Madam C.J. Walker’s Great-Great-Granddaughter Shares Little Told Story of Activism | The Root

It’s fairly well known that Madam C.J. Walker was the nation’s first female millionaire, but did you know she was also an activist?

A’Lelia Bundles is a journalist, author and the great-great-granddaughter of Madam C.J. Walker. In 2001, she wrote On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker. This seminal biography preserves the legacy of a history-making black woman and is the basis of Netflix’s four-part series, Self Made.

Bundles says that while her great-great-grandmother was an entrepreneur, philanthropist and patron of the arts, most people might not know that Madam C.J. Walker was a political activist. “Holding a convention in 1917 [two years before cosmetics magnate Mary Kay was born], and giving prizes—not just to the women who sold the most products, but to those who contributed the most to charity.” The author continued, “And then at the end of the convention sending a telegram to President Woodrow Wilson urging him to support, legislation to make lynching a federal crime.”

Self Made premieres March 20 on Netflix.

-Felice León