Name: Madam C. J. Walker
Made by and When: Mattel, 2022 (released on 08/24/22)
Designer: Carlyle Nuera
Head Sculpt: Nichelle
Body: Curvy articulated
Stock Number: HLM19-9993
Marks: To be determined
Height: 11-1/2 inches
Hair, Eyes, Mouth: Dark brown middle-parted rooted hair with a double-strand twist across the crown of the head and natural-textured short curls in the back; brown painted eyes, a closed smiling mouth with neutral lip color
Clothes/Accessories: Wears a full-length turquoise paneled skirt and a turquoise and purple blouse with beautiful floral print and ruffled collar, faux pearl drop earrings, and light-blue mock side-button ankle boots; holds a miniature version of “Madam C.J. Walker’s Wonderful Hair Grower,” one of the haircare products that helped create Madam C. J. Walker’s wealth. Includes a turquoise straddle doll stand and a certificate of authenticity.
Other: Part of the Barbie Signature Inspiring Women Series, this doll was created in honor of Madam C. J. Walker who was born Sara Breedlove (1867 – 1919). Walker became a successful entrepreneur and the nation’s first documented self-made female millionaire who trained under Annie Turnbo Malone. By also successfully creating and marketing hair care products for Black women, Annie Malone was also one of America’s first female millionaires. Malone, however, has not received such heightened acclaim as Walker.
Box Details: An Addison N. Scurlock c. 1914 silhouette portrait of Madam C. J. Walker appears in the lower right corner of the box. The back and side panels of the box are purple, one of Madam C. J. Walker’s favorite colors. The inside backdrop image is a photograph of a convention of Madam C. J. Walker agents (hair culturists) at her mansion, Villa Lewaro. Women line the balconies and the grounds of the mansion in the original 1924 black and white photograph by R. E. Mercer that can be seen here.
The back of the box includes the following biography.
Madam C. J. Walker
Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Activist
1867 – 1919
“Don’t sit and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.”—Madam C. J. Walker
Madam C. J. Walker was born Sarah Breedlove in 1867 on a Delta, Louisiana cotton plantation. The daughter of parents who were formerly enslaved and became sharecroppers, Walker would become a successful entrepreneur and the nation’s first documented self-made female millionaire. In St. Louis during the early 1900s, while working as a laundress to support her daughter, A’Lelia, she experimented with homemade and commercial products in her efforts to heal a scalp ailment that caused hair loss.
After a stint as a sales agent for another company*, she moved to Denver, married Charles Joseph “C.J.” Walker and began selling Madam Walker’s Wonderful Hair Grower. Together they traveled through the South and Southwest training “hair culturists” and recruiting sales agents. In 1910, they moved to Indianapolis where Walker opened a factory, a salon and a beauty school.
As Walker’s enterprise grew, so did her commitment to philanthropy with donations to orphanages, YWCAs, YMCAs and Black colleges. As an advocate for social justice, she was a tireless supporter of the NAACP and other civil rights organizations. With a sharp instinct for business and an unflinching determination, Madam C. J. Walker became a pioneer for modern Black haircare and created the blueprint for the self-made American businesswoman of the twentieth century.
“Girls need more role models like Madam C.J. Walker because imagining they can be anything is just the beginning. Actually seeing that they can makes all the difference” (from the back of the doll’s box below the Walker biography).
*The other company mentioned in the above biography was owned and operated by Annie Turbo Malone, who also made millions with her Black haircare products and as the founder of the Poro College (of cosmetology) in 1918. Read more about Ms. Malone here.
Learn more about Madam C. J. Walker at the Madam C. J. Walker website.
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