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Annie Turbo Malone And 9 Other Forgotten Names In Black History We’re Grateful For

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Black History Month has officially begun and believe it or not, there are more African-American heroes who have contributed to the culture and this country aside from Harriet Tubman, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. Those three are all legendary names with contributions that have changed my life forever. However, they are just a few of the many individuals who have changed our world.

I don’t know if your schooling systems were anything like mine, but when it came to black history lessons, redundant was an understatement. We constantly learned of the same key players and only about the same periods (slavery and the civil right’s movement), so many game changers never got the recognition or respect they deserved. This, regardless of the blood, sweat and tears they put into this country.

So to the following names in black history, the inventors, the activists, the “firsts,” this one’s for you. You are appreciated. 

Annie Turnbo Malone

When we think about the history of Black hair products, hair care and multi-million dollar business women, we instantly think about Madam C.J. Walker. But if it weren’t for Annie Turnbo Malone, there wouldn’t be a single one. Malone was the first to create her own brand of Black hair care products, eventually making her a millionaire. A self-taught chemist, her products focused on the treatment and texture of women’s hair. These products quickly brought her much success, and she used her talents and notoriety to share her many skills with others. In fact, Malone went on to train over 75,000 women entrepreneurs, one of them being Walker (formerly Sarah Breedlove), whom she called a mentee. Black women supporting black women? Here for it!