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“I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the South. From there I was promoted to the washtub. From there I was promoted to the cook kitchen. And from there I promoted myself into the business of manufacturing hair goods and preparations….I have built my own factory on my own ground.” – Madam C.J. Walker
Author and journalist A’Lelia Bundles is at work on her fourth book, The Joy Goddess of Harlem: A’Lelia Walker and the Harlem Renaissance, a biography of her great-grandmother, whose parties, friendships, international travels and arts patronage helped define the era. On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker –her biography of her great-great-grandmother—was named a New York Times Notable Book.
A’Lelia was a network television news executive and producer for thirty years at NBC News and then at ABC News, where she was Washington, DC deputy bureau chief. She currently is chairman of the board of the National Archives Foundation, a Columbia University trustee and on the advisory boards of the March on Washington Film Festival and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study’s Schlesinger Library at Harvard. As president of the Madam Walker/A’Lelia Walker Family Archives, she shares the history of her famous ancestors through speeches, publications, documents, photographs and several public initiatives.
An engaging public speaker, who mixes her love of history and interest in current events, she has delivered keynote addresses and served as master of ceremonies at dozens of events, book festivals and conferences including at Harvard University, London City Hall, the National Archives and on all the major television and radio networks including ABC, NBC, CBS, BBC, PBS and NPR.