Teaching Roster

Madam C.J. Walker, The Miracle Hair Grower

Contact Name: Valerie Houston

Email: Click to email

Phone: (901) 318-2951

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Valerie Houston, after reading the life and times of Sara Breedlove also known as Madam C.J. Walker, decided to capture her true spirit of perseverance and entrepreneurship today’s youth in a script filled with adversity and victories. Valerie uses her gifts of storytelling, singing and acting to present to Tennessee students an American story filled with challenges prevailed by America’s first female and African-American millionaire.
Valerie Houston is a singer, actress, playwright and composer. She started performing at a very young age. She started singing blues on Beale street as a teenager. She has traveled the blues circuit as a background singer for different blues artists. She also composes, performs and records gospel music.
Valerie Houston is known in the community as being a dependable performer. She regularly performs in different genres of theatre from reader’s theatre to musical theatre. While in Memphis, Valerie has worked as an actress and teacher artist with Blues City Cultural Center for the past four years. She has also worked with Hattiloo Theatre and Playhouse on the Square in the city of Memphis. She has traveled as an actress with the SpeakEasy Stage Company in Boston, MA and the Jubilee Theatre in Fort Worth, Texas.
Valerie Houston believes that the music and theatre should be used to increase love, humanity and knowledge within society. It is by this creed that she has written and performs her theatrical presentation of the life of Madam C.J. Walker. Valerie Houston has an Associates of Science degree in Music from Southwest Tennessee Community College and a B.P.S. in Organizational Leadership from the University of Memphis.

Artist Work Samples

Sample Programs Offered

Program Title: Madam C.J. Walker, the Entrepreneur

Program Type: Arts Integration

Program Description:

The program is for students in K-6. Students are exposed to various musical genres of the late 19th and early 20th century. Students will learn about he life and times of America’s first female and African-American millionaire. Madam C.J. Walker, The Miracle Hair Grower is a 45-minute theatrical presentation on the life of America’s” first” female and African-American millionaire, with a 15-minute talk back. Madam C.J. Walker was born in 1867 as Sara Breedlove, in the Delta of Louisiana. She was the first of her family to be born free. At the age of 7, Sara was orphaned, by the death of both of her parents. Sara had to move with her sister and her husband in Vicksburg, Mississippi, where she worked in the cotton fields and cook kitchens. Sara married Moses McWilliams at the age of 14 and became a mother by the age of 18. After five years of marriage Sara’s husband was murdered. After her husband’s murder, Sara left Vicksburg for St. Louis with her daughter A’lelia McWilliams. There in St. Louis Sara, worked many different occupations and encountered many individuals while rebuilding her life.

Lesson Plan Example: Download File

Program Title: Civil Rights Leading Men and Women

Program Type: Arts Integration

Program Description:

Civil Rights Leading Men and Women is an arts integrated program that exposes children to the discipline of theatre, dance and music. It is a production that allows students within the public school system to now only experience a dynamic debate amongst the best minds of the 19th, 20th and 21st century. Students are allowed to participate and experience different facets of theatre. Students will be mentally stimulated and entertain while Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Maria Stewart, Angela Davis and other past and present civil rights leaders discuss the future of public education in America.

Lesson Plan Example: Download File

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