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Vision of Beauty: The Story of Sarah…

Vision of Beauty: The Story of Sarah Breedlove Walker

by Kathryn Lasky

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"Visions of Beauty" tells the story of Sarah Breedlove Walker, a woman who grew up to become of the most famous entrepreneurs of the early 1900s. After Sarah married and became Madam C.J. Walker, she created a line of beauty products for African American woman, which she sold through her new business, the Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company. Madam Walker went door to door selling her products. According to Lasky's account, "All customers were viewed as future agents. The agents who sold Madam Walker products were trained to speak to customers not only about health and beauty but about self-sufficiency as well. They were offering women a vision of freedom and dignity: making money in a respectful occupation as a hairdresser or saleswoman while still being good wives and mothers."

A few years after the company took off, it was making over $3000 a week ($30,000 today). By 1912, Madam Walker was one of the richest (and most generous) African Americans in the U.S. At a convention with Booker T. Washington, Madam Walker explained that she was not simply trying to make money for herself, but also to help other African Americans gain a foothold in a prejudiced world.

I quite enjoyed reading this book and I think it would be an inspirational story for young girls to read. I loved the illustrations, and especially the illustrator's note at the end where she comments on society's beauty standards and why Madam Walker was a pioneer for African American Women ( )
1 vote TBurley | Mar 8, 2016 |
Great story of a woman who did things she wasn't supposed to do, ignored restrictive traditions, and became incredibly successful while helping other women do the same thing. Sarah Breedlove Walker created her own hair-strengthening tonics and defied the conventions of advertising, which glorified white women's hair and told black women their hair was "bad." ( )
  mirikayla | Feb 8, 2016 |
A great story on the life of a woman who influenced African American women beauty products. After being born just after slavery was made illegal, Sarah Breedlove did everything everything she could do help her family. Her mother and father's passing led her to make her own decisions and take care of herself. After becoming a widow, Sarah worked as a laundress while being a single mother. She had always been fascinated by how healthy women traveler's hair had been. Sarah started to take an interest in plants and oils to help treat her own damaged hair. Not long after, she created formulas in her own small laboratory and began making hair products. After she married Charles Walker, she was able to open a factory in Pittsburgh where she would sell her products. She enlisted the help of black women of all ages to sell the products door to door. During her life, the Mme. C. J. Walker Company was one of the largest companies in America and Madam Walker was one of the richest women of her time. ( )
  afrught | Jan 15, 2016 |
The author of this biographical book really empowers the reader to imagine what it must have been like to have lived after the civil war. Sarah Walker was born right after slavery was made illegal. Her parents were sharecroppers to their former slave owners. Her parents made it a priority to get their children educated. Sarah's parents died when she was young and she and her siblings had to fend for themselves. Sarah lived a very difficult existence during her young life. Due to malnutrition, her hair began to fall out In order to combat her hair fallout, she created a hair care system that made african american hair grow longer and faster. She created a very successful business that hired women to be representatives that sold the product. Her company became very lucrative. ( )
  magen.rauscher | Apr 11, 2015 |
Lasky's written biography of Madam C.J. Walker is an astonishing piece of work that chronicles Mrs. Walker's struggles and accomplishments. Her innovations in beauty care products had a positive influence on how African American women viewed themselves in terms of beauty. She established her own business called the Mme. C.J. Walkeer Manufacturing Company which sold cosmetic products. Being a business women, especially an African American business woman, was unheard of during this time period. Her contributions have been pivotal in the struggle for not just African Americans but women of all colors to be accepted by a white patriarchal society that made great leaps in order to confine women and other races to meager standards of living. I really appreciated what the illustrator says at the end, " Whether a woman straightens her hair or not, her beauty radiates from within." Those words echo my concept of the qualities of beauty. Beauty is truth. ( )
  hlmusiclover | Oct 27, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0763618349, Paperback)

A vision of dignity and freedom and a powerful role model for girls and women of all races

"This impressive picture book will delight young readers as it gives a sense of this remarkable woman and the times in which she lived." — SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL (starred review)

"Lasky's engaging account moves smoothly through events in Walker's life. . . . The illustrations . . . are attractive and rich in historical detail." — BOOKLIST (starred review)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:47 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A biography of Sarah Breedlove Walker who, though born in poverty, pioneered in hair and beauty care products for black women, and became a great financial success.

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Candlewick Press

2 editions of this book were published by Candlewick Press.

Editions: 0763618349, 0763602531

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