On February 26 in celebration of Black History Month, author A’Lelia Bundles will speak at Woodlawn Cemetery about her forthcoming book Joy Goddess: A’Lelia Walker and the Harlem Renaissance. A’Lelia Walker, the daughter of the first African American millionaire Madam C.J. Walker, hosted some of the most memorable soirees of the Harlem Renaissance at her salon, The Dark Tower. There she welcomed Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, CVV, Florence Mills, Bert Williams, Paul Poiret and other celebrities, musicians, actors, artists and writers of the era. Bundles’ talk will give fascinating insight into A’Lelia Walkers role in founding the hair care line that made her mother famous and her patronage of the arts, as well as her glamorous lifestyle and renowned parties. Tickets for the 1:00pm talk at Woodlawn’s Memorial Chapel are $15 for the general public and $10 for students and seniors. For more information, please call: 718-920-1470.
Woodlawn is a must-visit destination during Black History Month. From its founding in 1867, Woodlawn has been the final resting place of a number of prominent African Americans, including:
· Madame C.J. Walker and A’Lelia Walker
· Miles Davis, jazz composer and trumpeter
· Ralph Cooper, the originator and master of ceremonies at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.
· Countee Cullen, famed poet of the Harlem Renaissance
· Lionel Hampton, “King of the Vibes
· Matthew Henson, the only American to accompany Admiral Perry on his North Pole expedition
· George E. Haynes, the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Columbia and a charter member of the NAACP
· Dr. Leo Cecil Maitland, part of the surgical team that saved Dr. Martin Luther King’s life after he was stabbed at a 1958 Harlem book-signing
· Wesley Redding, the NYPD’s first African American detective
· as well as many others
Woodlawn’s grounds are open 365 days a year from 8:30am-5:00pm and are free to the public.