A’Lelia Walker – Old

MadamCJWalker2The only child of Madam C.J. Walker, A’Lelia Walker hosted one of the most memorable salons of the Harlem Renaissance. At “The Dark Tower,” a converted floor of her elegant New York townhouse, she entertained Harlem and Greenwich Village writers, artists, and musicians, as well as royalty.

Her parties, as well as her African beauty, lavish clothing and glamorous lifestyle inspired poets, painters and sculptors. Langston Hughes called her the “joy goddess of Harlem’s 1920’s.” Zora Neale Hurston outlined a play about her and her mother.

A’Lelia Walker helped her mother found the Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company in 1906, then opened its New York office and beauty salon in 1913. Upon Madam Walker’s death in 1919, she became president of the Walker Company.

During a trip to Europe, Africa and the Middle East in 1921 and 1922, she became one of the only westerners to visit Ethiopian Empress Waizeru Zauditu.

A’Lelia Bundles, the great granddaughter of A’Lelia Walker, has written an autobiography, On Her Own Ground.