Born into a former-slave family in 1867, Sarah Breedlove transformed herself into Madam C.J. Walker, an entrepreneur who built her empire developing hair products for black women. After the bloody East St. Louis Race Riot of 1917, Madam Walker devoted herself to having lynching made a federal crime; she later donated part of her financial legacy to support black schools, organizations, individuals, orphanages, retirement homes, and the YMCA and YWCA. Author A’Lelia Bundles is the great-great-granddaughter of Madam Walker. Bundles enjoyed a 30-year career as an executive and producer in network television news, including as a producer for ABC’s “World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.” On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker was named a 2001 New York Times Notable Book.

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