AS THE COUNTRY GRAPPLES WITH THE DEREK CHAUVIN TRIAL, NEW 'SOUL OF A NATION' DELVES INTO AMERICA'S NEW RECONSTRUCTION: CAN THE BLACK COMMUNITY TURN PAIN INTO PROMISE, PROSPERITY AND POWER?
Actor Michael Kenneth Williams Explores the Hope and Resilience of the Black Community as Guest Host
Williams, ABC News' Linsey Davis, Sunny Hostin, Steve Osunsami, Rachel Scott and Pierre Thomas Lead the Hour Featuring an Interview With and Performance by Andra Day
'Soul of a Nation' Airs Tuesday, April 6 (10:00-11:00 P.M. EDT), on ABC With Debut of Accompanying Podcast 'Soul of a Nation: Tulsa's Buried Truth'
As the country grapples with the Derek Chauvin trial, an all-new episode of the primetime newsmagazine "Soul of a Nation" delves into America's New Reconstruction - can the Black community turn pain into promise, prosperity and power? Actor Michael Kenneth Williams explores the hope and resilience of the Black community throughout history as the guest host. Williams, ABC News' Linsey Davis, Sunny Hostin, Steve Osunsami, Rachel Scott and Pierre Thomas lead the hour which features an interview with and performance by singer Andra Day. The episode looks back at the Tulsa Race Massacre nearly 100 years later, features the unseen Black men who have been sentenced to death row and examines the racial reckoning in present-day America which some call "the third reconstruction." "Soul of a Nation" airs Tuesday, April 6 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC, the same day the first episode of ABC Audio's new accompanying podcast "Soul of a Nation: Tulsa's Buried Truth," written and hosted by Osunsami, debuts. Episodes of "Soul of a Nation" can also be viewed the next day on demand and on Hulu.
This hour includes the following stories and conversations:
· Nearly 100 years after angry mobs destroyed Tulsa, Oklahoma's "Black Wall Street," search crews have discovered a dozen coffins in an unmarked grave and believe there could be dozens more. Osunsami takes a closer look at the push to find and identify the victims of the Tulsa Race Massacre and the controversy surrounding the efforts to render justice for those who died and their descendants. He speaks with Joi McCondichie and Kristi Williams, descendants of massacre survivors, and the piece also features Tulsa mayor G.T. Bynum. Osunsami's reporting on the massacre is also featured in ABC Audio's new podcast, "Soul of a Nation: Tulsa's Buried Truth." The first episode debuts on Tuesday, April 6, and the series is available for free on major listening platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, TuneIn and the ABC News app, with new episodes posting Tuesdays.
· Andra Day sits down with Davis for a wide-ranging conversation where they discuss "imposter syndrome," the power of Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit," the roots of Day's song "Rise Up," and how Holiday's playfulness and joy emerged in times of great stress. Day also gives a special performance of her new song, "Tigress & Tweed."
· Thomas brings viewers the untold stories of the unseen Black men and women whose lives have been impacted by the criminal justice system after they and their loved ones were sentenced to death row. He interviews Pamela Woods, sister of Nathaniel Woods who died by lethal injection; Anthony Ray Hinton who spent decades on death row for a crime he didn't commit and was exonerated in 2015; Callie Greer who advocated for the life of the man who was accused of murdering her child Mercury Colley; and Equal Justice Initiative Founder/Executive Director Bryan Stevenson.
· Hostin moderates this week's "In the Kitchen," with Janaya Future Khan, Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad and D. Watkins to discuss what it will take for Black people to truly gain equality.
· Scott travels to Louisiana where she discovers the stories of progress among freed Black people during the Reconstruction era, drawing parallels to present day. She speaks with Dr. Robert Perry, the great-grandson of Pierre Caliste Landry, America's first Black mayor and Brian K. Mitchell, the great-great-grandnephew of Oscar Dunn, America's first Black lieutenant governor.
· Boston Globe columnist Jeneé Osterheldt contributes a piece on the racial reckoning that took place in the past year.
"Soul of a Nation," the first broadcast network newsmagazine that aims to put Black life in America front and center, will present viewers with a unique window into authentic realities of Black life and dive deeper into this critical moment of racial reckoning. It will travel across the country, unpacking issues critical to Black Americans through intimate storytelling, and bridge the past, present and future through a variety of voices and experiences from athletes, entertainers, performers and screenwriters. Each episode will explore a specific theme, including spirituality, Black joy, activism in sports and the racial reckoning that erupted after George Floyd's death, and familiar faces - performers, activists, scholars and clergy - will gather for an entertaining and provocative conversation "in the kitchen" about current events. A special performance featuring some of the nation's greatest musicians or spoken-word artists will close out each show.
"Soul of a Nation" is executive produced by Eric Johnson and Robe Imbriano; Chantre Camack serves as executive editorial producer; James Adolphus is series director, and Marie Nelson is the series creator and senior vice president of Integrated Content Strategy at ABC News.
"Soul of a Nation" is the latest original programming from ABC News which has a renewed focus on telling diverse stories across the news division. Previous programming includes the No. 1-rated "Juneteenth: A Celebration of Overcoming," three-day division-wide series "Pandemic - A Nation Divided" on the disparity in race and class amid the pandemic, "America in Pain: What Comes Next?" on the protests and outrage across the country in response to the killing of George Floyd and police brutality and systemic racism against Black Americans, the monthlong reporting series "Turning Point" and pre-election special "America's Future: The Power of the Latino Vote."