Madam C.J. Walker Builds a Business


Follow Sarah Breedlove’s journey from the first child in her family born free to a woman with a thriving hair care business, poised to become America’s first self-made millionaire. Complete with full-color illustrations and activities, Madam C. J. Walker Builds a Business will inspire young readers to try their own hand at entrepreneurship.

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This first chapter book from Rebel Girls profiles the first female self-made millionaire, Sarah Breedlove (1867–1919), the mastermind behind the Madam C.J. Walker empire and leading voice in support of natural hair care for black women.

The story begins with Breedlove’s childhood; she was the first in her family not born into slavery and to attend school. As a widowed single mother, she meets Annie Turnbo, creator of the “Wonderful Hair Grower” shampoo, which transforms her life and eventually inspires her own creation: “Madam C.J. Walker’s Wonderful Hair Grower.”

Full-color illustrations by debut illustrator Perera highlight seminal scenes from Breedlove’s life and further humanize the historical figure. Rooted in fact, this lightly fictionalized account gives readers an opportunity to connect with Breedlove as a storied individual whose entrepreneurial prowess and support of black women continues to impact people today. A closing activity encourages readers to imagine their own unique product, with accompanying advertising and elevator pitch.

Hardcover, 128 pages

Ages 6+



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