Madam C.J. Walker: Octavia Spencer to Star in Netflix Miniseries

Octavia Spencer will star in a biographical miniseries about black hair care pioneer Madam C.J. Walker for Netflix

Octavia Spencer is no stranger to American history’s Hidden Figures, so she’s lending some Help to Netflix in bringing another one to light. Come up with your own Shape of Water pun.

Netflix announced during their TCA summer press tour appearance that Spencer will be producing and starring in a biographical miniseries about black hair care pioneer and social activist Madam C.J. Walker, per a TVLine report.

The series will be based on the book On Her Own Ground by A’Lelia Bundles and will follow Walker’s remarkable life from being born just after the Emancipation Proclamation to becoming America’s first black woman self-made millionaire. 

On Her Own Ground is considered to be the definitive biography for Walker’s life story, having been written by Walker’s great-great-granddaughter. Walker was born Sarah Breedlove and become known as Madam C.J. Walker following her marriage to newspaper advertising salesman Charles Joseph Walker. 

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In addition to starring, Spencer will serve asexecutive producer for the series. Joining her as producers will be LeBron James and Maverick Carter of Spring Hill Entertainment, Mark Holder, Christine Holder of Zero Gravity, and Janine Sherman Barrois (Claws) and Elle Johnson. Barrois and Johnson will serve as showrunners. 

Zero Gravity bought the rights to Bundles’ book in 2016 but the project didn’t come to fruition until James’ Spring Hill Entertainment signed on. This will be the first scripted series from LeBron James’ imprint to make it to series. That move to Los Angeles is paying off already!

Walker was the daughter of slaves and spent nearly two decades earning $1.50 per week as a washerwoman. She rose to prominence and riches after discovering a revolutionary hair care formula for black woman and died a millionaire in 1919.

The miniseries will be eight episodes. There is no filming or release date yet set.

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