Author and journalist A’Lelia Bundles is at work on her fourth book, The Joy Goddess of Harlem: A’Lelia Walker and the Harlem Renaissance, a biography of her great-grandmother, whose parties, friendships, international travels and arts patronage helped define the era. On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker –her biography of her great-great-grandmother—was named a New York Times Notable Book.
A’Lelia was a network television news executive and producer for thirty years at NBC News and then at ABC News, where she was Washington, DC deputy bureau chief. She currently is chairman of the board of the National Archives Foundation, a Columbia University trustee and on the advisory boards of the March on Washington Film Festival and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study’s Schlesinger Library at Harvard. As president of the Madam Walker/A’Lelia Walker Family Archives, she shares the history of her famous ancestors through speeches, publications, documents, photographs and several public initiatives. She serves as an advisor and Walker historian for the new Madam C. J. Walker Beauty Culture product line that was launched by Sundial Brands in March 2016.
An engaging public speaker, who mixes her love of history and interest in current events, she has delivered keynote addresses and served as master of ceremonies at dozens of events, book festivals and conferences including at Harvard University, London City Hall, the National Archives and on all the major television and radio networks including ABC, NBC, CBS, BBC, PBS and NPR.
She began her journalism career as editor of her award-winning junior high school newspaper and co-editor of her high school newspaper in Indianapolis. In college she was a deejay and director of the jazz department of Harvard’s college radio station, WHRB. During the summer between her junior and senior year, she was an intern at Newsweek’s Chicago bureau.