September 23, 2020

Netflix’s ‘Self Made’ is a disappointing attempt at celebrating black excellence

Netflix's 'Self Made' is a disappointing attempt at celebrating black excellence

It is despicably rare for historical television dramas to center their stories on black women.

When a TV show or film does focus on black history, it is often on narratives of slavery, Jim Crow, and other historical sufferings. These topics are well worth dramatizing, but when covered unyieldingly for decades as the only black histories on TV, they cement the false notion that the only black stories worth telling are those of bondage and oppression. They also tend to focus on men — great men, but men nonetheless.

Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker is based on a story of black excellence. That alone sets it apart from any other American …

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