Black History Month: Annie Malone -

Black History Month: Annie Malone

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Throughout the month of February KMOV proudly salutes those making a difference in the African American community.

We're honoring Annie Malone, whose legacy was established more than a century ago.

Around the turn of the 20th century... Annie Turnbo used her skills as a chemist to develop hair products specifically for black women.

In 1902 she recognized she needed a larger market in which to sell her products, so she moved her business to St. Louis. As a black woman, she was denied access to regular distribution channels. To sell her products, she and her assistants went door-to-door, giving demonstrations. Business grew steadily. After a positive response at the world's fair,  Poro company went national.

In 1914 Annie Turnbo married Aaron E. Malone, a St. Louis school principal. And by the end of World War I, she was a millionaire.

She also established Poro College in St. Louis in 1918. The cosmetology school and training center offered black women a place to advance themselves.  

Malone's charitable legacy also continues. The St. Louis orphans home, which was renamed after her in 1946, is now the Annie Malone children and family service center.

The street on which the center is located was renamed Annie Malone drive in her honor.

This year the Annie Malone May Day parade takes place on Sunday, May 15 at 1:00 p.m. and starts at 20th along Market street, heading east to Broadway. 

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