The ‘1619 Project’—a long-form journalism initiative derived from a poignant essay penned by journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones—captures how the harrowing history of slavery directly correlates to the current social injustices faced by the Black community. The narratives and perspectives encompassed in the project are coming to the silver screen. According to Variety, a Hulu docuseries about the 1619 Project is in the works.
The project was unveiled in 2019 to mark the 400th anniversary of the beginning of slavery. It takes an in-depth look at how the heinous elements of enslavement have shaped the social, political and cultural landscapes. The project—which has been utilized as a learning tool for many—has fostered necessary conversations about the brutality of slavery and its long-term effects. The docuseries, which is a collaborative effort between The New York Times, Lionsgate Television and Harpo Films, will be executive produced by Shoshana Guy, Caitlin Roper and Kathleen Lingo. Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams, known for directing The Apollo documentary, will produce and spearhead the development of the series under his One Story Up imprint.
Hannah-Jones says she’s looking forward to teaming up with Williams to transform the project into a docuseries for Hulu. “I could not ask for a more gifted and committed storyteller to entrust ‘The 1619 Project’ to than Roger Ross Williams,” she said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “I have long admired the impact and authenticity of his filmmaking, and the fact that we’re working with Disney and Hulu aligns with our vision of partnering with the world’s greatest Black storytellers to bring this project to a global audience.” Hannah-Jones won a Pulitzer Prize for cultivating the project.
Williams believes the creation of the series will help the story behind a significant part of history reach new audiences. “‘The 1619 Project’ is an essential reframing of American history. Our most cherished ideals and achievements cannot be understood without acknowledging both systemic racism and the contributions of Black Americans. And this isn’t just about the past—Black people are still fighting against both the legacy of this racism and its current incarnation,” he said.