No One Expected This
THE AWARD-WINNING SERIES ABOUT SLAVERY AND ITS ROOTS TO MODERN-DAY RACISM WILL BE PRODUCED AND DEVELOPED INTO MULTIPLE FORMS OF ENTERTAINMENT
BY SHAMIKA SANDERS ·
Media behemoth Oprah Winfrey has partnered with Lionsgate and The New York Times to help produce and develop Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones’ investigative interactive series, The 1619 Project and the NYT podcast, 1619, into an expansive portfolio of films, television series and documentaries, unscripted programming and other forms of entertainment, an official press release announced Wednesday.
The 1619 Project—which was originally released by The New York Times in August 2019, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first arrival of Africans in the colony of Virginia in 1619—is a critically acclaimed series of well-researched essays that re-examines the transatlantic slave trade, slavery and its roots to modern-day racism.
“We took very seriously our duty to find TV and film partners that would respect and honor the work and mission of The 1619 Project, that understood our vision and deep moral obligation to doing justice to these stories. Through every step of the process, Lionsgate and its leadership have shown themselves to be that partner and it is a dream to be able to produce this work with Ms. Oprah Winfrey, a trailblazer and beacon to so many Black journalists,” said Ms. Hannah-Jones.
The award-winning writer continued: “I am excited for this opportunity to extend the breadth and reach of The 1619 Project and to introduce these stories of Black resistance and resilience to even more American households.”
“From the first moment I read The 1619 Project and immersed myself in Nikole Hannah-Jones’s transformative work, I was moved, deepened and strengthened by her empowering historical analysis,” said Winfrey, sharing Hannah-Jones’ excitement. “I am honored to be a part of Nikole’s vision to bring this project to a global audience.”
The 1619 Project became such an influential body of work and journalistic accomplishment; it is being adapted into a series of books that will change the school curriculum, as we know it.