Illness to Millions – Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker Inspired this Spoonie

The official trailer for Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C. J. Walker series dropped last week. I usually wait until the mass hype dies down before I look into new things but this time I couldn’t wait.  

If you didn’t know March is Women’s History Month. I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out how to tie Women’s History and chronic illness together when low and behold Netflix dropped this gem. 

Madam C.J. Walker Netflix Trailer

I honestly couldn’t think of a better way to kick off this month than with this Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C. J. Walker series. She’s black, a woman and oh she suffered from a chronic illness (more about that later). 

About the Series

This series was inspired by A’leila Bundles (Madam C.J. Walker’s great great granddaughter) On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker (which I’m adding to my cart for March reading right now)

In this four-part limited series viewers are told the story of how Walker “overcame post-slavery racial and gender biases, personal betrayals, and business rivalries to build a ground-breaking brand that revolutionized black hair care, as she simultaneously fought for social change.” (from official description)

The name Madam C.J. Walker is well known in the black community. Some get the facts wrong; claiming she was the creator of the hot comb and perm. However, most fall in the realm of her success in building a hair care empire and becoming the the first female self-made millionaire.

Madam CJ Walker
Photo of Madam CJ Walker
Madam C.J. Walker was a Spoonie

What many people don’t know (myself included prior to this post) is that Madam C.J. Walker suffered from alopecia. When she started to lose a lot of her hair (which was common among slaves), she began to experiment with both home remedies and store-bought hair care treatments in an attempt to improve her condition. 

Madam C.J. Walker opened a beauty school, created her own formulas and methods and wanted to give African American pride in their appearance. From her pain, she birthed purpose, passion and profit. 

Inspiration from the Self Made Boss

This chronic illness journey is NOT easy. No, alopecia isn’t as life altering as myasthenia gravis, lupus or fibromyalgia but its still something that can affect everyday quality of life, self esteem and self love

It’s chronic. It’s the body turning on itself.

IDK about y’all, but having representation of strong women who have made the best of their situations and came out on top is so inspirational. 

As a chronic illness blogger, spoonie and black woman this series is on my must watch list. Netflix better have it waiting for me at the top of my menu lol.

Madam C.J. Walker Series Cast

Who is starring in the Madam C.J. Walker series you ask? This series has a pretty great cast. I’m excited to see the on screen chemistry. 

  • Octavia Spencer (Madam CJ Walker)
  • Tiffany Haddish (Leila Walker, Madam CJ Walker’s daughter) 
  • Carmen Ejogo (Walker’s Business Rival Addie Munroe)
  • Blair Underwood (CJ Walker, husband)
  • Garrett Morris (Walker’s father in law)
  • Kevin Carroll ( Freeman Ransom, Walker’s laywer)
When will it be released?

Have I convinced you that this is a must-see? Good news. You don’t have to wait long. Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C. J. Walker will premiere on Netflix Friday, March 20th.

madam cj walker

Are you going to watch the Madam C.J. Walker series? Leave a comment and let me know!

I’m going to circle back at the end of the month with my review. Hope you’ve watched by then so we can chat about it.

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Morgan Greene is a Maryland chronic illness and holistic wellness lifestyle blogger. After years of struggling with her autoimmune disease diagnosis, Myasthenia Gravis, she decided to combine two of her favorite things…writing and informing others was created to have unfiltered discussions about having a chronic illness. It has since become a place to inspire and create a sense of community among women with autoimmune diseases. Morgan loves trying new things and sharing with other spoonies how to live an ill life on their terms.

When she’s not blogging she is probably reading a book, drinking a Coke Slurpee or listening to music.

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