Oscar winner Octavia Spencer is Madam CJ Walker in Netflix's biographical mini-series detailing how she grew a haircare empire and became the first African American self-made millionaire. Aspiring to be more than a washerwoman, Sarah grows determined to sell Addie's hair product. But when she's cruelly rebuffed, the gloves come off. Sarah's dream of opening a factory hinges on securing the support of local Black businessmen — and an endorsement from the famous Booker T. Sarah's ambitious plans for expanding her empire take her to New York — and lead to betrayals personal and professional that threaten all she's built. The combined blows of a health scare, worker issues and a tragedy that hits close to home push Sarah to take decisive action about her life and legacy. Its reverence towards Walker isn't matched by stodgy storytelling; it finds in moments a briskness and charge that might elude a more straightforwardly told period drama. Full review. What it doesn't do, across four episodes and minutes, is give a very strong idea of who Walker was or how she accomplished what she did. Spencer's performance is dazzling.
Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker
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The combined blows of a health scare, worker issues and a tragedy that hits close to home push Sarah to take decisive action about her life and legacy. Sarah's dream of opening a factory hinges on securing the support of local Black businessmen--and an endorsement from the famous Booker T. Sarah's ambitious plans for expanding her empire take her to New York--and lead to betrayals personal and professional that threaten all she's built. Look back at the leading ladies of the s who made their mark with iconic roles and some major hairstyles, too. See the gallery. Walker The inspiring story of trailblazing African American entrepreneur Madam C. Walker who built a haircare empire that made her America's first female self-made millionaire.
Hair can be freedom or bondage. The choice is yours. Hair is not just our crowning glory, but a sort of declaration of our spirit. For Black women, hair can bring forth feelings of both sweet nostalgia and shame. The four-part limited series brings the story of Black hair culturalist and businesswoman, Madam CJ Walker, to the screen for the first time. The first to be born free of her six siblings, Walker, born Sarah Breedlove, withstood the blows of familial betrayal and rancor competition to revolutionize Black haircare. Walker , the series stars a powerfully radiant performance from Academy Award-winner Octavia Spencer that should definitely place her in the upcoming Emmy race. Walker exudes equal parts strength and vulnerability as she effortlessly retains the on-screen presence to draw viewers in from the first episode. The longstanding cultural skirmishes of colorism loom large over Madam C.
A t this profoundly peculiar time, with so much of our days spent at home trying to distract ourselves from the chaos that rumbles on outside, finding the right thing to watch has become more complicated than usual. Some have chosen the masochistic exposure therapy route, streaming films like Contagion and Outbreak, while others have opted for the warm comforts of escapism, craving the chance to fully immerse in a world or a story so far from our current reality. For those in the latter group, the just-dropped four-part Netflix series Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam CJ Walker might prove to be a well-timed tonic, a warmly entertaining period tale of ambition against all odds, of a woman who built an empire from the ground up brought to vivid life by Octavia Spencer. Last year saw her on electric form in Luce , an underrated thriller about racial stereotyping, and Ma , a Midnight Movie elevated somewhere close to art thanks to her fascinatingly empathetic turn as a sexual assault survivor turned B-movie villain. Originally known as Sarah Breedlove, she was born two years after the emancipation of slaves, living as a free woman but one with limited opportunities.