The story of African American women’s philanthropy would have to include Madam C. J. Walker, founder of a beauty empire more than a century ago. With the nation currently focused on racial and economic equity issues, it is fitting that we examine the life of this activist philanthropist who made her home, Villa Lewaro, in Westchester’s Irvington-on-Hudson.
In his new biography, Madam C. J. Walker’s Gospel of Giving, author Tyrone McKinley Freeman, captures the trajectory of her life:
“Black. Female. Daughter of slaves. Orphan. Child laborer. Widowed young mother. Penniless migrant. Poor washerwoman. Philanthropist. Before she became known as ‘the first self-made female millionaire’ in the United States, Madam C. J. Walker (1867-1919) lived a devastatingly difficult life in the emerging Jim Crow South after the end of Reconstruction in the late nineteenth century. But she resolved early to help herself and black people by being generous any way she could, with what she had, no matter the circumstances. Ultimately, Walker worked to give to black people—particularly black women—some of what Jim Crow had taken away from them. In the process, she became a significant American philanthropist and a foremother of black philanthropy today.”
Join the Westchester Community Foundation for a fascinating conversation with Freeman. Philanthropy was central to Madam C.J. Walker’s life and work. Her story just may inspire you.
Live Zoom Webinar
Date: Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Time: 6 – 7 pm ET
To receive your Zoom link, please register with Donna Banks | email@example.com | 914.948.5166, ext. 4