Octavia Spencer has been tapped to play the nation’s first female, self-made, African-American entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker in a new Netflix series produced by LeBron James’ company, SpringHill Productions.
According to the New York Daily News, the Oscar-winning actress is set to play Walker in an eight-episode series on the streaming service, which is reportedly based on the 2002 biography On Her Own Ground. The latter was written by Walker’s great-great-granddaughter, A’Lelia Bundles, who will also serve as a consultant for the show.
While details about the series are scarce, the story of Madam C.J. Walker is a remarkable and inspiring one. The daughter of former slaves was orphaned at the age of seven and was married and widowed all before the age of 20.
During her formative years, she earned money by washing clothes and used her domestic skills to her advantage when she got older.
“After spending more than 20 years toiling for $1.50 a week, Walker created a hair care formula that she turned into a multimillion-dollar business,” writes the Daily News. “Walker, who died in 1919 and is buried in the Bronx, also devoted her life to philanthropy and activism.”
“I am really proud of this project and that SpringHill will be partnering with Octavia to tell this important story,” said James of the series.