The new Netflix series starring Octavia Spencer as Madam C.J. Walker, the first self-made Black female millionaire, gets a punch of star power with the release of its new cast.
Last July, we reported about the new limited series, centered around the life of Madam C.J. Walker and her hair empire, that was coming to Netflix. Spencer shared the news via social media, partnering with Lebron James’ SpringHill Entertainment, to bring the story to life. James executive produced the series along with SpringHill’s co-founder Maverick Carter.
The series is based on the book “On Her Own Ground,” by A’Lelia Bundle, former ABC News Executive and Walker’s great-great-granddaughter. “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,” Carter said.
The series follows Walker’s life as she struggles through America, marriages, family, and rivalries to build her pioneering Black hair care empire. Walker, born Sarah Breedlove, was born December 23, 1867 in Louisiana to sharecroppers, Owen and Minerva Anderson Breedlove. When Walker began to suffer from hair loss in the 1890s, she consulted her brothers for hair care tips, who were barbers in St. Louis, eventually birthing “Wonderful Hair Grower, a scalp conditioning and healing formula, which she said had been revealed to her in a dream.” Walker traveled far and wide selling her magical formula, eventually recruiting sales agents and building a booming business, thrusting her to the forefront of the twentieth century as the first self-made Black millionaire.
Photo courtesy of History.com
The new series features Octavia Spencer as Madam C.J. Walker, Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip) as Walker’s daughter, Carmen Ejogo (Selma) as the former friend and rival of Walker, Blair Underwood (When They See Us) as her husband, Garrett Morris (2 Broke Girls) as her father, and Kevin Carroll (Snowfall) as Walker’s lawyer.
Madam C.J. Walker is set to release on Netflix next year. Kasi Lemmons (Harriet) will direct the first episode.