Madam C.J. Walker, Shea Moisture, Carol’s Daughter, Madinina Kiss. These are are some of the descendants of Poro Beauty Products. So why has the mother of this trillion dollar industry not given the respect that is rightfully hers?
As the owner of a natural skin care company, I can let the month dedicated to Black History Month go by and not talk about the woman who paved the way for Madinina Kiss and other African-American female owned business like mine to be in existence.
Who is the Mother of the Black Beauty Industry? Annie Turnbo Malone. Perhaps you have never heard of Annie before. If not, you’re in good company. Most everyone reading this page has never heard of Annie. And if you are in the African American hair care or cosmetics industry, Annie is the “mother” of what you are doing. You are about to meet a remarkable woman…
Before Madam Walker, Rosa Parks, Mary McLeod Bethune, Oprah Winfrey or Cathy Hughes there was Annie Turnbo Malone (aka Annie Minerva Turnbo Pope Malone and Annie Minerva Turnbo Malone), a remarkable woman who made her mark during the early 20th century.
Malone is recorded as one of America’s first black female millionaire based on reports about her beauty and cosmetic enterprises — Poro — headquartered in St. Louis and Chicago.
Annie Minerva Turnbo Malone (August 9, 1869—May 10, 1957) was an African-American businesswoman, educator, inventor, and philanthropist. Annie was two years younger than Madam C. J. Walker. She had launched her hair care business four years before Sarah Breedlove (later known as Madam C. J. Walker). In the early 1900s, Madam Walker worked as a “Poro Agent” for Annie for about one year.
Annie Malone is the “mother” of the African American
Cosmetics, Hair Care & Beauty Industries
PORO BEAUTY PRODUCTS — from Freeman Institute Black History Collection
ANNIE MALONE’S LEGACY: Credit Where Credit is Due
Malone’s business failure tarnished her image. Her former employee, Madame C.J. Walker, often overshadows Malone because Walker’s business remained successful and more widely known. Walker is often credited as the originator of the black beauty and cosmetics business and the direct distribution and sales agent system that Malone developed.
Many historians believe Malone deserves more credit for her devotion to helping African Americans gain financial independence and her generous donations to educational, civic, and social causes.
HER LEGACY STILL LIVES ON: St. Louis honors her memory with the Annie Malone Children and Family Service Center whose mission is “is to improve the quality of life for children, families, elderly and the community by providing social services, educational programs, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.”
St. Louis honors her memory with the Annie Malone Children and Family Service Center whose mission is “is to improve the quality of life for children, families, elderly and the community by providing social services, educational programs, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.”
Did you Know?
Annie was one of the first in Missouri to own a Rolls Royce