Madam CJ Walker Bust
- Made in the U.S.A.
- 7 1/2 inches
- White and Bronze finished polystone available
- Madam C.J. Walker was America's first woman self-made millionaire, an entrepreneur, and a political activist. Today, we honor her place in American history by launching our collection of Madam C.J. Walker products, created in collaboration with her great-great-granddaughter, biographer, and Foundation Board Member, A'Lelia Bundles.
It was such a special moment in our museum store, as the collection, which has been in the works since pre-COVID, was finally unveiled and A'Lelia viewed it in person for the first time! We're so proud to have worked with a family-owned business that specializes in historic recreations. And one of our very own at the Foundation, James O'Connor, designed the motifs appearing on the scarf, bandana, and bags.
The daughter of slaves, Madam C. J. Walker (1867-1919) was orphaned at seven, married at 14, and a widow with a baby at 20. She spent the better part of the next two decades laboring as a washerwoman for $1.50 a week. Then—with her discovery of a revolutionary hair-care formula for black women—everything changed.
By the time she was 40, Madam Walker was making as much money as a white corporate executive, thanks to her popular hair-care products for black women and her brilliance at marketing them. She created a workforce of sales agents that gave African American women job options other than being washerwomen or domestics. As her prominence and wealth increased, she became a generous benefactor of black educational institutions and such a staunch supporter of the anti-lynching movement that the State Department labeled her a "race agitator" and denied her a passport in 1919.