A descendent of the late Madam C.J. Walker shares Walker’s journey to success

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A descendent of the late Madam C.J. Walker shares Walker’s journey to success

March 28, 2019

Today, keynote speaker, author, and journalist A' Leila Bundles, the great -great granddaughter of the late Madam C.J. Walker, came to Voorhees to share Walker’s journey to success in honor of Women’s History Month.

Bundles said this year in May marks the 100th anniversary of Walker’s death. She added that Walker’s hair care legacy is still important because it sheds light on women empowerment.

She said Walker had a rough life early on and went from being in the cotton fields, to a wash woman, to the kitchen. “In the kitchen, Walker did research on hair rejuvenation that led to her establishing her own hair care manufacturing company, employing thousands of women across the states. Over time, she became a millionaire from her line of hair care products,” Bundles said.

“Women should not feel uncomfortable talking about power or using power. As Madame Walker’s business began to flourish, she used her profits to demand and work toward social and economic change. She mentored other women entrepreneurs,” Bundles said.

She described how Walker was not afraid to approach people to use her money and influence to make an impact in her community. “Madam Walker pledged a $1,000 to renovate the local YMCA so the boys would have more recreational space. Walker said if she donated the money to help the men of the community it would end up helping the women,” Bundles said.

Bundles added that Madam Walker enjoyed reaping the benefits of success. “She wore her furs, had a chauffeur, and even had one of the few electric cars of her time. However, she made it a priority to be a smart business woman with the support needed to protect her assets,” Bundles said.

“Do not wait for opportunities to come to you, but go out into the world and find your own,” Bundles said in conclusion.

The Voorhees Lyceum Committee provided copies of Bundles’ book “On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker,” to members of the audience. In addition, Bundle did a book signing and photo-ops.

For more information, contact the Office of Communications, at 803-780-1191 or at communications@voorhees.edu.  

A' Leila Bundles
A' Leila Bundles