Black Awareness Day is celebrated in Brazil on November 20th, a date that calls for reflection on the history, culture, and struggles of black movements, while also celebrating the strength and resilience of the black population. This day aims to promote awareness of the fight against racism and underscore the relevance of black leadership in society. It’s worth noting that the choice of this day is linked to the death of Zumbi dos Palmares.

In light of this significant date, this week’s Ricci on Cinema presents the Netflix series, “Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker.” The production chronicles the inspiring journey of the first black female millionaire in the United States. Beyond highlighting her notable business achievements, the narrative emphasizes Madam C.J. Walker’s pioneering role in overcoming racial and gender barriers.

Watching the series takes us beyond the story of a visionary entrepreneur, delving into the life of someone who challenged social limits and contributed to shaping a more inclusive path for future generations.

Sarah BreedLove, later known as Madam C.J. Walker, was born in 1867, the daughter of slaves and the eldest of six siblings. She married her first husband and the father of her daughter at the age of 14, shortly after the Emancipation Proclamation in the USA secured the freedom of slaves from Confederate states.

Years later, Sarah married again and, facing domestic violence, chose to flee to Missouri with her daughter. Working as a laundress, she experienced hair loss due to the products she used. During this time, she met Annie Turnbo Malone, another pioneer in cosmetics for black women, learning about hair care and cosmetics, especially for curly and kinky hair.

Madam C.J. Walker adopted this name after her third marriage to Charles Joseph Walker. By then, she was already working as a saleswoman for Annie’s products and later developed her own line of hair care products. C.J. Walker’s primary motivation for creating these products stemmed from the difficulty of finding suitable and enjoyable products after experiencing hair problems and hair loss. Furthermore, at a time when black women were overlooked by the beauty industry, the uniqueness of her product and target audience became a significant milestone.

Initially sold door-to-door, the products quickly became a major success in the USA, leading to the opening of the first factory in Indianapolis, as well as a beauty salon and a school teaching women to work with the products.

The establishment of Madam C.J. Walker’s trademark was crucial not only from a business perspective but also culturally and socially. Her trademark revolutionized the hair care industry, focusing on black women as the target audience. By creating products specifically for the needs of Afro-textured hair, she not only filled a gap in the market but also promoted a shift in the perception of black beauty.

Furthermore, Madam C.J. Walker transcended her business career to become a prominent activist and political philanthropist, thanks to her significant influence in the black community. As an activist, she donated thousands of dollars to support various African-American causes, benefiting organizations such as YMCA, Tuskegee Institute, Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Bethune-Cookman University, and the Palmer Memorial Institute.

Watching the series “Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker” invites us not only to witness the rise of a visionary entrepreneur but also to reflect on how determination and innovation can transcend social and gender barriers. Madam C.J. Walker’s story serves as a testament to the importance of establishing and protecting a trademark, not only as a commercial venture but as an expression of identity, resilience, and cultural change. Thus, Madam C.J. Walker’s saga inspires not only through her business success but also through her lasting contribution to breaking stereotypes and promoting diversity and inclusion in the beauty industry.

Want to make a difference too? Contact our experts via email or WhatsApp to protect your trademark or patent!

Autor

  • Brenda Ozaki

    Brenda integra o escritório desde 2020 e atua na área internacional, auxiliando na gestão de portfólio de marcas no exterior.

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