Netflix has debuted a new limited series called Self Made. The series is inspired by the true story of the first female, African American self-made millionaire in American history, Madam C.J Walker. Madam C.J Walker is played by Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer.
The film also focuses on the life of her daughter Lelia, who later on in life renamed herself A’lelia. She is played by accomplished actress, Tiffany Haddish. The Film depicts A’lelia as a queer party girl. Many have questioned the validity of her storyline; however, it seems to be based on some truth.
A’lelia became a socialite in the 1920s. The fortune her mother worked hard for allowed A’lelia to throw lavish parties. The parties would often take place at her mother’s estate, Villa Lewaro, which was named after Lelia, or at the Dark Tower, a large spacious home with over 30 rooms. A’lelia had become very influential in New York because of the parties and the support she gave to the queer artist during the Harlem renaissance.
A’lelia had popular friends such as Jimmy Daniels, a performer, Langston Hughes, a poet, and Alberta Hunter, a jazz singer. Her friends endearingly named her the “Joy Goddess of Harlem”.