Women in History
Myrna Goodson-White as Madame C. J. Walker
Myrna Goodson-White became a member of Women In History in 2002. She currently portrays Madame C. J. Walker, entrepreneur, self-made millionaire and philanthropist and Zora Neale Hurston, the Black folklorist of the Harlem Renaissance.
A long time admirer of Madame C. J. Walker, when in high school, Ms. Goodson-White wrote a paper about Madame C.J. Walker, and was fascinated by her and how she managed to rise above and overcome the many obstacles she faced during her life. The most amazing parallel of both Madame C. J. Walker and Zora Neale Hurston is that they traveled throughout the United States performing their work during a time when women did not normally travel alone because if the dangers that could befall them.
Ms. Goodson-White is not partial to any one of her characters. She enjoys portraying both of them. They were ahead of their time and thought for themselves. As risk takers, initiators and independent women, they liberated themselves before the word liberated became a popular term. Overcoming many challenges, they kept moving forward. Both women were driven by fearless determination. They were survivors. These are the characteristics they had that I admire the most.
Being able to portray women of the past as a member of Women In History fits well with my love of history. My first history books were bland and boring. I always felt that a lot of information was left out. I always wanted to know who, what, when and where. Women In History brings my natural curiosity and thirst for more information about women of the past to full circle. I can conduct independent research and re-create women in a way that allows my audiences to learn from them. The women I portray were brave, daring, forward thinking and ahead of their times. It gives me gratification to represent them. To be able to do this is exciting to me.
Ms. Goodson-White has a BA in History with a concentration in African American Studies from Cleveland State University. She serves on Cleveland State University’s Alumni Affairs General Board. She is past President of the Black Alumni Organization of CSU. She enjoys working with youth and is a youth motivator helping students transition from high school to college and from college to the work place. She is a retired Human Resources professional. She continues to work independently as an employment counselor. She also works as a volunteer cast member with the Cleveland Metro Parks Garfield Park Nature Center in their Escape On The Underground Railroad Program as a Conductor.
MEMORABLE WOMEN IN HISTORY MOMENTS
“When I was researching Zora Neale Hurston, I was eating, drinking and sleeping her. This may be hard to believe, but she came to me in a dream. In the dream she was living in Ft. Pierce, Florida, where she spent her final years. I was visiting her in a little house she lived in. She took me out to see her flower garden on the side of the house. We talked for a long time.”