The school, which has graduated more than 100,000 students, is set to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2015.
Jemison’s great-grandmother, N.A. Franklin, started the school in 1915 by traveling door-to-door by horse-and-buggy to teach hairdressing and sell homemade hair products to black families in San Antonio.
She soon opened salons and schools in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Chicago, and Houston.
In 1935, Texas passed laws that separated cosmetology schools from salons and established a regulatory agency.
The Jemisons closed their Chicago operations and focused solely on the Houston establishment.
The school provided a way for hundreds of black students, mostly women, to obtain training for careers as stylists and entrepreneurs.
Watch Ronald Jemison Jr’s #MyUntold story as he tells the life-changing lesson of entrepreneurship and hard work.
In addition to serving the community for nearly a century, Franklin’s is also the subject of a TV reality series, Houston Beauty, on Oprah’s OWN network.
Frederick J. Goodall is the Editor-in-Chief of Mocha Man Style, media spokesperson, event host, photographer, and a top social media influencer in Houston, TX. He likes to write about fashion, cars, travel, and health.