ABC NEWS ANNOUNCES TWO PRIMETIME SPECIALS AND NETWORK-WIDE COVERAGE IN RECOGNITION OF BLACK HISTORY MONTH
'Soul of a Nation Presents: Screen Queens Rising,' Exploring the Cultural Impact of Black Actresses, Airs Thursday, Feb. 3 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EST) on ABC
'Soul of a Nation Presents: X / o n e r a t e d - The Murder of Malcolm X and 55 Years to Justice,' a Profile of Muhammad Abdul Aziz, Airs Thursday, Feb. 3 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EST) on ABC
Coverage Celebrating and Honoring Black History Month Will Air Across All ABC News Programs and Platforms Throughout the Month of February
In recognition of Black History Month, ABC News presents two primetime specials and network-wide coverage featuring exclusive interviews, in-depth profiles and a celebration of Black culture. Coverage begins Tuesday, Feb. 1, on ABC.
"While we remain dedicated to telling the impactful and important stories around the Black community all year long, ABC News will provide special coverage throughout February to salute Black excellence," said Kim Godwin, president of ABC News. "We will celebrate and honor Black culture across all programs and platforms, taking an in-depth look at issues past and present while spotlighting those who have overcome significant obstacles and paved the way for a better future."
ABC News' groundbreaking "Soul of a Nation" returns with the special "Screen Queens Rising," exploring how Black actresses, a historically overlooked and under-valued group in Hollywood, have in recent years begun to ascend to the top echelons of entertainment and American culture. The special examines how Black actresses of Hollywood have become power brokers and the iconic moments and roles have paved the way for them today. The special, hosted by "ABC News Live Prime" anchor Linsey Davis and ABC News senior national affairs correspondent Deborah Roberts, includes Roberts' interview with actress Tessa Thompson and ABC News' "GMA3: What You Need to Know" co-anchor T.J. Holmes' interview with actress and director Halle Berry. The hour also features interviews with actresses Debbie Allen, Jackée Harry, Marla Gibbs and Regina Hall, and entertainment reporters who look back at the first milestones for Black women in Hollywood, discussing the triumphs, the obstacles and those who blazed the trail. The special includes the return of the fan-favorite "In the Kitchen" discussion moderated by "The View" co-host Sunny Hostin. "Soul of a Nation Presents: Screen Queens Rising" airs Thursday, Feb. 3 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EST), on ABC.
ABC News' "Soul of a Nation Presents: X / o n e r a t e d - The Murder of Malcolm X and 55 Years to Justice" profiles Muhammad Abdul Aziz, a man who was wrongfully convicted of Malcolm X's assassination. Featuring the first TV interview with Aziz since his exoneration, conducted by ABC News "Nightline" co-anchor Byron Pitts, the special retraces Malcolm X's shocking 1965 assassination, Aziz's decades behind bars and on parole, and the devastating impact on Aziz's family. "X / o n e r a t e d" features interviews with family and advocates of Aziz, including his wife Paula McLellan, son Craig Butler, daughter Edris B. Green and independent historian Abdur-Rahman Muhammad, as well as A. Peter Bailey, a friend and associate of Malcolm X who was at the Audubon Ballroom on the day of the assassination. The special also includes interviews with those who conducted the joint reinvestigation that ultimately led to Aziz's exoneration in November 2021, including Aziz's civil rights attorneys David Shanies and Deborah Francois, Innocence Project attorney Vanessa Potkin and former Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who was interviewed by ABC News chief justice correspondent Pierre Thomas. The special will have interviews with Shahid Johnson, Ameen Johnson and Khalil Ibn Islam, the children of the late Khalil Islam, who was also wrongfully convicted for the assassination of Malcolm X and posthumously exonerated, as well as Malcolm X's daughter Ilyasah Shabazz. Journalists, filmmakers and activists reflect on the enduring legacy of Malcolm X and raise larger questions about how and why both the assassination and the wrongful convictions happened and why it took so long to resolve. "X / o n e r a t e d" airs Thursday, Feb. 3 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EST), on ABC.
"True to the essence of 'Soul of a Nation,' these two specials embody the ongoing pursuit of visibility, justice and authentic representation of Black life in America," said Marie Nelson, senior vice president, integrated content strategy, ABC News. "On stage and screen, Black actresses have created conversations about the Black lived experience and have risen, knocking down barriers and portraying that truth for the world to see. And in the case of Malcolm X's assassination, an epic civil rights true crime, the story of the exonerated Muhammad Abdul Aziz and Khalil Islam sheds light on the lives of two men and their families who've been fighting to be seen in a system that has often rendered them invisible and expendable."
