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Sonya Clark

Sonya Clark

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Madam C.J. Walker II, 2012

Born shortly after the end of slavery, Madam C. J. Walker is said to be one of our nation‟s first self-made women millionaires. In 1910, Walker moved to Indianapolis and made it the headquarters for her bourgeoning beauty empire, best known for its hair care products. Walker believed that Indianapolis would be ideal for her mail-order company, attracted by the city‟s status as the Crossroads of America due to the hundreds of trains that passed through it daily. As a business-woman, she employed thousands of African American women who would have otherwise been relegated to low-paying jobs and was also deeply committed to philanthropy and political activism. Walker flourished as an entrepreneur despite the odds; before Women‟s Suffrage and long before the Civil Rights Movement. Her life is captured in this famous statement she made: “I am a woman from the cotton fields of the South. I was promoted to the washtub. I was promoted to the kitchen. I promoted myself to the business of hair…on my own ground.”

– Sonya Clark (Richmond, VA)

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