Marjorie Joyner (1896-1994)

Black History Month

Marjorie Stewart Joyner (October 24, 1896 – December 27, 1994)

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Marjorie Stewart Joyner was an American businesswoman. She was born in 1896, in Monterey, Virginia. She was the granddaughter of a white slave owner and a slave. In 1912, she moved to Chicago and began studying cosmetology. She graduated A.B. Molar Beauty School in Chicago in 1916, the first African American to achieve this. There she met Madam C. J. Walker, an African American beauty entrepreneur, and the owner of a cosmetic empire.

Always an advocate of beauty for women, Joyner went to work for her and oversaw 200 of Madame Walker’s beauty schools as the national adviser. A major role was sending Walker’s hair stylists door-to-door, dressed in black skirts and white blouses with black satchels containing a range of beauty products that were applied in the customer’s house. Joyner taught some 15,000 stylists over her fifty-year career. She was also a leader in developing new products, such as her permanent wave machine. She helped write the first cosmetology laws for the state of Illinois, and founded both a sorority and a national association for black beauticians.

Read more about her: HERE

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