A’Lelia Bundles – Full Bio
A’Lelia Bundles is an engaging public speaker and skilled MC, who brings warmth, intelligence, humor and a strong grasp of current events and history to her presentations.
Author and journalist A’Lelia Bundles is the author of On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker – a New York Times Notable Book about her entrepreneurial great-great-grandmother – that was the inspiration for Self Made, the fictional four-part 2020 Netflix series starring Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer. Her fifth book, The Joy Goddess of Harlem: A’Lelia Walker and the Harlem Renaissance — a biography of her great-grandmother, whose parties, arts patronage and international travels helped define that era — will be published in early 2025 by Scribner.
A’Lelia is brand historian for MADAM by Madam C. J. Walker, a line of hair care products developed in partnership with Sundial Brands and Walmart. In February 2022 she was named the inaugural Center for Africana Studies and Culture Prestigious Fellow in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. She is the founder of the Madam Walker Family Archives, the largest private collection of Walker photographs and memorabilia.
She is a vice chair emerita of Columbia University’s Board of Trustees and chair emerita of the board of the National Archives Foundation. She is a member of several boards that reflect her interest in history, journalism, political activism, social justice, the arts and historic preservation including the March on Washington Film Festival, the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, GANGGANG, Indiana Landmarks, Columbia Global Reports, the ReThink 65/70 Coalition and the Smithsonian’s American Women’s History Initiative.
A’Lelia was a network television news executive and producer for thirty years at NBC News and then at ABC News, where she was a World News Tonight producer, Washington, DC deputy bureau chief and director of talent development.
Her articles and essays have been published in the New York Times Book Review, Variety, TheUndefeated.com (now Andscape.com), Al Jazeera, Parade, Ms., O Magazine, Essence, several encyclopedias and books, and on her blog at www.aleliabundles.com. As a speaker and emcee, she has appeared at universities, corporations and book festivals, as well as on ABC, CBS, MSNBC, NBC, NPR, PBS and BBC. She has served as an advisor for numerous documentaries, museum exhibits, biographies, scholarly papers and history texts.
A recipient of an Emmy and a du Pont Gold Baton, she has participated in writing residencies at Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony.
She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College and received a masters degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
@aleliabundles on Instagram, TikTok and X.