Living and Giving

The Classic Pamela Positive: Cherish Your Family Legacy

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We didn’t just build our lives on our own.  We have a legacy, in part, due to the people who have led before us. When you look at your success, who helped you be successful?  Let’s talk today about honoring your legacy, and continuing to build your future. We are all connected in such a beautiful way!   

Here’s a great example. We have talked about Madam C.J. Walker before as one of the greatest female black entrepreneurs in the late 19th century. Not only did she defy society\’s standards by becoming an entrepreneur as a woman, but also as a black woman.

She was also a later stage entrepreneur. She launched her business in her late 30s –  age 38. It\’s a lesson for all of us to never give up on our dreams.

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The products she created were beauty products for women, for hair, and for the skin. What she also did which was very profound: supporting suffrage and right to vote. She helped with the arts funding; she also took a strong stand on anti-lynching. Who can believe someone had to combat such inhumane barbarism?  She stood up, she took a stand, and she used her platform to fight injustice.

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Finally, she contributed forward to colleges and schools helping fund youth, such as scholarships at the Tuskagee Institute and the Industrial School for Negro Girls (which later became Bethune-Cookman University) in Daytona Beach, Florida.  She helped raise funds to establish a branch of YMCA in Indianapolis\’s black community, the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church and supported the arts.

We have an incredible legacy with Madam C.J. Walker, and what\’s beautiful today is that it continues on. The voice of her great great granddaughter, A\’Lelia Bundles, continues to speak about the impact of her great great grandmother. She has now written a book called \”On Her Own Ground: The Life And Times Of Madam C.J. Walker\”.

What a great legacy for a younger living family member, writing about family history from generations and generations ago. The Madam C.J. Walker beauty brand still holds 15 products and A\’Lelia provides consulting for them on her grandmother\’s impact. For A\’Lelia, it\’s not all about about beauty. It’s the impact: Madame C.J. created businesses, uplifted hundreds of other women to be educated, find work, and to believe in themselves.

We can all learn from Madam C.J. Walker and her great great granddaughter A\’Lelia. We celebrate women from the past upon whose shoulders we stand.

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Could you go back in your family history and find someone to honor? 

How did they help you get where you are today?  It may be your mother or dad. It might be your grandparents. It might be even further, further, further, back… Understand your historical legacy today, cherish it, and build upon it. You didn’t do this alone. None of us did.  Someone has helped us, and we can recognize them.  

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