Thought for the Week – 21.7.22

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My wife Marion enjoys selling cosmetic products and distributing brochures round the doors of customers, collecting and processing orders.

Over 100 years ago many women in America, mainly black women, became a ‘Walker Agent’. For them this was a way out of poverty.

In the early years of the 20th century women did not often go into business. But one, Sarah Breedlove, proved that hard work and enterprise could make a difference. She was to become a self-made millionaire through her own efforts, the first woman ever to do so.

Sarah Breedlove was the fifth child of former slaves, born in 1867 on a cotton plantation in Colorado. She married Charles J Walker, an advertising man, and called herself Madam C J Walker. Herself suffering from a scalp ailment, she experimented and developed her own remedies. She was encouraged by Christian friends and friends in the National Association of Coloured Women. Soon she was giving demonstrations of her products in hair care, shampoos and ointments, brushes, heated combs. She opened a factory and beauty school, and recruited women into employment, providing clubs and conventions for their welfare. She used her wealth to promote worthy causes, in the interests of social and political justice.

She attributed her success to tenacity, perseverance, hard work and faith in God. In the African Methodist Episcopal Church of which she was a devout member, with its teaching on Christian love and black dignity, she found her motivation.
The Christian faith inspires us to look beyond ourselves and respond to the needs of others.

Rev Malcolm Kinnear Kinlochleven and Nether Lochaber Parish Churches