Madam C.J. Walker read by Poorna Jagannathan by Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: The Podcast published on 2018-04-27T00:00:10Z Once upon a time, there was an inventor and entrepreneur named Madam C.J. Walker. She was the child of slaves, the first in her family to be born free, thanks to the Emancipation Proclamation. As a child, she had to work in the cotton fields to help support her family. Later, as a teenaged orphan, she became a washerwoman, backbreaking work considered one of the worst and most difficult jobs a woman could have. But she dreamed of more -- for herself and her daughter. When, due to an illness, her hair began to fall out, she created a hair care regime specifically for African-American women. It worked! She crisscrossed the country going door to door to sell her products and eventually built a beauty empire with sales representatives in every state. The formula grew to be so popular she became the first self-made female millionaire in America, and her products are still for sale today. Sponsored by: www.rebelgirls.co Use promocode REBELPODCAST to get 15% off your first purchase! Poorna Jagannathan is an actress and the producer of "Nirbhaya" ('Fearless'), the critically-acclaimed play written and directed by Yael Farber. Based on real-life events, the play breaks the silence around sexual violence and was called by The Telegraph as one of the "most powerful pieces of theater you’ll ever see.” Jagannathan gained international recognition for her portrayal of a journalist in the 2011 Bollywood film "Delhi Belly" and has appeared as series regular on HBO's "The Night Of" and Netflix's "Gypsy." She is currently a member of the ensemble cast of HBO's "Room 104," created by the Duplass brothers. This episode of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is produced by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo, with writing and operation support by Darby Maloney and Elyssa Dudley. Sound Design and Original Theme Music by Elettra Bargiacchi.