Local cosmetology students discuss impact of the first self-made black millionaire in cosmetic industry

Hidden History

DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN)— Madame CJ Walker was the first black self-made millionaire and a trailblazer who created hair cosmetics.

Rags to riches, grit to glamour; Walker’s story continues to inspire women of all ethnicities.

“Being a young black woman with black hair, it’s amazing,” said Dothan Tech student Amaya McCray. “Somedays you have your trials and tribulations, I mean sometimes, you get looks like I wonder how long it takes and how she gets her hair like that.”

Walker created her hair products for women of color because of the lack of knowledge on how to grow and maintain black hair.

For decades, black hair was deemed as unprofessional, but today, that view is fading.

“Our hair speaks a lot, it shows the type of person you are, it shows the type of person you are,” McCray said.

For more stories like this one, tune in Saturday, Febraury 29, at 5 p.m. for WDHN’s Hidden History Program.

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