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Sarah Breedlove … Millionaire 12/23/1867


This Child of Slaves Grew Up to Become America’s First Female Millionaire

Random Celebrity Article By on October 20, 2014

 

America is considered to be the “land of opportunity”. Historically, it’s the country people have run to in order to escape persecution, poor living conditions, or lack of opportunities somewhere else. However, for the large number of African people stolen from their homes, shipped across the Atlantic, and sold into slavery, America was anything but a land of opportunity. So it’s pretty darn incredible that America’s first female self-made millionaire, Madam C.J. Walker, was the child of former slaves. Her story is one of perseverance, ingenuity, and triumph. If her amazing life doesn’t make you want to get off your butt and go make your dreams happen, than nothing will.

Madam C.J. Walker, also known as Sarah Breedlove, was born on December 23, 1867, just outside of Delta, Louisiana. She was born on the cotton plantation where her family had been enslaved. She held the distinction of being the first free-born child in the family. The youngest of five, she was the first person in her family born after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. However, by age 7, she was orphan. Both of her parents passed away within a year of each other. Their cause of death was not recorded. She was sent to live with her older sister in Mississippi, where it is believed she worked picking cotton and doing housework. Her life in Mississippi was anything but ideal, and though slavery had technically been abolished, most people in the South had yet to “get the memo”, as it were. She worked the same hours she would have worked as a slave and was paid a pittance. Then, she and her family members had to pay exorbitant fees to live in the very same shack that her sister had lived in while she was a slave. Making matters worse, was that her brother-in-law was physically abusive. Eventually, she couldn’t take it anymore. At 14, she married a man named Moses McWilliams, mostly in an effort to get away from her current living situation.

madame

The pair had a baby in 1885. Two years later, Moses passed away, and Sarah and her daughter A’Lelia moved to St. Louis to be closer to Sarah’s older brothers. Her brothers had found some success working as barbers. In St. Louis, she began working as a washerwoman. Her pay was only $1.50 per day. She used the majority of the money to pay for her daughter’s schooling, and also took whatever classes she could herself. She subsequently met and married Charles J. Walker. Mr. Walker worked in advertising and their relationship would prove to be a fortuitous one.

Due to a severe scalp condition, most likely caused by the lye-based products used to straighten her hair, Sarah Breedlove had begun to lose her hair in bunches. Whenever she had a spare moment in her kitchen, she began making her own hair care products, and experimenting with ways to treat her own scalp. A black woman named Annie Turnbo Malone heard about Sarah. Ms. Malone made and marketed her own line of African-American hair care products. She invited Sarah to come work for her as a commission agent. So Sarah, Charles, and A’Lelia relocated to Denver, Colorado and launched a hair care business under Ms. Malone. At the urging of her husband, Sarah changed her professional name to Madam C.J. Walker, and launched her business in earnest. Between her genuinely effective and well-made products and her husband’s advertising acumen, her business grew by leaps and bounds. The couple spent much of the early 1900s, traveling around selling her products all over the south. By 1908, she was able to go out on her own. She opened a factory and her own beauty school in Pittsburgh.

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The company continued to grow, so Sarah, now Madam C.J., moved operations to Indianapolis. She began training a group of employees who were both salespeople and beauticians. Known as “Walker Agents“, these African-American entrepreneurs began selling her products all over the United States. She began sponsoring conventions, sales awards, and community events. She and her husband divorced in 1913, and rather than slowing her down, it seemed to galvanize her. She traveled to the Caribbean and Latin America, adding more and more “Walker Agents” to her roster and increasing her sales base. By this time, her daughter A’Lelia, had begun to take charge of some portions of operations. A’Lelia purchased prime real estate in Harlem and made it the new base of operations for Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing. As more responsibility was shifted to her daughter, Madam C.J. Walker began focusing on philanthropy and community improvement. She created scholarship funds, sponsored the building and maintenance of multiple homes for the elderly, donated large sums to both the NAACP and the National Conference on Lynching, and, in 1913, donated the largest amount of money by an African-American to the Indianapolis YMCA.

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She built a home in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York sometime around 1916 or 1917, and passed away there in 1919, due to hypertension. She was 51 years old. She was the sole owner of Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing for most of its existence, and the company was worth over $1 million when she died. Additionally, she was worth close to $700,000 herself, separate from the company. That’s the equivalent of $13 million in today’s dollars. It was an astronomical amount in 1919.

