Director Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou) is set to direct Academy Award winning actress Octavia Spencer in the Zero Gravity limited series adaptation of A’Lelia Bundles’ bestselling biography On Her Own Ground, the story of legendary African American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and first self-made African-American female millionaire, Madam C.J. Walker. Spencer is attached to star as Walker and also will produce the project, written by Nicole Asher (Coco).
On Her Own Ground, published in 2002 by Scribner, is described as the definitive biography of Walker, written by her great-great-granddaughter, Bundles.
The daughter of slaves, Walker was orphaned at seven, married at 14 and widowed at 20. She spent the better part of the next two decades laboring as a washerwoman for $1.50 a week. Then — with the discovery of a revolutionary hair care formula for black women — everything changed. 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. Along the way, she formed friendships with great early 20th century political figures such as W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington.
Christine Holder and Mark Holder for Zero Gravity are also attached to produce alongside Spencer.