Many people think that Michael Jordan, Bob Johnson, and Oprah Winfrey were the first Black people to generate a seven figure income, but this is not true!
Long before they were even born, these six African American men and women were actually the first pioneers to become millionaires:
#1 - Mary Ellen Pleasant: who used her Gold Rush wealth to further the cause of abolitionist John Brown;
#2 - Robert Reed Church: who became the largest landowner in Tennessee;
#3 - Hannah Elias: the mistress of a New York City millionaire, who used the land her lover gave her to build an empire in Harlem;
#4 - Annie Turnbo-Malone: An orphan and self-taught chemist who developed the first national brand of hair care products;
#5 - Madam C. J Walker: An former employee of Annie Turnbo-Malone, who went on to earn the nickname America’s "first female black millionaire;"
#6 - O. W. Gurley: A school teacher from Mississippi who developed a piece of Tulsa, Oklahoma, into a "town" for wealthy black professionals and craftsmen that would become known as "the Black Wall Street."
However, nearly all these unforgettable personalities were often attacked, demonized, and/or swindled out of their wealth.
For more details about these stories, check out the book Black Fortunes: The Story of the First 6 African Americans Who Escaped Slavery and Became Millionaires by author Shomari Wills.