TV Host Oprah Winfrey is partnering with Lionsgate, The New York Times, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones to expand Hannah-Jones’ ongoing series The 1619 Project, into TV series, featured films, documentaries, and unscripted programming.
“For many Americans, The 1619 Project was a great awakening and a true history that you probably never learned in school,” said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer.
The 1619 Project is a continuous series that examines how slavery has framed every aspect of society, including the arts, law, education, and music. It was released in August 2019, on the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans being brought to Virginia, in the United States.
“For others, the project was a fresh analysis of the historical record by one of the world’s leading media authorities. We’re proud to partner with The New York Times, Nikole Hannah-Jones and Oprah Winfrey, creative talent with unparalleled stature, to amplify Nikole’s voice and reach across our worldwide platform to marshal all of our top creative relationships to translate her vision into a canon of storytelling for a global audience.”
Oprah Winfrey, founder of the Oprah Winfrey Network, shared what drew her to joining Nikole in sharing her interactive project.
“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,” said Winfrey. “I am honored to be a part of Nikole’s vision to bring this project to a global audience.”
Hannah-Jones will serve as a producer for the development alongside Winfrey and series editor Caitlin Roper.
“I am excited for this opportunity to extend the breadth and reach of The 1619 Project and to introduce these stories of Black resistance and resilience to even more American households,” Hannah Jones said.
“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. Through every step of the process, Lionsgate and its leadership have shown themselves to be that partner, and it is a dream to be able to produce this work with Ms. Oprah Winfrey, a trailblazer, and beacon to so many Black journalists.”
New York Times Assistant Managing Editor, Sam Dolnick, added:
“Since the publication of The 1619 Project last year, we have been searching for the right partners to expand the reach of its message into film and television while preserving the authenticity of its voice.
“We believe that Lionsgate and Oprah Winfrey are the perfect combinations of partners who understand the editorial integrity of The Times and the gravity of The 1619 Project’s message, and have the reach, resources, compassion, and talent relationships to join with us and with Nikole in producing films, television, and other programming for a global audience that do justice to the project.”