She remembers growing up with remnants of the black wealth created by Walker, who built an empire in the early 1900s selling hair scalp ointments and whose accomplishments will be on display at the Smithsonian’s new African American Museum of History and Culture, which opens Sept. 24.

“The china we ate on for special occasions belonged to Madam Walker,” says A’Lelia Bundles, Walker’s great-great-granddaughter and the author of the biography, “On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker.”

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