Madam C. J. Walker's gospel of giving : Black women's philanthropy during Jim Crow / Tyrone McKinley Freeman ; foreword by A'Lelia Bundles .

By: Freeman, Tyrone McKinley, 1973- [author.]Material type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooksNew Black studies series: Publisher: Urbana : University of Illinois Press, [2020]Description: 1 online resource (xvi, 278 pages)Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 0252052331; 9780252052330Subject(s): African American women executives -- Biography | Women philanthropists -- United States -- Biography | Cosmetics industry -- United States -- HistoryAdditional physical formats: Print version:: Madam C. J. Walker's gospel of givingDDC classification: 338.7/66855092 | B LOC classification: HD9970.5.C672 | F74 2020Online resources: Click here to view this ebook. Summary: "Founder of a beauty empire, Madam C. J. Walker was celebrated as America's first self-made female millionaire in the early 1900s. Known as a leading African American entrepreneur, Walker was also devoted to an activist philanthropy aimed at empowering African Americans and challenging the injustices inflicted by Jim Crow. Tyrone McKinley Freeman's biography highlights how giving shaped Walker's life before and after she became wealthy. Poor and widowed when she arrived in St. Louis in her twenties, Walker found mentorship among black churchgoers and working black women. Her adoption of faith, racial uplift, education, and self-help soon informed her dedication to assisting black women's entrepreneurship, financial independence, and activism. Walker embedded her philanthropy in how she grew her business, forged alliances with groups like the National Association of Colored Women, funded schools and social service agencies led by African American women, and enlisted her company's sales agents in local charity and advocacy work. Illuminating and dramatic, Madam C. J. Walker's Gospel of Giving broadens our understanding of black women's charitable giving and establishes Walker as a foremother of African American philanthropy"-- Provided by publisher.
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Includes bibliographical references and index.

"Founder of a beauty empire, Madam C. J. Walker was celebrated as America's first self-made female millionaire in the early 1900s. Known as a leading African American entrepreneur, Walker was also devoted to an activist philanthropy aimed at empowering African Americans and challenging the injustices inflicted by Jim Crow. Tyrone McKinley Freeman's biography highlights how giving shaped Walker's life before and after she became wealthy. Poor and widowed when she arrived in St. Louis in her twenties, Walker found mentorship among black churchgoers and working black women. Her adoption of faith, racial uplift, education, and self-help soon informed her dedication to assisting black women's entrepreneurship, financial independence, and activism. Walker embedded her philanthropy in how she grew her business, forged alliances with groups like the National Association of Colored Women, funded schools and social service agencies led by African American women, and enlisted her company's sales agents in local charity and advocacy work. Illuminating and dramatic, Madam C. J. Walker's Gospel of Giving broadens our understanding of black women's charitable giving and establishes Walker as a foremother of African American philanthropy"-- Provided by publisher.

Description based on online resource; title from digital title page (viewed on October 05, 2020).

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Freeman (philanthropic studies, Indiana Univ.) debuts with an in-depth biography of Madam C.J. Walker (1867--1919), famous for being the first woman in the United States to become a self-made millionaire. Born Sarah Breedlove to enslaved parents in rural Louisiana, Walker was placed in the care of an older sister after her parents died when she was a child. Freeman takes care to acknowledge and fill in gaps in the historical record surrounding the life of Black people during early Reconstruction. The author follows Walker as she, her sister, and brother-in-law move to Mississippi to flee nearby lynchings and find work; it is here, as Freeman narrates, that Walker becomes a washerwoman. Freeman excels at writing an accessible narrative of time and place, continuing as Walker gets married, has a daughter, and becomes a widow in a short span of time. From there, she moves to St. Louis, getting involved in local church communities, marrying Charles Walker, and ultimately building a legacy by creating a hair care empire specific to the needs of Black women. Through it all, Freeman shows the challenges Black women faced in obtaining education and pursing business ventures. VERDICT A tremendous biography and a great study of philanthropy that will have strong YA crossover appeal.--Cicely Douglas, South Sioux City P.L., NE

CHOICE Review

Drawing heavily on the archives of Madam C. J. Walker, the famous Black hair care entrepreneur of the late 19th and early 20th century, Freeman (philanthropic studies, Indiana Univ.) has produced a unique study and argument that refutes popular and historiographical exceptionalist notions of the famous businesswoman. "Walker was not simply a charitable entrepreneur," Freeman writes, "but rather a great African American and American philanthropist who practiced a distinctive racialized and gendered approach to giving that simultaneously relieved immediately felt needs in her community and thwarted the systemic oppression of the Jim Crow regime" (p. 7). Walker was born Sarah Breedlove in Louisiana in 1867 to parents who were formerly enslaved. St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Denver, and finally Indianapolis were the stops on her journey through life, which culminated in her successful ownership of a company whose corporate model in large part embraced the model of contemporary Black fraternal orders. Freeman's six chapters--"Making Madam C. J. Walker," "Opportunity," "Education," "Activism," "Material Resources," and "Legacy"--reflect his argument for a new appreciation of the evolution and challenges in the making of Walker's model. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels. --Philip F. Rubio, North Carolina A&T State University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Tyrone McKinley Freeman is an assistant professor of philanthropic studies at Indiana University.

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