Just like Billie Holiday created a whole new life for herself after changing her name, Madam Walker had just as much imagination and enterprise to do it to. Maya Angelou once said black women in America are often given many roles to play in society, but in fact the emotions they feel are those of a normal human. Performing gender and identity can be something sometimes backbreaking and heartbreaking, but the hope and desire of African American women can also spur them into fulfilling and self-loving enterprises. As someone that went to costmetology school, learning how to care for other people’s outer is also learning to understanding their needs. This is not a romanticized book about black peoples in America. This woman’s life beautifully painted is fully expressed in the cover but the text inside underlines what it took for Madam Walker to get that smile.
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