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Free 'Family Night' returns

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Mon, Feb 17th 2020 07:00 am

Join the History Center of Niagara for “Family Night” from 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18. A pizza supper will be available for a small donation. The program will begin at 6 p.m.

In celebration of Black History Month and the 100th anniversary of women obtaining the right to vote, the History Center will feature a program on Madam C. J. Walker, America’s wealthiest and most famous African-American woman in the early 20th century.

A press release noted, “Brenda Reaves, of the History Center’s ‘Step Back in Time’ players, will portray Walker and discuss her life and the hair and cosmetics company she started in 1906 exclusively catering to black women. Though other African-American women were also selling similar merchandise, Walker’s rather flamboyant style, expert business sense and marketing techniques made her name and her products most well-known. A contemporary of Lockport’s own Seven Sutherland Sisters, Madam Walker employed thousands of black women to sell her beauty formulas door-to-door. She built a factory and beauty school in Indianapolis and had sales outlets in the Caribbean and Central America.

“Walker was also known for her philanthropic contributions to organizations that benefited African-American communities in several cities. At the time of her death in 1919 at age 51, Walker’s estate was valued at $600,000 (about $8 million today), making her one of the richest black women in the U.S.

Following the program, participants can make an advertisement poster reminiscent of the style that was used by Walker, the Seven Sutherland Sisters and other companies at the turn-of-the-20th century.

Reservations are required for the program. Call the History Center at 716-434-7433.

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