The book behind the new Netflix series, starring Octavia Spencer
‘One of the most fabulous African-American figures of the twentieth century’ Ishmael Reed
Madam Walker was the first free-born child in her family, growing up in abject poverty in post-Civil War America. From humble beginnings, she overcame societal prejudice, family betrayals and epic business rivalries to pioneer cosmetics that revolutionised black hair care, build a beauty empire, and become one of the wealthiest self-made women in America.
Not only an astute businesswoman, but a passionate activist and philanthropist, Madam Walker provided jobs and training for thousands of African American women across the country, and used her wealth to fight for equality, forming friendships with important civil rights voices such as W. E. B. Du Bois, Booker T. Washington and Ida B. Wells-Barnett along the way.
Drawn from more than two decades of research by her great-great-granddaughter, journalist and historian A’Lelia Bundles, Self Made is the definitive biography of Madam Walker’s inspirational life and an illuminating insight into the larger African American struggle in the early twentieth century.
‘An important piece of history’ Washington Post ‘A fascinating portrait of an astonishing woman’ Kirkus Reviews Previously published as On Her Own Ground