5 reasons to watch ‘One Thousand Years of Slavery’

The outstanding four-part docuseries, currently airing on The Smithsonian Channel, is a must-watch during Black History Month.

Currently airing on The Smithsonian Channel, the four-part docuseries One Thousand Years of Slavery is one of the biggest releases during Black History Month, and theGrio has five reasons why this captivating program should be at the top of your list.

Legendary dancer, choreographer, actress, director and producer Debbie Allen in “One Thousand Years of Slavery.” (Photo: Screengrab/Instagram: @smithsonianchannel)

Global, comprehensive history

“Every aspect of the modern world was shaped by the Atlantic slave trade,” quotes the preview for One Thousand Years of Slavery, summing up the very expansive view of slavery the docuseries offers. The installments do not solely focus on America, instead following the devastation of slavery in how it shifted and ultimately helped build the entire modern world. By stretching “beyond the 400 years” we have become accustomed to zeroing in on when discussing slavery, the series tells a more global and comprehensive history.

Director David Olusoga

This exciting project is helmed by British-Nigerian BAFTA winner David Olusoga. At the time of the project’s announcement, Olusoga shared, “Slavery is not that long ago. It’s really recent. It’s painfully close to us, and it’s no surprise it’s still shaping our societies. Our aim is to break away from just seeing the slave trade as a phenomena that exists after the conquest and discovery of the New World, but to look back. It’s to set what happened in the New World in context, that it came from somewhere.”

Angela Bassett and Cortney B. Vance

The groundbreaking project comes from Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance‘s Bassett Vance Productions in the acting icons’ partnership with The Smithsonian Channel.

2019 Creative Arts Emmy Awards - Arrivals
Courtney B. Vance and Angela Bassett attend the 2019 Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. (Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

As theGrio previously reported, when the trailer for the project was first released, Vance told Shadow and Act, “The Smithsonian Channel and Smithsonian brand are known around the world as a trusted resource that makes history accessible for all. We couldn’t think of a better outlet to tell this important and increasingly relevant history. We are incredibly proud to be part of this journey.”

Trusted, familiar faces

The docuseries welcomes trusted, familiar faces to help tell this powerful global story. The series features insights from Dr. Bernice King, Debbie Allen, Valerie Jarrett, Lorraine Toussaint, Soledad O’BrienCCH Pounder and Sen. Cory Booker, to name a few. By checking in with these celebrities, political leaders and historical experts, the docuseries makes the findings even more personal, underscoring how history continues to leave lasting effects on all of us.

You can binge or watch week-to-week

Airing every Monday in February, the series is already halfway done, so if you haven’t watched it, there is still plenty of time to catch up and binge those first two episodes. Both installments are available to watch now on The Smithsonian Channel website here.

TheGrio is now on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Android TV. Also, please download theGrio mobile apps today!