Octavia Spencer Plans to Break Hollywood Mold with Madam C.J. Walker Biopic


Octavia Spencer is bringing black history to the forefront of pop culture. The actress plans to break the traditionally “white-washed” Hollywood mold by producing and starring in an upcoming docu-series on the life and times of Madame C.J. Walker. Zero Gravity Management has optioned the 2001 nonfiction book, ‘On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker’. Written by Walker’s great great granddaughter A’Lelia Bundles, the book will serve as the primary reference for the limited series.

The daughter of slaves, Madam C.J. Walker was orphaned at seven, married at 14 and widowed at 20. Before making her well-known contributions to the early beauty industry, she spent her twenties laboring as a washerwoman for $1.50 a week. By her death in 1919, Walker managed to overcome astonishing odds, building a storied beauty empire from the ground up, amassing wealth unprecedented among black women and devoting her life to philanthropy and social activism.

The limited series has yet to be tied to a network, but will be directed by Kasi Lemmons with a script penned by Nicole Asher. Spencer will be quite hands-on herself, bouncing back and forth between acting as the series’ producer and playing her role as Madam C.J. Walker. In a must-read article published by the New York Times, the Academy Award winning actress dishes on her effective entry into acting and her determination to have a positive impact on Hollywood’s diversity problem. This biopic, along with Spencer’s many big-screen appearances, will serve as a testament to doing just that.

As we await the opportunity to witness the accomplishments made by Walker On Her Own Ground, gift yourself with one of A’Lelia Bundles’ small pieces of African American History.



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