She was born Sarah Breedlove on a plantation in Delta, Louisiana, where her parents had been slaves. At 14, she married to get a home of her own, to get away from a cruel brother-in-law with whom she was living. At 17, she had her only child, A'Lelia, who I'm named after.
Madam C.J. Walker was born in 1867, two years after the civil war ended. She was a daughter of a slave. She had no formal education. Both her parents died by the time she was seven. Yet, by the time she died in 1919 at age 51, she was one of the most successful businesswomen America had ever seen.
Both my parents worked at the Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company, with my dad eventually being hired by another company called Summit Laboratories that made chemical hair straighteners.
Chum was a British boy's weekly which, at the end of the year was bound into a single huge book; and the following Christmas parents bought it as Christmas presents for male children.
My parents come down to Los Angeles a lot.
I'm so blessed to have such enlightened parents. It must have been very hard to watch their able-bodied son lock himself up in his old room for most of his 20s.
You learn a lot about love before you ever get there. You learn at least as much about love from books as you do from watching your parents.
And my parents live down in West Virginia, and I have to drive through the Shenandoah Valley pretty often to go visit them. You actually drive right by Gettysburg and some other spots where there were huge battles.
As we get more transparent with data sets about infrastructure and systems management, I have a feeling we'll see big changes in how we think about complexity and our relationship to our actions.
My dad's paternal grandparents were musically inclined. And I remember as a little kid going to visit them in their senior building, and they were, like, the stars of the building, especially hosting and performing in their senior talent show.