Reflections in Black

Weekly at noon and 7 p.m. on Ozarks at Large
  • Hosted by Raven Cook

Reflections in Black is a weekly segment on Ozarks at Large, hosted by Raven Cook. Reflections in Black is dedicated to exploring the legacy of Black Americans, both in the United States and around the globe, by providing resources for understanding and hope for all people.

You can learn more about Raven and the segments you hear on the Foundations: Black History Education Programming facebook page. 

Courtesy / Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History

Born in December of 1867 in Delta, La., Sarah Breedlove knew adversity. Her parents, formerly enslaved persons, died when she was seven years old. She eventually moved to Denver and began working for Annie Turnbow Malone, selling products for the Turnbow company. When she decided to start her own hair care company called Wonderful Hair Grower, she took the professional name Madam C.J. Walker. Walker created a chain of beauty salons in major U.S. cities, South America and the Carribbean.

Courtesy / The State Historical Society of Missouri, Manuscript Collection-St. Louis

Born in Metropolis, Ill. on Aug. 9, 1869 to former slaves, Annie Turnbo never finished high school, but she found her niche in cosmetology. By age 20, Turnbo was already marketing her first line of hair care products. After moving to St. Louis, Mo., she trademarked her brand PORO. Turnbo would become one of the wealthiest women in the nation and eventually opened a factory and beauty school. Her company grew to employ and house 175 people. Turnbo spent her final days in Chicago where she died in 1957.

Courtesy /

Garrett Morgan Sr. was born around 1875 or 1877 in Paris, Ky. He left his home at the age of 14 to move to Cincinnati, Ohio, then later to Cleveland where he worked as a mechanic and preformed sewing machine repair. Morgan’s experience with sewing machines would eventually help him establish his first business, a sewing machine sales and repair shop known as the Morgan Skirt Factory. In 1913, Morgan would open a second business, the G.A. Morgan Hair Refining Company. He also obtained a patent for the Morgan Safety Hood in 1914.

Courtesy / Ebony Magazine

John H. Johnson was born in Arkansas City, Ark. on Janurary 19, 1918. During the Great Depression, his family moved to Chicago so Johnson could pursue a higher education to achieve his dream of becoming a journalist. In high school, Johnson became the editor of the newspaper and yearbook. He then received a scholarship to the University of Chicago when he met Harry H. Pace, a man who offered Johnson a role as assitant editor at his newspaper. Eventually, Johnson dropped out of college to work at the newspaper full-time.

On the one year anniversary of Reflections in Black, we go back in our archives to the first installment of the segment curated by Raven Cook. Born in Virginia nearly 150 years ago, Dr. Carter G. Woodson was a champion of chronicling and celebrating American history.