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Madam C.J. Walker Netflix Show

Why Octavia Spencer's New Netflix Show Is So Important For Black Women in Beauty

The year is 1906. Ladies' Home Journal is the most-read women's magazine in the country. The president calls political journalists "muckrakers" instead of "fake news." Ford is quickly replacing horses as the best means of transportation. And while racial tensions are running rampant, that hasn't stopped black female entrepreneur Sarah Breedlove — who would later change her name to Madam C.J. Walker — from selling thousands of natural hair products door to door.

It was unheard of at the time, but Walker's business idea stemmed from a problem that wasn't at all unusual: hair loss. She sought a solution for the condition, consulting with chemists and her brothers for advice, before creating her inaugural lineup of treatments called Wonderful Hair Grower, Temple Salve, Tetter Salve, Vegetable Shampoo, and Glossine. Walker went on to become the most successful self-made black woman in beauty, with her assets worth a reported $1 million at her time of death in 1919.

Today, the pioneer's legacy lives on — both through her eponymous haircare brand, which is sold at Sephora and QVC, and now, a just-announced Netflix show.

The streaming service recently revealed that Octavia Spencer (of The Help and Hidden Figures) and basketball player LeBron James will join forces to produce an eight-episode series of the black haircare entrepreneur, which will detail how she overcame "hostile turn-of-the-century America, epic rivalries, tumultuous marriages, and some trifling family to become America's first black, self-made female millionaire."

This will be the first time a black beauty mogul has landed their own TV series. Say it with us now: it is about damn time.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 18:  Octavia Spencer attends the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) held at Royal Albert Hall on February 18, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage)

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