One year after slavery movie ‘12 Years a Slave‘captivated movie goers and made a star out of actress Lupita Nyong’o, Black Entertainment Television (BET) have revealed that they are to launch a TV series named ‘The Book of Negroes‘,set to tell a story just as bittersweet.
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Starring Cuba Gooding Jnr, ‘Negroes’ will be a TV presentation of a novel penned by Lawrence Hill, telling the story of Aminata Diallo, aWest African woman kidnapped from her motherland, sold into slavery in South Carolina, then fights through the American Revolution to reclaim her freedom in England at the beginning of the 19th century.
The Book of Negroes refers to a book of genealogy kept by the British Navy of those slaves who left their captors to serve the red coats during the Revolutionary War. But when the British lost, they sought to make good on their promise and the book logged each slave’s country of origin, destination and what their job during the war.
Once it hits BET’s screens next February, the show will become the channel’s first-ever long format series, spanning six parts, and will also air on Canada’s CBC, both no doubt hoping to pull audiences in with help from Cuba, who said of the project:
It’s told from the female perspective with a sense of empowerment. Through Aminata’s journey we see the strength of her character. I didn’t know anything about The Book of Negroes, or the slaves participation with the British and upon hearing this, it always upsets me when I hear about something I don’t know: Like The Tuskegee Airmen, The Book of Negroes is another upsetting moment for African Americans, when we have made a positive impact on the building of America, but our history hasn’t been told. Hearing this tale of strength moved me.