Indy Style

Great-great granddaughter of Madam C.J. Walker discusses book for young readers about Walker

She's the great-great granddaughter of Madam Walker, the first self-made female millionaire and one of the most successful African American business owners ever.

A'Lelia Bundles, Author, "Madam Walker Theatre Center: An Indianapolis Treasure," stops by our studios to talk about her late great-great grandmother and her upcoming book signing tonight at the Indianapolis Public Library.

A'Lelia Bundles Book Signing

Tonight, Indianapolis Public Library, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

About Madam C.J. Walker:

Madam C. J. Walker was beloved within her community for her philanthropy and her contributions to the local YMCA. Born Sarah Breedlove, she was the first child in her family born into freedom after slavery ended. She married Charles Joseph Walker and became known as Madam C. J. Walker, the name she would later use on her haircare products.

After having problems with scalp infections and hair loss, she developed her own line of hair care products to prevent baldness and grow healthy hair. Her company employed thousands of door-to-door saleswomen from all over the United States and the Caribbean.

She supported the African American community by funding scholarships to many schools, supporting political causes like the NAACP's anti-lynching campaign, and becoming an early patron of the Harlem Renaissance.

A'Lelia Bundles is chairman of the board of the Foundation for the National Archives, a vice chairman of Columbia University's board of trustees, a member of the advisory boards of the Indiana Historical Society's publication committee, and of the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. She lives in Washington, D. C.

To learn more, visit:

In addition to www.cardinalpub.com, see:

A'Lelia's Bio:A'Lelia's other books:
  • On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker (Scribner, 2001)
  • Madam Walker Theatre Center: An Indianapolis Treasure (Arcadia Publishing, 2013)
  • Madam C. J. Walker: Entrepreneur (Chelsea House, 1991 and 2008)
More about A'Lelia and her ties to Indiana: 
  • I graduated from North Central High School in 1970.
  • I was editor of Westlane Junior High School's newspaper and co-editor of NCHS's newspaper. In high school, I also wrote for the Indy Star's Teen Supplement.

Her book, On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker has been optioned for a Netflix series starring Octavia Spencer. Among the executive producers on the project is LeBron James.


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