BET Set to Air Slave Miniseries ‘The Book of Negroes’

The Book of Negroes

BET announced on Monday (Oct. 13) their plans to air a new miniseries next year with the controversial title “Book of Negroes.” The adaptation to Lawrence Hill’s novel with the same name depicts the journey of slaves in  America.

According to the trailer’s description, “‘The Book of Negroes’ is a universal story of loss, courage and triumph that depicts the extraordinary life journey of Aminata Diallo — an indomitable African woman who survives in a world in which everything seems to be against her.” As for the title, it refers to a book of genealogy kept by the British Navy of slaves who left their captors to serve the British military during the Revolutionary War.

“The Book of Negroes” was originally pitched as a movie in 2010, but the studio executives had their reservations about how the film would be received. However, after the success of 2013’s “12 Years a Slave,” the film was green lit for the small screen.

The mini-series will star Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr. (“Jerry Maguire”), Academy Award and Primetime Emmy Award winner Lou Gossett Jr. (“Boardwalk Empire”) and lead actress Aunjanue Ellis (“The Help”).

“It’s told from a female perspective with a sense of empowerment,” Gooding tells Deadline. “Through Aminata’s journey we see the strength of her character. I didn’t know anything about ‘The Book of Negroes’, or the slaves participation with the British and upon hearing this–it always upsets me when I hear about something I didn’t know: Like The Tuskegee Airmen, The Book Of Negroes is another upsetting moment for African Americans, when we have made a positive impact on the building of America, but our history hasn’t been told. Hearing this tale of strength moved me.”

“The Book of Negroes” will air in February as a six-part miniseries on BET.

Watch the trailer below!

(Photo Credit: YouTube)