in these regions to their products and occupational opportunities.

In November 1913, Walker traveled to Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica, Costa Rica, and the Panama Canal Zone.  The trips were a mixture of work and play. Much of the black press coverage of her travels as well as her own accounts discusses her leisure and philanthropic activities. Still, the desire for entrepreneurial expansion was never far from her mind.afrodiaspores

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Like many women of her era, Sarah experienced hair loss. Because most Americans lacked indoor plumbing, central heating and electricity, they bathed and washed their hair infrequently. The result was scalp disease. Sarah experimented with home remedies and products already on the market until she finally developed her own shampoo and an ointment that contained sulfur to make her scalp healthier for hair growth.

Soon Sarah, now known as Madam C. J. Walker, was selling her products throughout the United States. While her daughter Lelia (later known as A'Lelia Walker) ran a mail order business from Denver, Madam Walker and her husband traveled throughout the southern and eastern states. They settled in Pittsburgh in 1908 and opened Lelia College to train "hair culturists." In 1910 Walker moved to Indianapolis, Indiana where she established her headquarters and built a factory.

She began to teach and train other black women in order to help them build their own businesses. She also gave other lectures on political, economic and social issues at conventions sponsored by powerful black institutions. After the East St. Louis Race Riot, she joined leaders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in their efforts to support legislation to make lynching a federal crime.

In 1918 at the biennial convention of the National Association Of Colored Woman (NACW) she was acknowledged for making the largest contribution to save the Anacostia (Washington, DC) house of abolitionist Frederick Douglass. She continued to donate money throughout her career to the NAACP, the YMCA, and to black schools, organizations, individuals, orphanages, and retirement homes.

In 1917, she moved to her Irvington-on-Hudson, New York estate, Villa Lewaro, which had been designed by Vertner Tandy, the first licensed black architect in New York State and a founding member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. The house cost $250,000 to build. Madam C.J. Walker died at Villa Lewaro on Sunday, May 25, 1919 from complications of hypertension. She was 51. At her death she was considered to be the wealthiest African-American woman in America and known to be the first self-made female American millionaire. Her daughter, A'Lelia Walker, became the president of the Madam C.J Walker Manufacturing Company.—Wikipedia

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 Ida B. Wells   (1862-1931) on Madame C. J Walker: "I was indeed proud to see what a few short years of success had done for a woman who had been without education and training. Her beautiful home on the Hudson was completed the next year, when Madam took possession, surrounded by prominent people from all over the country. It is a great pity to have to remember that she was permitted to enjoy its splendors less than a year after she moved in. Seven months from the day in which its doors were opened, they laid her away in her grave. The life had been too strenuous and the burden had become too heavy.

Ida B. Wells   was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi a slave, six months before the Emancipation Proclamation was introduced. Educated in a freedmen's school, Ida became an avid reader and a skilled writer.

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Ida B. Wells: a Passion for Justice

Documents the dramatic life and turbulent times of the pioneering African American journalist, activist, suffragist and anti-lynching crusader of the post-Reconstruction period.

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All

By Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons knows firsthand that wealth is rooted in much more than the stock  market. True wealth has more to do with what's in your heart than what's in your wallet. Using this knowledge, Simmons became one of America's shrewdest entrepreneurs, achieving a level of success that most investors only dream about. No matter how much material gain he accumulated, he never stopped lending a hand to those less fortunate. In Super Rich, Simmons uses his rare blend of spiritual savvy and street-smart wisdom to offer a new definition of wealth-and share timeless principles for developing an unshakable sense of self that can weather any financial storm. As Simmons says, "Happy can make you money, but money can't make you happy."

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On Her Own Ground

The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker

By A'Lelia Bundles

On Her Own Ground is the first full-scale, definitive biography of Madam C. J. Walker— the legendary African American entrepreneur and philanthropist—by her great-great-granddaughter, A'Lelia Bundles. The daughter of slaves, Madam C. J. Walker was orphaned at seven, married at fourteen and widowed at twenty. She spent the better part of the next two decades laboring as a washerwoman for $1.50 a week. Then -- with the discovery of a revolutionary hair care formula for black women—everything changed. By her death in 1919, Walker managed to overcome astonishing odds: building a storied beauty empire from the ground up, amassing wealth unprecedented among black women and devoting her life to philanthropy and social activism. Along the way, she formed friendships with great early-twentieth-century political figures such as W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington. On Her Own Ground is not only the first comprehensive biography of one of recent history's most amazing entrepreneurs and philanthropists, it is about a woman who is truly an African American icon.

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Sex at the Margins

Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry

By Laura María Agustín

This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label 'trafficked' does not accurately describe migrants' lives and that the 'rescue industry' serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice. Lisa Adkins, University of London

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 13 March 2012

 

 

 

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