Hurston/Wright Foundation | On Her Own Ground
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On Her Own Ground

On Her Own Ground

by A’Lelia Bundles

On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker

On Her Own Ground is the first full-scale, definitive biography of Madam C. J. Walker — the legendary African American entrepreneur and philanthropist — by her great-great-granddaughter, A’Lelia Bundles.
The daughter of slaves, Madam C. J. Walker was orphaned at seven, married at fourteen and widowed at twenty. She spent the better part of the next two decades laboring as a washerwoman for $1.50 a week. Then — with the discovery of a revolutionary hair care formula for black women — everything changed. By her death in 1919, Walker managed to overcome astonishing odds: building a storied beauty empire from the ground up, amassing wealth unprecedented among black women and devoting her life to philanthropy and social activism. Along the way, she formed friendships with great early-twentieth-century politi-cal figures such as W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington.

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