Prestigious Fellow 2022-23: A’Lelia Bundles

Award-winning author and journalist A’Lelia Bundles has been named the inaugural Center for Africana Studies and Culture Prestigious Fellow in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI.

Bundles’ contributions will focus on her strengths, expertise and interests by engaging innovative programming and public scholarship. This will include the establishment of the Bundles Scholars, a Bundles Lecture Series and an “In Conversation with A’Lelia” discussion series.

As Bundles Scholars, two Africana Studies students will engage in scholarly research of Black issues with mentorship from Bundles and other Africana Studies faculty. The Bundles Lecture Series will focus on globally oriented Black history, culture and other under-disciplined areas. The conversation series will focus specifically on Black Indianapolis history and culture as a part of the Africana Studies Presents series, in collaboration with the Madam Walker Legacy Center.

Through her work as an author and journalist, Bundles has also conveyed the Black experience and history through her book about the iconic women in her family, “On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker,” which is a reflection on her great-great-grandmother’s life and legacy; and her upcoming work, “The Joy Goddess of Harlem: A’Lelia Walker and the Harlem Renaissance,” which focuses on her grandmother and namesake’s life.

“On Her Own Ground” was the foundation for the Netflix miniseries of the same name about Madam C.J. Walker’s life. Researching and sharing the true history of Black people in America is a passion and mission Bundles shares with the center.

Bundles spent 30 years in broadcast journalism, holding numerous positions with ABC and NBC News. She is a vice chair emerita of Columbia University’s board of trustees and chair emerita of the National Archives Foundation. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Harvard College and a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.