At the time of her death in 1919, Madam C.J. Walker was the wealthiest African-American in the United States. She was also generally believed to the country’s first self-made female multi-millionaire. Assuming her net worth was approximately $2 million the year she died, that would be equivalent to $37 million today.

house

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When she died, her will dictated that 2/3 of all future company profits be donated to charity from that point on. One third of her estate went to her daughter. Her home in Irvington-on-Hudson is now a registered landmark, and the arts center named after her in Indianapolis, the Walker Center, has become nationally famous.

Madam C.J. Walker, aka Sarah Breedlove, went from absolutely nothing, to wealthier than just about everyone else around her. Along the way, she made sure to give back to the community that supported her, and trained hundreds of “Walker Agents” about entrepreneurship, civic duty, and pride. She proved to an entire generation of African-Americans, many of whom had grown up enslaved, that success was possible. Historically and socially, the example she set has proven far more valuable than her millions of dollars.

Coconut & Matcha Mochi Cake


A Cake Unlike Any Other

 By

Makes about 12 large squares

1 stick butter,

softened 4 eggs

One 12-ounce can evaporated milk

One 13 1/2-ounce can coconut milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups glutinous rice flour, like Mochiko (available at Japanese markets)

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon matcha powder

1 big handful of shredded coconut, for sprinkling

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photo by Mark Weinberg

Lupita Nyong’o and skin whitener ~repost


Wethepeople a repost

So, Lupita Nyong’o was at the Essence Magazine 7th Annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon in Beverly Hills, California, USA,  honoured with the Breakthrough Performance Award. I had to read and re-read the speech below because she addressed my own call for People of Colour to STOP the practice of skin whitening. This practice is far from new,it has unfortunately become a billion dollar snake that needs its head cut off, a severe reprimand of those who push white is right, begin to provide services that help those who hate themselves and the skin they live in. The speech is beyond illuminating lest we say eloquent and she addressed a letter, in which she talked about a fan who wrote to her about hating her dark skin so much she had bought the controversial skin lightening cream by Dencia called Whitenicious …Lupita spoke about Dencia’s skin bleaching cream, her own issues with hating her dark skin as a teenager & more … below

Lupita’s speech: I wrote down this speech, I had no time to practice so this will be the practicing session.

Thank you Alfre, for such an amazing, amazing introduction and celebration of my work. And thank you very much for inviting me to be a part of such an extraordinary community.

I am surrounded by people who have inspired me, women in particular whose presence on screen made me feel a little more seen and heard and understood. That it is ESSENCE that holds this event celebrating our professional gains of the year is significant, a beauty magazine that recognizes the beauty that we not just possess but also produce.

I want to take this opportunity to talk about beauty, Black beauty, dark beauty. I received a letter from a girl and I’d like to share just a small part of it with you: “Dear Lupita,” it reads, “I think you’re really lucky to be this Black but yet this successful in Hollywood overnight. I was just about to buy Dencia’s Whitenicious cream to lighten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me.”

My heart bled a little when I read those words, I could never have guessed that my first job out of school would be so powerful in and of itself and that it would propel me to be such an image of hope in the same way that the women of The Color Purple were to me.

I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin, I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter-skinned. The morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself until I was in front of a mirror because I wanted to see my fair face first. And every day I experienced the same disappointment of being just as dark as I was the day before. I tried to negotiate with God, I told him I would stop stealing sugar cubes at night if he gave me what I wanted, I would listen to my mother’s every word and never lose my school sweater again if he just made me a little lighter. But I guess God was unimpressed with my bargaining chips because He never listened.

And when I was a teenager my self-hate grew worse, as you can imagine happens with adolescence. My mother reminded me often that she thought that I was beautiful but that was no conservation, she’s my mother, of course she’s supposed to think I am beautiful. And then…Alek Wek. A celebrated model, she was dark as night, she was on all of the runways and in every magazine and everyone was talking about how beautiful she was. Even Oprah called her beautiful and that made it a fact. I couldn’t believe that people were embracing a woman who looked so much like me, as beautiful. My complexion had always been an obstacle to overcome and all of a sudden Oprah was telling me it wasn’t. It was perplexing and I wanted to reject it because I had begun to enjoy the seduction of inadequacy. But a flower couldn’t help but bloom inside of me, when I saw Alek I inadvertently saw a reflection of myself that I could not deny.

