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Madam CJ Walker at the Belvidere! Friday, March 6

posted Feb 27, 2015, 8:37 AM by Belvidere Mansion   [ updated Sep 10, 2017, 7:41 PM ]
History comes alive at the Belvidere Mansion on Friday, March 6, 2015, at 4:00pm, as professional historic character interpreter and storyteller Sheila Arnold Jones portrays Madam CJ Walker, the first African-American female millionaire.

Sheila Arnold Jones resides in Virginia, but travels throughout the United States sharing her love of history and drama while presenting an array of historical character programs in a variety of venues such as storytelling festivals, schools, libraries, museums, churches, and educational conferences.  Sheila has been a Teller-in-Residence at the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough, Tennessee, and has presented professional development, storytelling programs and character presentations at the Colonial Williamsburg, Valley Forge, and Mt. Vernon Teacher Institutes.  With a B.A. degree in African-American and African History from the University of North Carolina – Charlotte, Sheila brings a wealth of background knowledge, research and depth of insight into the portrayal of her characters making history come alive for both adults and children. 

One of the most prosperous characters Sheila portrays is Madam CJ Walker, an early 20th century African-American woman who became a self-made millionaire in marketing hair care products, many of which are still used today.  In 1910, Madam CJ Walker actually visited Greenwood (called the Black Wall Street in the early 1900s) and many African-American towns in Oklahoma.  In this presentation created by Sheila Arnold Jones, Madam CJ Walker talks about her life, her business and its challenges, her determined fight against segregation and the need for the economic development of ALL people. After the ½-hour presentation, Ms. Jones will discuss the presentation’s development, including more research details. 

The Belvidere Mansion is the perfect setting to portray Madam CJ Walker’s life as this historic home was built in 1907, only a few years before Madam CJ Walker’s visit to Oklahoma.  A reception of light refreshments will be served after the performance at which time guests are also invited to tour the Belvidere. 

Tickets for this event are $10 and reservations are necessary.  Please call (918) 342-1127 to reserve your seat in the mansion’s third floor ballroom.  The proceeds will benefit the Rogers County Historical Society.  The historic Belvidere Mansion is located at 121 North Chickasaw Avenue, Claremore, Oklahoma.  Sheila Arnold Jones’ storytelling CDs “Mini, Many, Minnie Tales” and “Hands Wide Open” will also be available for purchase. ($15 – cash, check or credit card; $25 for both). 

See you at the Belvidere!