JULY 2020 - Golo salutes women who helped change the world that you probably never heard of before.
Madam C. J. Walker ( December 23, 1867 – May 25, 1919)
The story of America’s first female millionaire is truly a remarkable one.
Entrepreneur, philanthropist, and activist, Madam C.J. Walker rose from extreme poverty and orphanage to become the first American female millionaire.
Born Sarah Breedlove on December 23, 1867, on a plantation in Delta, Louisiana, one of six children of Owen and Minerva Anderson Breedlove who were former slaves-turned sharecroppers after the Civil War.
Orphaned at age seven, she raised a daughter as a single mother, and struggled most of her life financially.
After being inspired by the success and education of leading black men and women, with $1.25 she launched her own line of hair products for African American women, “Madam Walker’s Wonderful Hair Grower.” Her company was so successful that she built a factory in Indianapolis. She employed upwards of 40,000 workers, most of them African American. She was a pioneer and an advocate for black women’s economic independence, and opened training programs in the “Walker System” for her national network of licensed sales agents who earned lucrative commissions.
Walker’s business steadily grew, and sales exceeded $500,000 in the final year of her life. Eventually her total worth grew to over $1 million dollars, and she owned homes and properties in Harlem, Chicago, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and a mansion in Upstate New York.
Her philanthropy and activism grew as her wealth increased. There is a very long list of contributions that she made to society, both financially and socially. She also left two-thirds of her wealth to various charities and schools.
At the time of her death, Walker was believed to be the wealthiest self-made black in America.
Truly remarkable, and truly inspiring.
Shoshone Indian explorer - (c. 1788 – 1812)
Sacagawea (c. 1788 – 1812) was an amazing person, and a true hero. Brave, intelligent, and selfless, she accompanied the Lewis and Clark expedition between 1804-06 from the northern plains, through the Rockies, to the Pacific Ocean, and back. With a newborn baby!
Hired for her skills as a translator, which were invaluable, but her bravery and intimate knowledge of the difficult terrain saved the lives of Lewis and Clark more than once.
Her calming presence on the expeditioners and the Native Americans they encountered, who might have otherwise been hostile to the strangers, brought peace and safety.
"....she traveled thousands of wilderness miles with the Lewis and Clark expedition (1804-06).
She was twenty five years old when she passed on that December 22 at Fort Manuel. ("Sacagawea"). A hero should possess bravery and selflessness, and otherwise be an inspiration to people. Bravery is doing something even if it scares you, and selflessness is doing something for the benefit of someone else, even if it doesn't benefit you. Sacagawea is a hero because throughout her life and the Lewis and Clark expedition, she has shown exceptional bravery and selflessness.
Charbonneau (Sacagawea's husband) nearly capsized the white pirogue (boat) in which Sacagawea was riding. Remaining calm, she retrieved important papers, instruments, books, medicine, and other indispensable valuables that otherwise would have been lost. During the next week Lewis and Clark named a tributary of Montana's Mussellshell River "Sah-ca-gah-weah," or "Bird Woman's River," after her. She proved to be a significant asset in numerous ways: searching for edible plants, making moccasins and clothing, as well as allaying suspicions of approaching Indian tribes through her presence; a woman and child accompanying a party of men indicated peaceful intentions." (Jay H. Buckley)
By the way.....Sacagawea received no compensation.
You can read more about this remarkable woman @
Jay H., Buckley. "Sacagawea." Britannica Biographies (2012): 1. Biography Reference Center. Web. 28 Jan. 2015