“On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker” is a biography of Sarah Breedlove, known as Madam C.J. Walker, written by A’Lelia Bundles. The book chronicles the life of the entrepreneur and philanthropist who built a hair care and cosmetics empire and became one of the wealthiest women in America in the early 20th century.
The book is divided into three parts: The Making of Madam C.J. Walker, The Walker System, and A New Life. Let’s take a closer look at each of these parts:
Part 1: The Making of Madam C.J. Walker The first part of the book focuses on Sarah Breedlove’s early life, including her childhood in poverty, her struggles as a young widow with a young daughter, and her move to St. Louis to start a new life. The section also covers her introduction to hair care and her decision to start her own business.
Part 2: The Walker System The second part of the book covers the development of the “Walker System,” a hair care method and line of products that made Madam C.J. Walker famous. The section includes the challenges she faced in creating and marketing her products, as well as her efforts to train and support other women to become successful sales agents for her company.
Part 3: A New Life The final part of the book covers the latter part of Madam C.J. Walker’s life, including her philanthropic work and activism on behalf of the Black community. The section also details her personal life, including her marriage to newspaperman Charles Joseph Walker and her relationships with her daughter and other family members.
Overall, “On Her Own Ground” is a compelling and inspiring biography that sheds light on the life and achievements of one of America’s most successful Black entrepreneurs. The book highlights the obstacles and challenges Madam C.J. Walker faced as a Black woman in the early 20th century, and the ways in which she overcame them to build a successful business and leave a lasting legacy. The book is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of entrepreneurship, the Black experience in America, or the lives of inspiring women.