Looking Back on 95 Years of Black Excellence

Alonzo Randall

February is known as Black History month, this is a great time to learn more about African American culture, history, and their contribution to humanity. There works have helped shaped America today as we know. Starting from madam C.J Walker, who was the first U.S woman to become a self-made millionaire, to Lonnie Johnson, a man who invented the fun toy super soakers.

Lonnie Johnson, an African American inventor, invented the super soaker in 1990. Johnson was born in Mobile Alabama and as a teen, he attended Wilson Highschool. While attending here he created his first invention called the Linex. In 1969, after graduating high school, Johnson attended Tuskegee University. Johnson then joined the U.S Air force after college and invented the Power Drencher in 1990. The Power Drencher generated more than $200 million dollars in sales in 1991. To more recent time it is nearly approaching an estimated $1 billion dollars in sales. According to Hasbro INC it sold 250 million units in 2015. It was inducted into the national toy hall of fame.

Madam C.J Walker, who also goes by Sarah Breedlove, was an African American Entrepreneur. Breedlove was recorded to be thee the first self-made millionaire in American history. Sarah Breedlove was Born on December 23, 1867 near to Delta Louisiana. She was orphaned at the age of seven and she moved to Vicksburg, Mississippi. While living in Mississippi she faced hard times dealing with an abusive brother-in-law named Jesse Powell. In 1882, at age 14, she married Moses McWilliams. During her second and final marriage, she adopted the name Madam C.J walker.

In the era of hair care first products, Black and African American women were suffering through severe dandruff and scalp ailments due to harsh products. With the help of Annie Malone, an African American hair care Entrepreneur, Breedlove took over the era from 1911 -1919 where she helped over 7,000 women. Her name became widely known throughout the globe in 1920, reaching even Cuba.

Breedlove raised funds for Black institutions everywhere, Orphanages, and Universities. Even though Sarah Breedlove’s time was short, she undoubtedly changed the course of hair care products forever.