Brown, Hallie Q.
Madam C. J. Walker
Founder of The Madam C. J. Walker Mfg. Co.
December the 23d, 1925, marks the birthday of the late Madam C. J. Walker, born fifty-seven years ago of slave parents at Delta, La. The late Madam C. J. Walker by remarkable common sense, determination and will power made for herself a name that is now a household word and occupies a place in the hall of the immortals.
The outstanding thing in the life of this remarkable woman is not the fact that she built up a large and successful business, but is her largeness of heart, great vision, loyalty of race and sweet simplicity. Madam Walker was one of those whole-souled christian characters that saw in the development of a larger business but another avenue and opportunity to serve her race. She realized that the great need of her time, and this is equally as true to-day, was avenues of honorable employment for developing young manhood and womanhood of the race. Keen of observation, she noted that millions of dollars were spent by our people annually for toilet requisites, that nearly all of these millions were going to the man who did not help colored charities or employ colored boys and girls. Madam Walker realized that in this as well as other fields the Negro could make jobs for himself by establishing his own institutions and patronizing them and thus bring his dollars to his own pockets. Sensing this, and realizing yet a bigger thing that if the Negro is to move forward as a desirable citizen he must have a care as to his personal appearance, she stepped out on the firing line and gave to her race the great company that bears her name and to-day stands out as foremost among the best. A great soul never dies. This
221is preeminently true of the late Madam C. J. Walker, for she not only lives to-day in the institutions and individuals that she has helped, but under the provisions of her will, her bountiful hand yet stretches forth from the grave, touching and influencing almost every phase of our race life and institutions. Because of this provision and because of her bigness of soul, it is no exaggeration to say that Madam Walker belongs to the immortals and will be better known and loved tomorrow than she is today, and tomorrow and yet tomorrow her name will be whispered in terms of love, inspiration and hope.