January 19, 2010

Amherst Club Lunch Meeting, January 19, 2010 


      Vivienne Carey announced that her neighbor has a one-bedroom handicapped accessible apartment available to rent in the home.

      Rachel Mustin announced that there will be a report on Emergency Preparedness in Amherst next Tuesday, Jan. 26, at 7 pm at the Town Hall sponsored by the League of Women Voters.

      Jean Miller announced that the Love Notes Party Committee would have food sign-up sheets at lunch next week asking for specific donations, preferably non-desserts. 

Honore David introduced Nina Scott, Professor from UMass, who spoke on Madame C. J. Walker, an African-American women who built a cosmetics empire at the end of the 19th century based on the “Politics of Hair.” She was born Sarah Breedlove (1867-1919), the daughter of slaves in Louisiana, orphaned at 7, with little education. She early supported herself in menial jobs.

      Madame Walker focused on healthy hair, noting that even among African-Americans their hair was regarded as “ugly” and hair was an indicator of class. Her contribution was three-fold. She provided employment for African-American women as sales agents who could work out of their homes. She was a philanthropist who contributed to the Black YMCA, and the NAACP, among others. And she was a political activist for improving conditions for African-Americans and women. She ended up a wealthy woman, participating in the Harlem Renaissance, and building a mansion for herself and her daughter.

      Nina Scott ended with photos showing contemporary African-American women celebrities who continue to straighten their hair. 

Raffle: Ann McIntosh won the wine, Bobbye Hertzbach won the cash. 

                              Rachel Mustin, Recorder