WORLD Channel, the award-winning broadcast channel and multi-platform outlet dedicated to bringing diverse content to public media audiences, invites viewers to join acclaimed documentarian Stanley Nelson and author A’Lelia Bundles – the great-great-granddaughter of Madam C.J. Walker – for a special online screening and discussion on Monday, August 10. The two will discuss the need for representation and accuracy in storytelling as well as the true story of Bundles’ ancestor, the trailblazing businesswoman and hair and beauty icon who became the first self-made female millionaire in the United States, and fact versus fiction in the films on her life.
The conversation will be followed by an online screening of Two Dollars and a Dream, Nelson’s documentary on the life of Madam C.J. Walker, which was the first film to examine Walker’s life. In Two Dollars and a Dream, Nelson traces Walker’s rise from her humble beginnings as the child of enslaved parents to become America’s first self-made female millionaire. As the grandson of Freeman B. Ransom, the attorney for Walker and the general manager for the Walker hair care company, Nelson was able to interview the men and women who worked with Walker and knew her and her empire best; the sales representatives, office assistants and executives who helped the beauty pioneer run her company.
The film also devotes attention to Walker’s role as the nation’s first Black philanthropist and her commitment to promoting the empowerment of the Black community as well as her daughter A’Lelia Walker’s role as a patron of the Harlem Renaissance. See a trailer below:
The 1987 film is Nelson’s debut work and marked the start of a career that would go on to include films such as Freedom Riders (2010), The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (2015), The Murder of Emmett Till (2003) and Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (2019).
An award-winning journalist and author, Bundles joins the screening event and discussion to speak about the real story and legacy of her great-great-grandmother, Madam C.J. Walker. Author of On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker, which offered inspiration to the Netflix series on Walker, Self Made, Bundles, along with Nelson, will discuss Walker and her contemporaries while also addressing the need for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) representation at all levels in storytelling. The virtual discussion will be hosted by Emmy-nominated journalist Tina Martin, the host of the WORLD series “Local, USA.”
The special virtual event and screening of Two Dollars and a Dream will be held on Monday, August 10 at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT). Viewers can register for the free event here or visit worldchannel.org/events. An audience Q& A with Nelson and Bundles will follow the screening of Two Dollars and a Dream.
This post was curated by Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., founder & editor-in-chief of The Burton Wire.