What We ^Wednesday Anij- Hruby Accessories: Charm Brace lets - Last week's Charming Evening event made me think of how much I’ve always loved charm bracelets. Like mini- journals you wear on your arm, they’re full of a person’s proudest moments, her most exciting times, and the times she hope’s not to forget. When I w'as ten or eleven, my mom showed me the charm bracelet she’d had growing up. Full of colorful scraps of metal, that charm bracelet let me see the journey of my mother's favorite moments in her pre-maternal life: the trip to Disney Land, the view of the Grand Canyon, the blue ribbon for horse-back riding. The only attempt at a charm bracelet in my life was a small gold chain given to me by my dad when 1 was twelve; I’ve chosen to go the \vordier route—listing my escapades on page after page in a journal—but I still love charm bracelets, and think they are great windows into the owner’s life. Music: Bowerbirds and Mumford & Sons -1 am a self-proclaimed indie music lover. I know it’s cliche, and I know it’s horribly trendy, but that’s why I’m putting this disclaimer in here. That said, two of my favorite bands are currently breaking onto the indie music charts. Mum- ford & Sons is an English Folk Rock band made up of a quartet of London locals and headed by Marcus Mumford. I didn't really understand how a folk band could also be labeled as rock, but Mumford & Sons’ sweeping melodies and overpowering lyrics make it clear that folk rock is an accurate genre for them. I recommend starting with their single “Little Lion Man” for a more upbeat introduc tion to the band, then moving to one of their quieter songs like Aw'ake My Soul to really get to know them. Now, on to Bowerbirds. Bowerbirds is a trio of mu.sicians from our own city of Raleigh, NC. Labeled one of the News & Observer’s Great Eight Bands of the Triangle, Bowerbirds have been garnering local sup port, and they just launched a semi-national tour with the first performance at WKNC’s recent Double Barrel Benefit. Composed of three locals that sing, play guitar, and dabble.^ in accordion, Bowerbirds has>* • toured in support of local 'n ' legends The Mountain Goats, and with their unique blend qf^,.'’: folk and pop, they’re sure to ^ vii- stick around. I suggest listen-” ing to “My Oldest Memory', with lyrics as poetic as “And L dont know whose land w'e’re'-- on. Is this an island that plofo,, like a villain,,Or an old ghoaL. friend we dont believe in?” How can you not appreciate their talent? / , * Madame CJ Walker: A Woman Ahead of Her Time Krishna Chagarlamudi, Staff’Writer Madam C. J. Walker, born as Sarah Breedlove, was one of the first African American women to build a financial empire in the male-dominated world of business. She was born into an impoverished sharecropper family in Louisiana in 1867. When Walker was seven years old, her parents died during the yellow fever epidemic. Accord ing to Madam C. J. Walker’s biog raphy posted in Women in History, she was orphaned at a young age. She was forced to fend for herself and worked as a maid. She married Moses McWilliams at the age of fourteen and had a daughter Lelia. When McWilliams died a couple of years later, she married John Da vis. However, this marriage ended in 1903. Her third marriage to Charles Joseph Walker also ended in 1910. Despite the hardships she endured in her personal life, she had an uncanny knack for busi ness. She was passionate about marketing, perfecting, and sell ing hair products that were made specifically for African American women. Like many celebrated personali ties before and after her time, her image was built primarily on fact and partly on fiction. It is com monly believed that she invented the pressing comb. However, her great-great-granddaughter, A'Leila Bundles, in the book On Her Own Ground, brings to light the fact that such was not the case. Madam Walker was good at mar keting little knowm products and bringing them to light. She was greatly influenced by Annie Pope- Turnbo in St. Louis, Missouri, who was the first person to teach Walker about hair-care prod ucts. Eventually, the two women became rivals. Walker moved to Indianapolis where she started her own business. A review of The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker in the Indiana Magazine of His- toiy states that it is often thought she was one of the first African American millionaires. This fact, also, is not entirely true. She did accumulate quite a bit of wealth, $600,000 to be accurate, but was never a millionaire. She was, however, the wealthiest African American woman of her time. Although she was involved in a number of activities for racial advancement, according to the review in the Indiana Magazine of History, she is not often credited for her actions as the focus is usu ally on her hair-care products. She was a strong voice and inspiration to numerous African American women. After the East St. Louis race riot thattook place in 1917, she focused her time and effort on the establishment of anti-lynching laws. She encouraged African Americans to support and take part in the First World War and worked for the rights of African American veterdns. She also organized “Walker agents” to be a motivating factor in the fight for social justice and equality.

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