Sarah Breedlove Walker: Pioneer American Businesswomen
As America entered the 20th century, women were still denied many of the rights we now take for granted. They had gained the right to own property, though social and cultural restrictions on ownership remained. They did not have the right to vote. Women didn’t have the right of citizenship independent of their husbands. There were no laws to protect them from hard labor conditions. And in commerce, women were denied management roles. There were few women doctors, fewer women lawyers and almost no women engineers. Their place was in the kitchen; their function to raise children. Black women had even fewer rights. So the story of Sarah Breedlove Walker, also known as Madam C.J. Walker, is a remarkable tale of achieving the impossible—Walker made it, becoming one of the first women, white or black, to succeed in business—no less in a white man’s world!