Exclusive: ABC News’ ‘Soul of a Nation’ series to spotlight Black life in America with help from Jemele Hill, others

USA TODAY Entertainment

David Oliver, USA TODAY-Thu, February 11, 2021, 11:32 AM

ABC News is launching “Soul of a Nation,” a new six-episode series aimed at showcasing Black life in America that features guest hosts such as Jemele Hill and Marsai Martin.

The network claims the series, airing on Tuesdays starting in March, is the first broadcast network newsmagazine to highlight Black life in this way.

Although February marks Black History Month, the network aims to keep the conversation about Black history and culture front and center for the American public.

“We’re excited to expand enterprising Black storytelling and the celebration of Black culture beyond the month of February,” co-executive producer Eric Johnson said in a statement. “Viewers of all backgrounds, regardless of race, will be moved, educated and inspired by the broad range of stories and topics shared on this show.”

The episodes will touch on themes such as spirituality, Black joy and activism in sports, as well as the nation’s racial reckoning after the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died last May after a white police officer knelt on his neck.

Performers, activists, scholars and clergy will talk about current events, and each episode includes performances from spoken-word artists or musicians such as Cynthia Erivo.

The athletes, entertainers, performers and screenwriters who will be interviewed or featured in roundtables in each episode include Nick Cannon, Danny Glover and David Alan Grier. Audiences will also get a day-in-the-life look at some of TikTok’s “most influential” young Black content creators and learn about the Afrofuturism movement.

Guests hosts including Hill and Martin will introduce each episode, which features reporting from ABC News anchors and correspondents T.J. Holmes, Sunny Hostin, Janai Norman, Steve Osunsami, Byron Pitts, Deborah Roberts and David Scott, among others. Other guest hosts will be announced soon.
Guests hosts including Hill and Martin will introduce each episode, which features reporting from ABC News anchors and correspondents T.J. Holmes, Sunny Hostin, Janai Norman, Steve Osunsami, Byron Pitts, Deborah Roberts and David Scott, among others. Other guest hosts will be announced soon.

Guests hosts including Hill and Martin will introduce each episode, which features reporting from ABC News anchors and correspondents T.J. Holmes, Sunny Hostin, Janai Norman, Steve Osunsami, Byron Pitts, Deborah Roberts and David Scott, among others. Other guest hosts will be announced soon.

Hill is a writer for The Atlantic and hosts the Spotify podcast “Jemele Hill is Unbothered.” She famously criticized former President Donald Trump in 2017 and was disciplined by her employer, ESPN, before leaving the network.

Martin stars in ABC’s “Black-ish” and executive-produced the 2019 movie “Little.”

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