Image

8:22 PM / Friday June 18, 2021

17 Feb 2017

Annie Malone, the first Black woman millionaire

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
February 17, 2017 Category: Diaspora Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO: Meet Annie Malone – The First Black Woman Millionaire

blog.blackbusiness.org

There are millions of women entrepreneurs in the United States that are running successful businesses, and many of them have even reached millionaire status. In fact, according a study by The American College, up to 45 percent of American millionaires are women. Few of these, however, are African American. But success runs in our race.

Meet Annie Malone, the first Black woman millionaire.

Born to former slaves, but determined to be successful

Malone was born in 1869, one of 11 children, in Metropolis, Illinois to former slaves. She took an interest in hair styling, in particular, developing a better way to straighten African American hair without damaging it. By the early 1900s, she developed a formula that worked and called it “The Great Wonderful Hair Grower,” which she began to sell door-to-door after moving to St. Louis.

During the 1904 World’s Fair, she opened a retail outlet where she sold her hair care product to out-of-town visitors to the city. It was a huge success, and after receiving a favorable response from them, she now had the confidence to launch an innovative marketing campaign to sell her product nationally. Her idea was to hire and train other women to serve as local sales agents. They would, in turn, recruit others. The idea worked so well that by 1910, distribution had fully expanded nationally.

By 1917, Malone’s company had become so successful that she founded and opened Poro College. Poro College, which was also based in St. Louis, specialized in the study and teaching of Black cosmetology, and the school graduated over 75,000 agents worldwide, including the Caribbean. The school later expanded and eventually occupied an entire city block in Chicago, making Malone one of the world’s wealthiest African Americans, and the first Black woman millionaire.

Image

Her relation to Madame CJ Walker

One of her Malone’s early recruits was the infamous late Madame C.J. Walker, a former washerwoman who eventually founded her own company with similar beauty products and distribution. Walker herself also went on to become a millionaire, and one of the most successful Black entrepreneurs of the early 20th century.

Not just a millionaire

Malone was not just all about the money. She also gave back to the community. She was a well-respected philanthropist that donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the local Black YMCA, the Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, DC., and the St. Louis Colored Orphans Home.

For her contributions, she also received an honorary degree from Howard University and was named an honorary member of the Zeta Phi Beta sorority.

Sadly, she died in 1957, but her legacy lives on and continues to inspire women across the world.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News

Commentary

SUNrise: cj speaks… Happy Father’s Day — a poem

June 18, 2021

Tweet Share Pin Email As the abstract essence of your existence has so many different meanings for...

Oasis

Southern Baptists meet amid controversy over leaked letters

June 18, 2021

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Pastor Fred Luter Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Convention, speaks...

Diaspora

In Tigray, food is often a weapon of war as famine looms

June 18, 2021

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Abeba Gebru, 37, from the village of Getskimilesley, sits with her...

Go With The-Flo

“The Jeffersons” and “227” actress Marla Gibbs celebrated her 90th birthday

June 18, 2021

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Marla Gibbs (Photo: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock) By Florence Anthony Following...

Stateside

Wolf Administration outlines guidance for children not yet eligible for vaccine and their families

June 18, 2021

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Please Touch museum in Philadelphia (Photo: pleasetouchmuseum.org) Philadelphia— Department of Human...

Food And Beverage

A luscious lime smoothie for hot Summer days

June 18, 2021

Tweet Share Pin Email CULINARY.NET During summer months, it’s common for many people to want to spend...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff