February 20, 2020

Capital Region Chamber Recognizes Madam C.J. Walker

Madam C.J. Walker

As Black History Month 2020 comes to an end, the Capital Region Chamber would like highlight successful African-American entrepreneurs of the past. We look to these stories for inspiration and to honor the rich history of people of African descent, and to acknowledge the contributions these individuals have made to the legacy of American business. Today, we celebrate Madam C.J. Walker, a highly accomplished businesswoman and one of the wealthiest self-made millionaires in America at the time of her death in 1919. Born Sarah Breedlove, Walker created specialized hair-care products and was also a noted philanthropist and political and social activist. Walker built an Italianate mansion called Villa Lewaro, in Irvington-on-Hudson NY, just 20 miles north of New York City; where she passed away at age 51 in 1919.

We celebrate her astute business acumen and her drive to succeed, despite the numerous challenges she faced along the way. You can watch her story in an upcoming Netflix mini-series titled, Self-Made, where actress Octavia Spencer will play the role of Walker.  The Capital Region Chamber would like to take this opportunity to celebrate her success and contributions by sharing a quote by Walker: “I want you to understand that your first duty is to humanity. I want others to look at us and see that we care not just about ourselves but about others.”