Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance will bring a new docuseries on the legacy of slavery to the Smithsonian Channel.
The project is titled One Thousand Years of Slavery and will be executive produced by the married couple’s production company Bassett Vance Productions.
“As an executive producer on One Thousand Years of Slavery, Bassett Vance Productions wanted to tell the globally comprehensive history of slavery,” Bassett said in a press release Wednesday. “Finding the right partner and audience who share common beliefs and values was absolutely imperative as we navigate a topic that still hurts decades later.”
“The Smithsonian Channel and Smithsonian brand are known around the world as a trusted resource that makes history accessible for all,” added Vance. “We couldn’t think of a better outlet to tell this important and increasingly relevant history. We are incredibly proud to be part of this journey.”
MTV Entertainment Studios — which like Smithsonian Channel is part of the ViacomCBS umbrella — will oversee the four-part project.
“We are honored to partner with Bassett Vance Productions on this long overdue landmark documentary series that reveals the untold story of human bondage on a global scale,” said Nina L. Diaz, president of content and chief creative officer at MTV Entertainment Group and for unscripted and adult animation at Paramount+.
One Thousand Years of Slavery pieces together stories of oppression and reflects on America’s past through historical documents as well as interviews with studied experts.
Additionally, BAFTA winner and British-Nigerian director David Olusoga explores the implications of slavery from Africa to the Carribbean, London, Washington, D.C. and beyond.
Here’s the official description: “Each episode in this remarkable four-part series spotlights powerful stories of notable individuals courageously sharing their deeply personal Black experiences. It’s the 1,000-year story of how slavery stained the past, shaped the present, and continues to re-write our future.”
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“Slavery is the last great unmentionable in public discourse. That tells me why it’s so important for us to have these conversations, to tell this story,” one of the experts says in the trailer.
James Blue, Head of Smithsonian Channel and SVP of MTV News and Docs, and Pamela Aguilar, VP of Original Documentaries will oversee the limited series for MTV Entertainment Studios and Smithsonian Channel. One Thousand Years of Slavery is produced by Uplands Television Ltd. for Smithsonian Channel and Channel 5. Bassett Vance Productions will executive produce the limited series.
A premiere date for the docuseries will be announced later. It is currently set to air in 2022.
Watch the trailer for One Thousand Years of Slavery below: