On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker by ALelia Perry BundlesOprah Winfrey is renowned for her media savvy, marketing sense, philanthropic efforts, and accumulated wealth (and the power that accompanies it). Shes earned her rep, of course, and her path to stardom and influence couldnt have been easy. Imagine, then, how difficult it must have been a century ago for Madam C. J. Walker, Americas first female African-American millionaire. The daughter of slaves, married and divorced by the age of 20, Madam Walker spent nearly two decades as a lowly scrubwoman before concocting (or, as she claimed, being presented in a dream) the formula for a much needed hair care product for African-American women. After making her hair care business a resounding success, Walker devoted much of her time and resources to social causes and philanthropy.
In On Her Own Ground, ALelia Bundles, Walkers great-great-grandaughter and a woman of no small accomplishment herself (shes spent many years as a television news producer for NBC and ABC), offers an affectionate but unblinking portrait of Madam Walker. (Bundles mother urged her daughter from her deathbed not to worry about promoting a particular image of their famous forebear, to simply tell the truth.) Bundles also explores the complicated relationship between Madam Walker and her only slightly less renowned daughter (and the authors namesake), ALelia Walker, a key figure in the Harlem Renaissance, and the elder Walkers interactions with such other seminal African-American figures as W. E. B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington.
Madam C.J. Walker Facts & Worksheets
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Madam C. She promoted her products by traveling around the country giving lecture-demonstrations and eventually established Madame C. Walker Laboratories to manufacture cosmetics and train sales beauticians. Her business acumen led her to be one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire. She was also known for her philanthropic endeavors, including a donation toward the construction of an Indianapolis YMCA in
Toggle navigation. Walker Facts. Madam C. Walker Facts Madam C. Walker was an African-American activist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist who became one of the first African-American women to become a millionaire. She was one of six children. She was the first child in her family to be born free, following the Emancipation Proclamation.
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During a time when Jim Crow laws were actively being passed by state legislatures and segregation was total, one self-made businesswoman managed to stand out and serve as an inspiration for female entrepreneurs and people of color in America. Born Sarah Breedlove on December 23, —the sixth child in her family but the first not born into slavery—the future Madam C. Walker developed a line of hair products and cosmetics and became likely the first female millionaire in the country. Here are a few quick facts about her historic success story. In , the woman who would become Madam C. Walker was Sarah McWilliams, a year-old widow with a toddler.