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The story of Madam C.J. Walker's rise to self-made status will premiere on March 20 on Netflix. Starring Octavia Spencer as the titular character, the four-part limited series will depict the entrepreneur's rise in the hair care industry and the obstacles she faced from those within and outside of her community to become the nation's first black woman self-made millionaire.
According to Deadline, the show takes its cues from A'Lelia Bundles' book, On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker. Bundles is the great-great-grandaughter of Walker, born Sarah Breedlove. The show is directed by DeMane Davis and Kasi Lemmons, touting production by SpringHill Entertainment, Warner Bros., and Wonder Street.
The series also stars Blair Underwood, Tiffany Haddish, Garrett Morris, and Carmen Ejogo.
View the trailer below.
Meet America’s first empire-building, barrier-breaking, self-made female millionaire
Octavia Spencer stars in Self Made, a limited series inspired by the incredible life of Madam C.J. Walker pic.twitter.com/VGAi2uNVW7
— Netflix US (@netflix) February 25, 2020
#SelfMadeNetflix is out March 20th! So proud to be apart of this project about Madam CJ Walker!! @strongblacklead pic.twitter.com/w49Y7iigQw
— Kasi Lemmons (@kasi_lemmons) February 25, 2020
Esther Scott, the actress who appeared in Boyz n the Hood, Beverly Hills 90210, Full House, You Got Served and more, has passed away at age 66.
Scott died last Friday (Feb. 14), days after suffering an apparent heart attack. Her death was first reported on Tuesday (Feb. 18) by TMZ.
According to the site, Scott was found unconscious in her Santa Monica, Calif. home last Tuesday (Feb. 11) and remained hospitalized for several days before passing away on Valentine's Day surrounded by friends and family.
"She loved what she did. She would get stopped on the street often and people would recognize her -- but they didn't know her name," Scott's sister told the website. "Hopefully now people will remember her name, her work and the contributions she gave to the entertainment industry."
The Queens native began her career as a voice actress in the ‘80s series StarWars: Ewoks. Scott’s first credited feature film role was as grandmother to the character Tisha (played by Leonette Scott) in Boyz n the Hood.
Scott worked steadily throughout the ‘90s and ‘00s, following up her appearance in Boyz n the Hood with roles in Encino Man, Don Juan DeMarco, Illegal Blue, Species, The Craft, and Out to Sea.
Scott found success in both TV and film appearing as a judge in Austin Powers in Goldmember, a grandmother in You Got Served, as well as roles in Dreamgirls, Transformers, Gangster Squad, and The Birth of a Nation, The Steve Harvey Show, Party of Five, Ellen, Hart of Dixie, and Sister, Sister.
A documentary on Malcolm X’s assassination has prompted authorities to reexamine the case. In Who Killed Malcolm X? historian Abdur-Rahman Muhammad explores the many questions surrounding the death of one of history’s most pivotal figures. The six-part series originally aired on Fusion but has been gaining popularity since appearing on Netflix.
This February will mark the 55-year anniversary of Malcolm’s murder. The former Nation of Islam leader, who left the organization and changed his name to El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, was gunned down inside Harlem’s Audubon Ballroom on February 21, 1965. Three members of the NOI, Mujahid Abdul Halim, Muhammad Abdul Aziz and Khalil Islam, were convicted for the murder and sentenced to life in prison.
As noted by the Innocence Project, Aziz and Islam always maintained their innocence, while Halim confessed to partaking in the fatal shooting. In 1966, Halim testified that Aziz and Islam had “nothing to do” with the murder. In 1978, Halim identified four other men as co-conspirators. His confession was supported by FBI documents obtained by civil rights lawyer William Kunstler. Prosecutors in the original trial claimed to have been unaware of the documents and New York State Supreme Court Judge Harold Rothwax ultimately rejected a motion to vacate Aziz and Islam’s convictions. Rothwax died in 1997.
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance has since met with representatives from the Innocence Project “and associated counsel regarding the matter,” a spokesperson for the DA’s office said in an emailed statement, per NPR.
Although Islam died in 2009, Aziz, now 81, continues to fight to clear his name. He was freed on parole in 1985. The Innocence Project joined forces with civil rights attorney David Shanies to re-investigate Azis’s conviction. “We are grateful that District Attorney Vance quickly agreed to conduct a review of the conviction of Muhammad Aziz. Given the historical importance of this case and the fact that our client is 81 years old, we are especially encouraged that Mr. Vance has assigned two highly respected prosecutors, Peter Casolaro and Charles King, to work on this re-investigation,” the Innocence Project and Shanies said in a joint statement. “We look forward to working cooperatively with them to see that justice is done.”
Casolaro worked on the case of the Exonerated Five and King is a member of the Conviction Integrity Program of the New York County District Attorney’s Office.
As noted by the Innocence Project, there was no physical evidence linking Aziz or Islam to Malcolm’s murder. In fact, Aziz wasn’t even at the venue. The day of the murder, Aziz had returned home after being treated for a leg injury. He heard about Malcolm's assassination while listening to the radio that day, and has doctors and witnesses, to corroborate his story.
Watch the trailer for Who Killed Malcolm X? below.