*Marsai Martin, actress and Executive Producer of 2019 film “Little,” guest hosts the second episode of the critically acclaimed/ratings highlight primetime newsmagazine “Soul of a Nation.” This episode features the next generation of Black Americans and their unique ability to trail blaze, innovate and live on the cutting-edge no matter what they have to overcome.
Martin, ABC News’ Adrienne Bankert, Sunny Hostin, Zachary Kiesch and Janai Norman lead the hour which follows TikTok influencers as they navigate the popular social media app, unpacks the importance of Afrofuturism, details the history of sneaker culture and explores the story of Miss Lucille Burden Osborne, a woman who grew up with relatives who had been enslaved.
The episode concludes with a musical performance by singer H.E.R.
The second episode of this historic six-episode series will air Tuesday, March 9 (10:00 – 11:00 p.m. EST) on ABC. Episodes can also be viewed the next day on demand and on Hulu.
The second episode of “Soul of a Nation” includes the following stories and conversations:
- Young Black content creators have made their voices heard on the wildly popular social media platform TikTok, despite accusations that it has become a vehicle for misappropriation and questionable practices. Norman speaks with influencers Jalaiah Harmon (Atlanta) and Taylor Cassidy (St. Louis, Mo.) as they take viewers behind the scenes of their viral videos and the business that is their brand.
- What do fantasy, technology, fashion, and activism have to do with survival for the Black community? Everything, according to Afrofuturists. Bankert’s report will unpack Afrofuturism as a philosophy, aesthetic, genre and tool for social change with examples ranging from Black Panther to Sun Ra to a STEM educator who wants to inspire the next generation solve the world’s biggest challenges. She speaks with Ruth E. Carter, Ytasha Womack and Justin Shaifer at Atlanta’s SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film, Chicago’s Adler Planetarium and New York’s Spyscape, respectively.
- Actor Sterling K. Brown narrates the story of 95-year-old Miss Lucille Burden Osborne, the great-granddaughter of Charles McGruder – her enslaved ancestor who was deployed to neighboring plantations as a breeder and created a homestead for his many children after emancipation. Osborne takes viewers on a journey through her family’s complicated past to the future they are now building, thanks to their ancestor.
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- Hostin moderates a provocative recurring conversation called “In the Kitchen,” where each week a group of talkers and thinkers join her for a candid discussion on current events and the theme of the week. This episode features Tianna Arata, Chi Ossé and Patrisse Cullors, one of the founders of Black Lives Matter.
- ESPN’s The Undefeated explores sneaker culture in the Black community. From commercials to music videos, kicks have come a long way from the basketball court to the cover of Vogue. The piece not only explores the past, but where the trends are going for the next generation. Viewers will hear from rapper/actress Saweetie, comedian/actor Deon Cole, Black Lives Matter activist Janaya Future Khan, athlete Mo’ne Davis, Superbowl winning quarterback Tyrod Taylor, YouTube influencers PrettyBoyFredo and Lexi Vee, hip hop historian and author Wes Jackson and The Undefeated’s Domonique Foxworth, Soraya McDonald and Justin Tinsley.
- Kiesch sits-down with H.E.R. to discuss her music and her songwriting process. To close out the show H.E.R performs “Fight For You,” from Warner Bros. Pictures’ film “Judas and the Black Messiah.”
“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 the latest original programming from ABC News which has a renewed focus on telling diverse stories across the news division. Previous programming includes the #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 month-long reporting series “Turning Point” and pre-election special “America’s Future: The Power of the Latino Vote.”