Netflix continues to be a purveyor of diverse programming. It has purchased a new limited series co-produced by Oscar winner Octavia Spencer and NBA baller LeBron James announced it will be partnering with the pair on a new show starring Spencer based on the life of the first self-made female millionaire in America, Madam C.J. Walker, according to Variety.
The eight-episode series will be based on the book On Our Own Ground by A’Lelia Bundles, Walker’s great-great-granddaughter, who will also serve as a consultant for the show.
James’ production company, SpringHill Entertainment, is excited to partner with the The Help actress on the project while expanding the new Laker player’s portfolio.
“It’s so exciting for all of us to keep building SpringHill, see it mature, and continue to find its voice. We are really focused on growing with authenticity and substance,” SpringHill rep Maverick Carter said. “For us, this is totally about great stories and great partners. Partnering with Octavia to tell the story of Madam C.J. Walker is the ideal first project for SpringHill to take an important step into scripted drama.”
Variety reports the show will explore aspects of the historical figure’s life that often goes overlooked.
“The series will recount the untold story of how Walker, a black hair care pioneer and mogul, overcame hostile turn-of-the-century America, epic rivalries, tumultuous marriages and some trifling family to become America’s first black, self-made female millionaire.
“Walker, the daughter of slaves, was orphaned at age seven, married at 14, and widowed at 20. She spent two decades laboring as a washerwoman, earning $1.50 a week. Everything changed, though, following Walker’s discovery of a revolutionary hair care formula for black women. By the time she died in 1919, she had built a beauty empire from the ground up, amassing wealth unprecedented among black women.”
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.