John Legend is aiming to spark a conversation following the premiere of Underground, the historical drama series about escaping slaves he executive-produced.
During an interview with the Huffington Post, Legend explained the importance behind the 10-episode series, which follows a group of slaves attempting to escape from a Georgia plantation through the Underground Railroad.
“I think we have to confront our history. We have to understand it and how it relates to what’s happening in the world now,” Legend said. “So when we talk about the issues of race and how we interact with each other in this country, we can’t talk about American history, we can’t talk about how this country was built, and we can’t talk about the politics of this country without understanding that so much of our history involves slavery.”
Legend adds that there’s an even deeper message to the show. “When you think of the depths of oppression and the depths of the evil that these folks faced — and they decided to do something that was against the odds anyway — we can apply that to anything that we’re going through today,” he said. “It’s not nearly as oppressive now, but we’re still fighting for justice in America and we can take courage from their courage. We can be inspired by their heroism.”
Underground airs Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. ET on WGN America.
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