Exemplary Success: Madam C. J. Walker

Exemplary Success: Madam C. J. Walker

In a poverty-stricken neighborhood of early twentieth century St. Louis, a hardworking black washer-woman in her early thirties encountered an embarrassing and then-intractable problem: her hair was falling out. Born Sarah Breedlove in 1867 to parents who had recently been freed from slavery, raised by her sister and cruel brother-in-law, married at the age of fourteen and widowed a few years later with a two-year-old daughter in tow, the woman who would come to be known as Madam C. J. Walker rejected self-pity and set out to do something about it.