One More River to Cross

The left is Marian Anderson and right is Madam C.J Walker.

Marian Anderson & Madam C.J Walker

Have you ever thought how we become the world we are today? Where we don't have to worry about the color of our skins? Marian Anderson and Madam C.J Walker are both black women who fought for their rights and became very successful against the odds.Marian was a famous singer and Walker was the first black women to become a millionaire.

Overcoming Challenges

Marian was born in 1897 and was raised in a black family in Philadelphia. Her first big show was not a huge success and nobody really came.The critics that were there put a horrible review on the show and made Marian stop singing for a while. She decides to learn many different languages, so she understands what she's been really singing. While learning the languages in Europe she does more shows and takes more singing lessons and becomes incredibly popular yet again in the U.K and U.S.

Madam C.J Walker doesn't like how black people have no rights to buy from some stores. Even simple hair care products. She realizes that many black women have hair is falling out because of the tight braids in their hair. Walker makes her very own hair care product for Black Womens hair that becomes popular across the nation. This leads to her doing business and making companies all over the U.S and transforming into the wealthiest black women in the 1900's.

About Their Life

Marian was born in 1897 and started singing at church and social events since she was little. Around 1915 she started to take singing lessons to further her future. In 1920 Marian started to tour Europe and learning the languages and became popular. She got 1st place in a singing competition with 300 girls in 1922.When she got rejected to sing in the constitution hall, she went to the Lincoln Memorial with 75,000 people, January 1st 1939.Became even more popular across the nation over the years until she died at the age of 96 in 1993.

Madam C.J Walker is born in Louisiana, 1867. Married a man named Moses and had a girl named Lelia in 1884.After her husband died, she noticed her hair falling out after many fails, she makes a hair care product for black women in 1904. A year later she made a business in Colorado and in 1906 she marries another man, Charles Walker. Madam continued to make more companies all over the U.S and was always donating money to charities until she passed away in 1919.

How Marian and Walker Became Successful

When Marian gave up singing her family had the after effect of less money.Her motivation was to get enough money so her mom doesn't have to work anymore. She brought extra money for everyone in her household and when she realized that people were counting on her, she stepped up her game to become successful once again.

Madam C.J Walker wanted to go to a store and be able to buy a hair care product without prejudice. Since the color of her skin forbids it, she made her own. Walker knew nobody sold hair care products for African Americans, so she sold it around town and after it all it spread to the entire U.S. Her company was to be taken over only by women and it inspired black women to do whatever they want. To make them over power Segregation.

What Marian and Walker did Differently

Marian and Walker are very similar but have distinct differences. Marian lost her way for a while after her first big show. She needed encouragement and knew her strengths and weakness. Marian took time to strengthen her weakness and became even better. When she got rejected to sing in the Constitution hall by the Daughters of America she sang at the Lincoln Memorial instead and did not let that stop her. She showed no nerves nor sadness and sung about America from the heart.

Madam C.J Walker never gave up, her motivation was giving her daughter a better life own she could never have. Walker didn't care she couldn't put her product in any stores she overcame that by just making her own. She had a lot of friends that did anything for her and spreading around her product was one of them. It become popular because a lot of women understood her problems of hair damage and these women would try anything to fix it up.

Even though they're not the same they show the same will and strength. Marian did not give up completely she wanted to prove those critics wrong by becoming better. Walker didn't let Segregation stop her from helping black women across the nations hair problems.

African-Americans making a protest against Segregated schools.

Things for You to Think About

  1. How would life be for Marian and Walker if Segregation wasn't around back then?
  2. Did the obstacles they faced stop anything that they wanted to do?
  3. Would you handle discrimination the way these women did? Why or why not?
  4. When did Marian realize she had what it takes to be a singer and didn't let anything stop her?
  5. Why do you think Madam C.J Walkers hair care products become so successful?


Segregation: the action or state of setting someone or something apart from other people or things or being set apart.

Discrimination:the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.

Popular:liked, admired, or enjoyed by many people or by a particular person or group.

Constitution:a body of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is acknowledged to be governed

Forbids:refuse (someone or something) entry to a place or area.

Differences:a point or way in which people or things are not the same.

Prejudice:preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.

Comment Stream