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Things to know before you binge 'Self Made: Madam C.J. Walker' on Netflix

The limited Netflix series 'Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker' premieres Friday
Posted: 3:56 PM, Mar 19, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-20 07:50:25-04
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IU to help renovate Madame Walker Theatre

INDIANAPOLIS — Hollywood's adaptation of Indianapolis's very own Madam C.J. Walker will be released on Netflix on Friday.

The limited series titled "Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker" is inspired by the book "On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker," written by Madam Walker's great-great-granddaughter, A'Lelia Bundles.

Bundles, a Hoosier, acclaimed author and veteran journalist, wants audiences to know that the four-part series is fictionalized and only covers 18 years of Walker's life. But, viewers can take a deep dive by reading "On Her Own Ground," which recently republished to reflect the Netflix title, "Self Made."

Bundles first published the fact-based book on her great-great-grandmother's life in 2001. Despite there being decades between when Madam Walker was still and today, Bundles said in a social media post that it's "sobering" to realize how much is still unresolved in our country.

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Self Made New Edition I've been waiting until today to share this news! The 2020 edition of "On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker" -- renamed "Self Made" to tie in with the Netflix series — is now available. And with Octavia Spencer — who captures Madam Walker’s strength, courage and determination — on the cover, I predict this limited edition will become a collector’s item. Those of you who've been on this journey with me, know that "On Her Own Ground" is the fact-based version of Madam Walker's life and the "inspiration for" the fictionalized four-part Netflix series. I'm very excited about the audiobook I recorded a few weeks ago! It was a joy to revisit the words I wrote in 2001. It also is a bit sobering to realize how many of the social, political, gender and racial issues that Madam Walker and other African Americans faced in the early 1900s remain unresolved a century after her death. You can order the paperback and the audiobook at IndieBound, Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Indie Bound https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781982126674 Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/2W0wsXx Amazon Audio Book https://amzn.to/3cCZ5Qy Amazon Paperback https://amzn.to/2TC9jZX #Selfmadenetflix @strongblacklead #madamcjwalker #madamecjwalker @madamwalkerlegacycenter

A post shared by A'Lelia Bundles (@aleliabundles) on

Walker overcame post-slavery racial and gender biases, personal betrayals, and business rivalries to build a ground-breaking brand that revolutionized black haircare, as she simultaneously fought for social change.

Bundles has written extensively about Walker, America's first female self-made millionaire, and her family. She writes about every member of her family and their history on her website aleliabundles.com.

Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, is the star of the show, as she portrays Walker and is part of the production.

Blair Underwood plays Walker's husband, C.J. Walker; Tiffany Haddish portrays her daughter Leila; Carmen Ejogo plays Walker's business rival Addie Monroe, Garrett Morris as Walker's father-in-law, and Kevin Carroll acts out her longtime lawyer Ransom.

NBA star LeBron James was also apart of the production team. He told

"Every American should all know the story of Madam C.J. Walker. She was an innovator, entrepreneur, social activist, and total game changer whose story has been left out of the history books," James told Variety. "I hope this project lives up to her legacy with a story that will educate and inspire."

The Madame Walker Theatre Center, found on Indiana Avenue in Downtown Indianapolis, once served as the headquarters and manufacturing plant for Walker's hair and beauty products.

Self Made premieres at 3 a.m. on Friday.