This extraordinary memoir of struggle and perseverance offers new ways of envisioning economic equality for everyone—from a leading activist and fashion pioneer.
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Aurora James’s story is not a “success story.” Or at least, it shouldn’t be told that way. Having dropped out of high school, struggled with body image, and dabbled in street racing, her eventual arrest might have been her rock bottom. But as a visionary and optimist, that experience became one of many that reshaped her way of thinking about the world. After a brief modeling stint, James discovered the real power in creating for the runway and started her own business in a flea market, a sustainable fashion line showcasing traditional African design that would become an award-winning international brand. Then she founded one of the fastest-growing social justice nonprofits, the Fifteen Percent Pledge. But none of this came from a desire to “succeed.” It came from a desire to forge a new creative path—and to lift others up alongside her.
Already a rising star in fashion and the first Black American female designer to win a CFDA Award, James was inspired by the activism that swept the nation in the summer of 2020 to think bigger about how to empower Black business owners. With an idea and an Instagram post, she founded the Fifteen Percent Pledge, which challenges retailers to commit 15% of their shelf space and spending power to Black businesses. To date, more than two dozen of the world’s most recognized retailers have taken the pledge, redirecting $10 billion in revenue to Black brands.
Empowering and full of heart, Wildflower is the story of how Aurora James got to where she is now and a rallying cry for those eager to make change.
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Wildflower is a stunning story of grit, grace, and resilience. Aurora James takes us on a vivid journey through a life informed by creativity, vision, and an indefatigable entrepreneurial spirit while always staying grounded in her commitment to the highest principles and values. . . . A must-read!
This is a story of a woman who can do anything she sets her mind to, and, in telling her story, shows us that we can too. With community and sisterhood at its center, Wildflower teaches us that against all odds, we can overcome.
Wildflower is revealingly touching, thought-provoking, and almost revolutionary in its sharing of Aurora James’s eternal optimism. It’s a must-read for all young women on living their truth, finding safety and strength in sisterhood, and doing it all with grace and grit.
In Wildflower, Aurora James writes beautifully about where she has been and what it took to move the needle to make a difference. She may make it look easy, but her memoir reveals that that is far from the truth. Change takes caring, and James has given her life purpose—and we get to benefit from it.
James is vulnerable and frank, cultivating a narrative voice that is both intimate and captivating; on the line level, her language is impressively lyrical. A well written, profoundly empathetic memoir from an entrepreneur with a very bright future.
WILDFLOWER is a very inspiring modern tale from a beautiful woman with a beautiful soul. This book will move you, challenge you, and ti may just change your life.
Friday, October 20
7:30 PM EST
Articles of Interest — Hot Docs Podcast Festival
Toronto, ON Canada
Past Tour Dates
In conversation with Ayesha Curry
Sweet July — Oakland, CA
In conversation with Law Roach
The High Museum of Art — Atlanta, GA
Writers Bloc: In conversation with Kerry Washington
The Ebell of Los Angeles — Los Angeles, CA
The Brooklyn Museum: In conversation with Huma Abedin
The Brooklyn Museum — Brooklyn, NY