As ABC News celebrates and honors Black History Month, coverage will air across programs and platforms, including:
· "Good Morning America" will honor Black history with daily features and stories throughout the month. "GMA" will present a two-part series around Black financial literacy on generational wealth and estate planning; "Buzz Picks" from Black-owned bookstores; "The Great Adventure," spotlighting Black groups aiming to fix inclusivity in outdoor and recreational activities, with National Geographic explorer Tara Roberts, Black Girls Surf and an all-Black group of climbers as they train for their expedition to Mount Everest; and "Disney Wishes Come True" celebrating a Harlem jazz teacher and his students. "GMA" will also air segments on civil rights activist Annie Abrams, celebrating Black joy, the evolution of Black TV, the power of the Black vote, Black heart health and the 10th anniversary of Trayvon Martin's death.
· "World News Tonight with David Muir" will dedicate the month of February to Black History Month, featuring figures, heroes, veterans, healthcare workers, teachers, politicians and others; the program will also celebrate many from across the country who provide inspiration and hope in their communities within its "America Strong" segments.
· "Nightline" will have an intimate look at the first police academy at a Historically Black College and University - featuring the first nine recruits ever - additional content from the "Soul of a Nation" specials, including the interview with Cyrus Vance, Jr., as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the Disney+ series, "The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder."
· "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" will focus on voters of color and examine the impact of sweeping changes to voting rights legislation across the country. Co-anchor Martha Raddatz will travel to Georgia to highlight how the Black community is responding to some of those changes ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
· "GMA3: What You Need to Know" will have an exclusive interview with General Charles Q. Brown Jr., the chief of staff of the Air Force and the first Black military service chief. Additional guests include Ken Welch, the first Black mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida; Michelle Duster, the great-granddaughter of civil rights activist Ida B. Wells; actor Taye Diggs; and "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" actress and author Karyn Parsons. Chef Alexander Small, the creator of the first African Food Hall in Dubai, will join in-studio to share an African cuisine dish.
· "The View" kicks off Black History Month on Feb. 1 with a month-long celebration honoring unknown African American pioneers and trailblazers. The show's "Black History Month FYI" series, airing three days each week in February, will spotlight these hidden figures who have made a significant impact on American life in politics, the arts, science and business.
· "Tamron Hall" will continue to highlight groundbreaking and inspiring people in pop culture and beyond. Tamron will sit down for a daytime exclusive hour with R&B royalty, New Edition, getting a behind-the-scenes look at their upcoming historic tour and have revealing conversations with the band that paved the way for so many others while making history in the process.
· "ABC News Live" will present a 30-minute special, "The Spark: How Trayvon Changed America," with Deborah Roberts airing on Feb. 25, one day before the 10th anniversary of Trayvon Martin's death. The special will include an interview with Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton. ABC News Live will also reprise its popular "Conversations with Black Men" and "Conversations with Black Women."
· ABC News Digital will feature extensive coverage, including video content and articles throughout the month, including how creatives shaped Black queer history, the power of rhetoric in the twisting and manipulation of critical race theory and its meaning, and the history of Black History Month. "GMA" Digital will spotlight original digital content all month long, including the 2022 edition of the "GMA Inspiration List," where influential figures nominate up-and-coming fellow Black Americans who are making history now, and a new "Taboo Health" feature focused on the disparities Black women face while seeking medical care.
· FiveThirtyEight will take a deep, interactive look at how racist redlining policies from the mid-20th century are still shaping where people live and what opportunities they have today, with analysis of the demographics of 141 cities. As states redraw their congressional maps, FiveThirtyEight will also have a piece on redistricting and the unprecedented efforts to undermine the political power of Black, Latino, Asian and Native communities, especially in Southern states that, for the first time in more than half a century, are no longer covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
· ABC Audio will provide special coverage of Black History Month with special editions of "Perspective" each week. ABC News' flagship daily podcast "Start Here," hosted by Brad Mielke, will also dedicate segments throughout the month. Audio versions of network-wide content will be available for ABC News Radio affiliates in 60- and 30-second versions.