BIG RAPIDS - The relatively unknown history of Madam C.J. Walker is the subject of the Jim Crow Museum Question of the Month for August 2009.
Walker is a historical figure of significance who rarely is mentioned with the subject of black history. If you did not know much about Walker, prior to reading the answer to this Question of the Month, don't feel too bad: you probably are not alone in that regard.
In response to the Question of the Month, readers get a detailed glimpse of the life and deeds of Madam C.J. Walker.
Here is the question followed by a part of the answer:
Q: My history teacher told me that I could not write a paper on Madam C. J. Walker because she had not heard of her. She said I should write a paper on one of the people on the approved list. I believe I should be able to write about any famous African American.
-- F.C.. - Big Rapids, Michigan
A: Many Americans, including some teachers, are not familiar with the life and work of Madam C. J. Walker, the former cotton picker and washerwoman who amassed riches and fame in the early 1900s as a hair care entrepreneur. Although there is some debate about her net worth at the time of her death, she is often held up as this country’s first self-made African American female millionaire. She was also a noted philanthropist and civil rights activist. It is disappointing that your teacher does not recognize the historical significance of Madam Walker’s achievements.
For the full response to the question about the life and works of Madam C.J. Walker, visit: http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/news/jimcrow/question/aug09/
For more on the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia, visit the official Web site at http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/news/jimcrow/.