Octavia Spencer As Madam C.J. Walker, America’s First Black Female Self-Made Millionaire!


TheRoot.com, By Tonja Renee Stidhum, Posted March 17th 2020

Do you smell the scent of hot combs in the air? Well, that’s because Madam C.J. Walker’s televised biopic is coming this year!

We’ve been waiting for this one since it was announced back in 2018 and now we have a release date and a sneak peek of Spencer as the Madam herself.

Here’s a television event bound to be binge-worthy: on Sunday, Netflix announced an upcoming…

Netflix will debut the four-part limited series titled, Self Made: Inspired By The Life Of Madam C.J. Walker this week.  Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer stars as the titular character in the series, which marks the first time Walker’s inspiring story of becoming America’s first black female self-made millionaire will be captured on screen.

Per Netflix’s press release, “Against all odds, Walker overcame post-slavery racial and gender biases, personal betrayals, and business rivalries to build a ground-breaking brand that revolutionized black haircare, as she simultaneously fought for social change.”

Joining Spencer in the series cast is Blair Underwood as Walker’s husband C.J. Walker, Tiffany Haddish as her daughter Lelia, Carmen Ejogo as her business rival Addie Munroe, Garrett Morris as her father-in-law, Kevin Carroll as her longtime attorney Freeman Ransom and Bill Bellamy as Random’s cousin Sweetness.

The series is inspired by the book On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker, by Walker’s great-great-granddaughter, A’Lelia Bundles.

“Her immediate focus was growing hair,” Bundles said in 2016 when Sundial Brands launched a beauty and hair care line dedicated to Walker. “She created a system to cleanse hair more often in an era where many had no indoor plumbing and a lot of women were going bald.…Her initial product was a shampoo and ointment with sulfur.…The Walker System was meant to address hygiene and healthy hair and hair growth.”

Self Made: Inspired By The Life Of Madam C.J. WalkerPhoto: Courtesy of Netflix

And to refresh your memory from the 2018 announcement, this limited series also boasts a black-ass crew, including co-directors Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou, Harriet) and DeMane Davis (Queen Sugar) and executive producers LeBron James, Janine Sherman Barrois (who will also serve as co-showrunner of the series with fellow EP Elle Johnson), Maverick Carter and Jamal Henderson. Spencer and Lemmons will also serve as executive producers.

Self Made: Inspired By The Life Of Madam C.J. Walker hustles its way onto Netflix March 20.

Tonja Renée Stidhum

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.

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