Despite all that's going on in this season with coronavirus, it is still Women's History Month and we still want to celebrate that. So, here are four strong women in history you should know about:
Madam C.J. Walker
This is a particularly worthy mention as we are a black hair and beauty brand, seeing those who have gone before us to achieve such great heights is inspiring. Madame C.J. Walker was an American entrepreneur in the early 1900s. She was seen as the wealthiest African-American woman in America at the time of her death in 1919. Walker founded Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company; a cosmetics and hair care product line for black women. There's currently a Netflix Series available, inspired by her life.
Although you may know Vanessa mainly for her acting career in films, such as Dance With Me, she first gained recognition from being the first African-American woman to be crowned Miss America in 1983. Williams is also a singer and fashion designer.
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Day 2. Today we are paying tribute to the Queen of the Blues- Mamie Smith. She was the first Black artist to make a blues recording. Mamie was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Her year of birth has been disputed, with sources stating either 1883 or 1891 as her year of birth.) Her early life is shrouded in mystery, but by age 10, Mamie was a Vaudeville performer touring with white dance troupe The Four Dancing Mitchells. She continued to perform through her teens, and by 1913 she was singing in Harlem clubs, and married to her first husband, William Smith. In 1920, Mamie made history when she recorded "That Thing Called Love" and "You Can't Keep a Good Man Down" for Okeh Records, becoming the first to record a blues vocal record. Later that year, she recorded "Crazy Blues", which proved to be a hit. This opened the doors for other blues artists, such as Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith to achieve such success. Mamie continued to record and tour through the 1920's and made her film debut in 1929, in the film Jailhouse Blues. She appeared in several other films in the 1930's and 40's. Despite her success, Mamie died, reportedly penniless, in 1946. She was buried in an unmarked grave, but in 2012, a crowdfunding campaign successfully raised money to have a 4 foot headstone made with Mamie's image on it. It was erected in 2013 at Frederick Douglass Cemetery in Staten Island. "Crazy Blues" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1994, and in 2005 was entered into the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress. #BlackHistoryMonth #MamieSmith #QueenoftheBlues
Smith was a vaudeville singer and the first African-American singer to make a vocal Blues recording. Mamie paved the way for other iconic singers of the genre like Bessie Smith.
This beauty is the youngest on our list, but she is still a worthy note. Michaela was orphaned in her native country, Sierra Leone. She was able to fulfil her dream of becoming a ballerina after moving to America with her adoptive parents. At the age of 25, Michaela has a biography sharing her story of experiencing the war in her motherland and having vitiligo, up to the success she now is.
We hope this post of strong women in history has inspired you to realise that you too can leave an iconic legacy. Happy Women History Month to all the amazing women leaving their mark in this world! Please, stay safe this season too.