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ST. LOUIS – Ladies, either you remember the smell of this burning on the stove as a child, or you still use it to keep that mane sleek and smooth.

We all know a Black woman’s hair is her crown and glory. Annie Malone patented the hot comb and became one of the first Black self-made millionaires. She also created the Wonderful Hair Grower and had a cosmetics line for women of color. She was a chemist and entrepreneur and poured her heart into the St. Louis community.

She also was the founder of Poro College. At the time, it sat right on the campus of HBCU Harris-Stowe State University. Now the school is paying homage to her with an exhibit for students and the public called “Moving Forward: Exploring the Legacy of Annie Malone.” It’s on display Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

So when you lay that hair, remember St. Louis was the place where creations, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy surrounding the hair industry thrived.

Blair’s Black History Moment highlights the history, success, and contributions of African Americans, both past and present, across the St. Louis region. If you would like to highlight a part of Black History dear to the St. Louis area, please send an email to as we recognize people, places, and events crucial to building the St. Louis community.