The year is 1905, ten years before the founding of the Maybelline cosmetic company, Madame C.J. Walker founded her cosmetic company, and within 10 years became America’s first female millionaire.
“This modern day Oprah Winfrey made her fortune innovating beauty and hair products for women through Madame C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company, the successful business she founded. she became one of the wealthiest African American women in the country, “the world’s most successful female entrepreneur of her time,” and one of the most successful African-American business owners ever.”
It is interesting to note that Madame C. J. Walker was an associate of the Pentecostal Bishop, Garfield Thomas Haywood. She was known to have supported Haywood’s ministry and attended his funeral upon his death. In fact, the general legal counsel of the C. J. Walker conglomerate, Attorney Robert Lee Brokenburr, another close friend of Haywood, offered his tribute upon Haywood’s death, as reported and in the Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper, “Haywood will go down in history as one of the greatest religious leaders of our generation. He was unselfish and interested in every movement for the uplifting of mankind irrespective of race or color. His activities prove conclusively that a Negro can be more than a Negro leader, for many of his followings were large numbers of the best type of white folks in the country. People of all races came to be taught by him from all parts of the country.
In the founding and developing of his church he did with many of the best minds thought would be impossible; [he brought whites and blacks together.] He had the courage of his conviction, and will carry on in the face of any kind of a position without thought or fear of personal consequences. His presence will long be missed and his services will benefit mankind throughout the years.”
Image: Attorney R. L. Brokenburr. Prominent for years in civil rights litigation in Indianapolis, Indiana.
This relationship between Haywood and C. J. Walker is yet another marker of Pentecostal Oneness influence on America’s growth and race inclusiveness.
It is often said behind every great man is a great woman. Madame C J Walker reveals a greater truth.