There were a number of millionaires in America in the olden days, and some of them were African Americans. It was hard to believe that black people could earn so much money, but they did, and they did so spectacularly.
Shortly after America's Emancipation, the United States had more than 4 000 millionaires, and 6 of them were African Americans.
The Emancipation Proclamation was a presidential proclamation issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, and changed the federal legal status of more than 3.5 million enslaved African Americans.
They were set free.
Out of these rose 6 extraordinary people who made history by becoming the first black millionaires in the good old US of A.
Through sheer hard work and undying dedication, these people created amazing financial success for themselves, leaving behind unforgettable legacies.
Briefly.co.za took a brief look at this magnificent African Americans trailblazers, thanks to information shared by blackhistory.org.
Mary Ellen Pleasant
Mary Ellen was a successful entrepreneur in the 19th century. She used her Gold Rush money who identified herself as a 'capitalist by profession'. She was also a real estate magnate. Most of her life is shrouded in mystery.
Hannah was once considered to be the richest African American in the United States. She was also the mistress of a millionaire from New York City. Hannah used the land he gave her to build an entire empire in Harlem.
O.W Gurley was a Mississippi teacher who developed a town for wealthy African American craftsmen and professionals in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It became known as the 'Black Wall Street'. He was a successful businessman.
Robert Reed Church
Robert was a businessman, landowner and entrepreneur in Tennessee. He went on to become the largest landowner in the state. He was the first African American millionaire in the South.
Annie Minerva Turnbo-Malone
Annie was a philanthropist, inventor and businesswoman. She developed the first national brand of hair care products and was a self-taught chemist. Annie was also one of the very first African American women to became a millionaire.
Madam C.J Walker
Sarah Breedlove, known as Madam C.J Walker, was one of Annie Turnbo-Malone's employees. She was considered one of the wealthiest self-made women in America during the 1900s. She was a political and social activist, philanthropist and entrepreneur.
These unforgettable people made their mark in history by refusing to let their past define them.
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