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Madam C.J. Walker Quotes Celebrating the Self-Made Millionaire

Entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker was the first self-made Black woman millionaire in America. Learn more about her journey to success through the Madam C.J. Walker quotes below. 

What do you know about Madam C.J. Walker?

Born Sarah Breedlove, Madam C.J. Walker was born in 1867 to parents recently freed from slavery. After developing a scalp condition that caused hair loss, Walker developed a homemade remedy.

That initial experiment grew into a popular African-American hair care line whose profits grew into millions of dollars. Walker used her fortune to better her community, donating to organizations such as the NAACP and the YMCA. 

These amazing quotes detail Madam C.J. Walker’s life and career.

Don’t forget to also check out these Coretta Scott King quotes that will inspire you to fight for equality.

Powerful Madam C.J. Walker quotes

1. “Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.” – Madam C.J. Walker

2. “Perseverance is my motto!” – Madam C.J. Walker

3. “People are ugly not in their face but in their thoughts. So never get impressed by someone’s appearance, rather dig deep down into their thoughts to reveal the real person inside out.” – Madam C.J. Walker

4. “I want you to understand that your first duty is to humanity.” – Madam C. J. Walker

5. “Love’s language is imprecise, fits more like mittens than gloves.” – Madam C.J. Walker

6. “One can slide between poor and rich.” – Madam C. J. Walker

7. “It’s pretty hard for the Lord to guide you if you haven’t made up your mind which way to go.” – Madam C. J. Walker

Madam C.J. Walker quotes on career

8. “My object in life is not simply to make money for myself or to spend it on myself in dressing or running around in an automobile, but I love to use a part of what I make in trying to help others.” – Madam C.J. Walker

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9. “I want the great masses of my people to take a greater pride in their appearance and to give their hair proper attention.” – Madam C.J. Walker

10. “I have built my own factory on my own ground, 38 by 208 feet. I employ in that factory seven people, including a bookkeeper, a stenographer, a cook and a housegirl.” – Madam C.J. Walker

11. “I have always held myself out as a hair culturist. I grow hair.” – Madam C.J. Walker

12. “In a dream, a big black man appeared to me and told me what to mix up for my hair. I made up my mind I would begin to sell it.” – Madam C.J. Walker

13. “Everybody told me I was making a mistake by going into this business, but I know how to grow hair as well as I know how to grow cotton.” – Madam C.J. Walker

14. “Don’t think that because you have to go down in the wash-tub that you are any less a lady!” – Madam C.J. Walker

Madam C.J. Walker quotes about success

15. “Keep in mind that you have something that the person standing before you really needs, imagine yourself a missionary and convert him.” – Madam C. J. Walker

16. “There is no royal flower-strewn path to success. And if there is, I have not found it, for whatever success I have attained has been the result of much hard work and many sleepless nights.” – Madam C.J. Walker

17. “If I have accomplished anything in life, it is because I have been willing to work hard.” – Madam C.J. Walker

18. “My advice to everyone expecting to go into business is to hit often and hit hard; in other words, strike with all your might.” – Madam C.J. Walker

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19. “Having a good article for the market is one thing, putting it properly before the public is another.” – Madam C. J. Walker

Madam C.J. Walker quotes on upbringing and family

20. “I am not ashamed of my past; I am not ashamed of my humble beginnings.” – Madam C.J. Walker

21. “I got my start by giving myself a start.” – Madam C.J. Walker

22. “I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the South. From there I was promoted to the washtub. From there I was promoted to the cook kitchen. And from there I promoted myself into the business of manufacturing hair goods and preparations.” – Madam C.J. Walker

23. “I had little or no opportunity when I started out in life.” – Madam C.J. Walker

24. “When we began to make $10 a day, my ex-husband thought that was enough, thought I ought to be satisfied. But I was convinced that my hair preparation would fill a long-felt want. And when we found it impossible to agree, due to his narrowness of vision, I embarked on business for myself.” – Madam C.J. Walker

25. “Now I realize that in the so-called higher walks of life, many were prone to look down upon ‘hairdressers’ as they called us; they didn’t have a very high opinion of our calling, so I had to go down and dignify this work, so much so that many of the best women of our race are now engaged in this line of business, and many of them are now in my employ.” – Madam C. J. Walker

Madam C.J. Walker quotes on race and society

26. “This is the greatest country under the sun. But we must not let our love of country, our patriotic loyalty, cause us to abate one whit in our protest against wrong and injustice.” – Madam C.J. Walker

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27. “The girls and women of our race must not be afraid to take hold of business endeavors and, by patient industry, close economy, determined effort and close application to business, wring success out of a number of business opportunities that lie at their very doors.” – Madam C.J. Walker

28. “America doesn’t respect anything but money. What our people need is a few millionaires.” – Madam C. J. Walker

29. “I am not satisfied in making money for myself. I endeavor to provide employment for hundreds of the women of my race.” – Madam C.J. Walker

30. “I want to live to help my race.” – Madam C.J. Walker

How do you cope with negative emotions? 

With talent and drive, Madam C.J. Walker used her struggles as inspiration to start a business. This eventually grew into a multi-million dollar company. Her story inspires me to use negative situations as fuel to move towards my goals. 

I invite you to do the same. The next time you’re struggling, don’t let your negative emotions paralyze you. Let it inspire you to grow, evolve, and make decisions to better your life. 

Which of these Madam C.J. Walker quotes and sayings meant the most to you? Who should we feature next on Everyday Power? Let us know your thoughts below!

Nia Simone McLeod
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