The Black Rose
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The Black Rose

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  279 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Born to former slaves on a Louisiana plantation in 1867, Madam C.J. Walker rose from poverty and indignity to become America's first black female millionaire, the head of a hugely successful beauty company, and a leading philanthropist in African American causes. Renowned author Alex Haley became fascinated by the story of this extraordinary heroine, and before his death i...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 2nd 2001 by One World/Ballantine (first published 2000)
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One of the best and most influential books that i have ever read. I was tearing up with in the first couple of pages. I was a better person after having read this book.
Kim Jacobs
This was a great historical fiction book based on the life of Madam C.J. Walker (Sarah), the first black female millionaire. The story takes you through the life of Sarah from a child to an adult and all of the struggles she faces while starting her own hair care business. It was amazing the problems Sarah faced and how she was able to overcome the obstacles and continue. I love the fact that although she strived to do well for herself she was always concerned with others as well.
Historical fiction is my very most favorite genre and this book is a great addition to it. I love stories of little known people (at least to me) in times that I'm not real familiar with....this takes place in the late 1800's - early 1900's just after the Civil War. Sarah's story is a true one with the research done by Alex Haley - makes it even better!

Sarah, as a small child and in growing into an adult, has such curiousity and passion for life even at its darkest. She never gives up and works...more
3.5 stars... Overall, this was a fascinating story about the first black female millionaire. It is awe-inspiring to see how Sarah Breedlove started with absolutely nothing as the daughter of former slaves and became not only incredibly wealthy, but an inspiration to hundreds of thousands of people. The book was well-written, but I had to knock it down half a star for stretches in the book that plodded on without making much impact to the story. These parts of the book made it difficult to finish...more
Tracey Y Smith
I am a big fan of historical fiction, but I think this was a very sanitized, whitewashed version of Madame C.J. Walker's life. Since the millionaire kept no diary and no one is alive that knew her, there's little insight into her personality and character. We can only assume her charactaristics based on what she accomplished. In looking at her background, this lady came up in extremely rough circumstances, so I think there would be more of a toughness and edge to her than presented in Ms. Due's...more
Inspiring story...Unfortunately, I lost interest toward the end. And I always wonder about the genre of historical fiction, especially in the case of someone not generally well-known. It seems to me that the fiction has such potential for becoming the fact. For example, in the case of Madame Walker, I learned in a quick wikipedia search, that she had several brothers. The book only mentions one brother. Not that the number of siblings is extremely important, I guess. But, still....

However, I am...more
Courtney Walker
It was really interesting because it was talking about slaves and how it was back then in the old days and how things had happen
H. Dair
I'm grateful to the author for bringing Madam C.J. Walker's story to a wider audience, but the writing just did not engage me. It was a relief to put this book behind me. That being said, lots of other friends whose opinions I really respect loved it. Having already read the story of Walker's life in nonfiction form, I just didn't feel like this book had much to offer. The characters felt flat to me and the amazing arc of Walker's life didn't translate into a page turner somehow.
Anne Gray

Both fascinating and well-written, I think this story of a woman's rise from being the child of sharecropper parents who died when she was young to being the amazingly successful (and rich) head of a network of salon and beauty schools based on hair products, styling tools and techniques she invented, taught, and distributed should be required reading for every high school student and adult in the country.
Wow! An incredible woman.

Must read for every woman, for every African-American women, and everyone who believes in the law of attraction. (don't think it was intentional, but she understood so much.)

She worked not only for herself, but when she could she offered opportunity to others to be independent and thereby free.
Great read and even though it is fiction it was very informative!
Debra Odom
Due is a favorite author of mine. This story was powerful and even though this book is a historical fiction book, I do believe that Due more than adequately captured the spirit of Madam C. J. Walker. Madam Walker was an extraordinary woman; however, her life's story is amazing but filled with much pain and heartache.
Historical fiction based on the first black female millionaire, Sarah Breedlove Walker. She created hair products for black women.
Her story is amazing and though the author does take some liberties, she explains where and how and it doesn't take away from the story.
I didn't realize the main character in this book was real until I finished the story. Everyone's heard that Oprah Winfrey is a female self-made millionaire, but I'd never heard of Madame C.J. Walker as being the first, especially in 1915.
Argnese Julmist
The author really put into realization the story of a remarkable woman. It was inspiring and a bit sad. My only complaint is that there was an abundance of issues through the book that perhaps should have been shortened or excluded.
I started this book on Sunday night and finished it Wednesday! Even though I knew the heroin died at the end, I still cried! I never thought I would enjoy reading historical fiction so much! I loved this book!
Fascinating story. First 3/4 was hard to put down. I'd actually be interested in reading one more bio on the same lady just to read one more opinion. This was written like a novel--which I liked.
I have to admit that I didn't know much about C.J. Walker, the first black female millionaire. Even though this was a work of fiction, Ms. Due stayed true to the real story. Very good.
A fascinating novel chronicling the extraordinary life of a black woman at the turn of the 20th century who begins a hair-product business and becomes a millionaire. Based on true events!
I really enjoyed this very readable novelized story. of Madam C.J. Walker. Written partly from reasearch done by Alex Haley just before his death.
Deborah Parker
This book was very well done in blending the many parts of Madam C.J. Walker's from her family struggles to ultimate business success.
Historical fiction on the life of Madame C.J. Walker. An inspiring read about one of the first Black millionaires in America.
Mary Lou
Excellent historical fiction about a self-made black female millionaire, no mean feat in the 30s & 40s.
Poor woman was so driven that she died much too young, but she accomplished so much in that time!
Alex Haley, author of Roots, began this before he died and the writer Due finished it.
Michelle Pugh
Great story which inspires anyone with a dream.
What an inspiring story!
Vernitra Clark
This book is very good!!
Jackie marked it as to-read
Aug 19, 2014
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Tananarive Due is a novelist and a creative writing teacher who has worked as a journalist. She won the American Book Award in 2002 for her novel The Living Blood.
More about Tananarive Due...
My Soul to Keep (African Immortals, #1) The Living Blood (African Immortals, #2) The Good House Blood Colony (African Immortals, #3) The Between

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