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Women of Distinction - Black History Month

Updated: Feb 20

"Embrace what makes you unique, even if it makes others uncomfortable. I didn't have to become perfect because I've learned throughout my journey that perfection is the enemy of greatness." Janelle Monae, actress and singer, Hidden Figures

Honoring Annie Malone

Photo courtesy of St. Louis Public Radio

Annie Malone on roof garden of the Poro College Building, 25 April 1927. Photograph by W.C. Persons.


During Black History Month we are reminded to reflect on those who made an undeniable impact on our lives, community and world. Today, I am recognizing one woman who paved the way for many and made an indelible mark in manufacturing and on the cosmetic industry.


Madame C. J. Walker was not the first African-American millionaire. In truth, she was not even the first female millionaire. Annie Malone achieved that notable distinction. She created and developed the first international manufacturing company selling cosmetic and hair care products for black women under the brand name Poro. She served as a formative mentor to Madam Walker as well as her employer. (Walker later became Malone's primary competitor.)


She was a remarkable woman with moxie, business acumen and phenomenal vision. To learn more about her work and influence in the industry, click here.


Malone is just one woman who has left a huge legacy. Take time to consider others. Who has made a great impact in your life and/or community? Who has broken the "glass ceiling" and blazed a new path for generations to come? Our history is vast and influence cannot be denied.

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