Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker

Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker

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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 revolutionized black hair care, build a beauty empire, and become one of the wealthiest self-made women in America. 

Not only an astute businesswoman but also 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.


416 pages 

Measurements: 6 x 9.25 inches 

Published by Scribner in 2002