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“Self-Made” on Netflix, a Bad Look For Black Women

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Karen Hunter
Karen Hunter
A former sports and news reporter with the New York Daily News for 16 years, Karen served four of those years on the editorial board of The News, where she was a member of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize- and Polk Award-winning teams. She was also the paper’s first African-American female news columnist. As the head of Karen Hunter Books (KHB), an imprint with Simon & Schuster, Karen has published No. 1 New York Times bestseller True You by pop icon Janet Jackson, New York Times bestselling Kris Jenner and All Things Kardashian by Kris Jenner

I wanted to like “Self Made,” the four-part series on Netflix based on the life of Madame C.J. Walker. I really did. Lebron James and Maverick Carter were the producers. And I am a huge supporter of just about everything Lebron does. But this venture needed a consultation with an actual historian.

“Self-Made” stars Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer, the great Blair Underwood and Tiffany Haddish. But we’re in a time when truth and facts have to predominate. And on that front, Self Made fell flat.

While there are many things to celebrate about Madame C.J. Walker, who had a deep love for black women and wanted to instill in us a sense of pride and beauty, to tell her story at the expense of Annie Turnbo Malone, was just wrong. This Netflix original based on the book by Madame C.J. Walker’s “great-granddaughter,” pulled forth all of the old tropes about black women, colorism and our lack of working together and it left a bad taste in my mouth. Listen to my podcast on it here:

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