Now, I had a spring in my step because I felt more seen, more appreciated by the far away gatekeepers of beauty. But around me the preference for my skin prevailed, to the courters that I thought mattered I was still unbeautiful. And my mother again would say to me you can’t eat beauty, it doesn’t feed you and these words plagued and bothered me; I didn’t really understand them until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be.

And what my mother meant when she said you can’t eat beauty was that you can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul. It is what got Patsey in so much trouble with her master, but it is also what has kept her story alive to this day. We remember the beauty of her spirit even after the beauty of her body has faded away.

And so I hope that my presence on your screens and in the magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. That you will feel the validation of your external beauty but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside.

There is no shame in Black beauty.

 Lupita’s  speech  is a letter filled with humor , love and a lot of wisdom for little girls of colour from 1 – 98 who need to be taught self-love while the entertainment business needs to accept that POC come in all colours shapes sizes, speak different and some of us don’t sing or dance, but plenty of us have great talent that should be accepted without having to make drastic changes to our features like skin whitening to get a part or a job …crossover ~~ Nativegrl77

Injectable Skin Lightening Products: What You Should Know


Tatiomax injectable Skin Lightening Product seized by US Marshals Sept. 2014_350x334In September 2014, U.S. Marshals seized a variety of unapproved, improperly labeled and potentially harmful injectable drugs being marketed as skin whitening products, including the Relumins Advanced Glutathione kits and Tatiomax Glutathione Collagen Whitening kits shown above.

09/02/2015 01:00 PM EDT

Injectable skin lightening products are unapproved, untested drugs that could potentially cause harm, FDA warns. FDA has not approved any injectable drugs for skin whitening or lightening.

“These products pose a potentially significant safety risk to consumers. You’re essentially injecting an unknown substance into your body—you don’t know what it contains or how it was made,” says In Kim, a pharmacist at FDA.

Read the Consumer Update to learn more.

Related Consumer News

the bleaching continues … ugh


This is a repost. Yet another article in the year 2015 about skin whitener is in the news! given the 2014 articles on Lupita Nyong’o mentioning Dencia in her 2/27/2014 speech regarding her dark skin and how our society has … on numerous occasion been cruel enough to consider skin whitening and to hate being black it’s important to keep updating this post. The problem is dencia didn’t see it for the ugly practice that it is, but as free advertising and used the opportunity to admonish Lupita,  calling her a slave while claiming not to know her.

Bleaching In 2014: African Singer Dencia Blasted For Pushing Skin Lightening Cream, “Whitenicious”

Before...and after

So, here we are again ..  I don’t have to say reports are or tabloids said, though some of the 207+ that had to comment felt that filters were used and the pigment change could be temporary. Well, my question is why do this to begin with.  I can’t lie , I was hoping this was just a fad, but MadameNoire.com has a couple of articles about skin whitening recounting sales being up by 1000%, then up pops out an article by Thelma who says she is light to begin with and because she does a lot of different kinds of shoots her coloring looks different ~~ the internet blew up! sure it looks different

According to the World Health Organization, about 77 percent of Nigerian women regularly use skin lightening products, and with famous people who should know better pushing such foolishness, I can see why the numbers might be so high. Do what you want to yourself, but don’t peddle that s**t to your people and try to pretend like it’s solely for cleaning up dark spots here and there when people’s body parts are turning a completely different color (see below). Photos from MadameNoire

It’s 2014, when will we stop with this?

Instagram

Instagram

…After…Whitenicious.com

Whitenicious.com

Whitenicious.com  Check out Dencia in action above

Below is O’khaz

Thelma Omone O'khaz

O’khaz said that while she is naturally lighter skinned, she is not Casper-white as we see in the picture. She also emphatically denies ever bleaching her skin. Instead, she says that the ghostly white image making its way around the Internet is photo-shopped.

“I take a lot of pictures for different purposes, some for movie posters. And this one is for a movie so when its out I’ll let u know,’ she writes.

O’khaz, who has appeared in dozens of Nollywood films including Costly Mistakes, White Hunters and Return of the White Hunters (the latter two are available for free streaming), couldn’t go into much detail about the yet to be titled film for which the photos were taken. However, O’khaz can be seen in the upcoming films projects: Street Money: Occultic Sister and 89 Years in Bondage, which are due out next month. Also a much more natural skin toned O’khaz can be seen in her new video for the song, “I Like the Way,” which from her debut album Ready For You.

I see this practice as self-hate… what say you? ~~ Nativegrl77

Resource: the internet

Madame Noir