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Oprah Winfrey adapting 'The New York Times' 1619 Project' for film and TV

ABC/Fred Watkins

Oprah Winfrey is teaming up with The New York Times to adapt the newspaper’s landmark 1619 Project edition, which examined the impact of slavery on American history, for feature films, TV series, documentaries and other cross-platform content, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Oprah and Times writer Nikole Hannah-Jones and Caitlin Roper, an editor of The 1619 Project issue, will serve as producers for the adaptation, and also enlist producers for individual projects, to include programming that “allows Black creative voices to trace the historical legacy and economics of slavery in America, and the enduring contributions of African-Americans.”

“From the first moment I read The 1619 Project and immersed myself in Nikole Hannah-Jones’s transformative work, I was moved, deepened and strengthened by her empowering historical analysis.  I am honored to be a part of Nikole’s vision to bring this project to a global audience,” Winfrey said in a statement obtained by THR.

Hannah-Jones added in a separate statement, “We took very seriously our duty to find TV and film partners that would respect and honor the work and mission of The 1619 Project, that understood our vision and deep moral obligation to doing justice to these stories…It is a dream to be able to produce this work with Ms. Oprah Winfrey, a trailblazer and beacon to so many Black journalists.”

Launched in August 2019 on the 400th anniversary of the first Africans arriving in Virginia, The 1619 Project connected the legacy of slavery in America with accounts of systemic and brutal racism that endures in American life today.  It also stirred up an argument for the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans over throughout history to be put at the center of American history.

By George Costantino
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