India Arie once sang,
“I am not my hair,” as an ode to self-identity in comparison to physical appearance. One of the heart chambers in African American culture is indeed hair. As a matter of fact, it’s become a thriving industry, and we owe that all to Madame CJ Walker.
She paved the way for every entrepreneur in African hair care, and the Madame Walker Theatre Center is responsible for preserving her legacy. Located at the foot of Indiana Avenue and MLK Blvd in Indianapolis Indiana, the Walker Theatre Center is a leader of its community. The four-story building embodies this mission as follows:
“The Madame Walker Theatre Center exists to advance the legacy of our namesake through art, entertainment, cultural education, youth empowerment, entrepreneurship and civic engagement.”
The building also rents out office spaces for aspiring entrepreneurs and holds a ballroom, theater, and conference center. The Theatre Center weaves its mission in and out of its various programs. I’m sure Madame CJ would be proud; as she made it her business to bring together business women at her Madame CJ Walker Hair Culturists Union of America convention in 1917 in Philadelphia.
To further preserve her legacy, the Walker Building also houses the Madame CJ Walker History & Heritage Center containing nearly three dozen exhibits. If you’re ever in Indianapolis and would like to tour the Walker Building you may do so by appointment. More tour information can be found here.
Would you like to treat your roots to the original African hair care? Hop on over to your local Sephora or click here to view exclusive Madame CJ products.
For additional information about the Madame Walker Theatre Center visit their website: http://www.thewalkertheatre.org/.
You can also connect with them on Facebook to see their programs and advocacy in action.