‘Moonlights’ Barry Jenkins On “Next Stop” To Freedom In America | WATCH
*Academy Award recipient Barry Jenkins may have another hit on his hands with the highly anticipated limited series The Underground Railroad, debuting on Prime Video this month. Jenkins will serve as showrunner for the ten episode show and executive produce alongside Brad Pitt and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Colson Whitehead – who wrote the book the show is based on.
EURweb correspondent Ty Cole spoke to Jenkins and Thuso Mbede (plays Cora Randall) on why they signed on for the series and the “next stop” they hope to see in America, as we continue to push for freedom and equality.
Cole: In the midst of stories like Antebellum, Them, and Lovecraft Country, what was it about The Underground Railroad that made you want to be apart of this project?
Jenkins: One, as an artist, I knew at some point I would want to use my voice to honor the legacy of my ancestors. Then, as a kid, when I first heard the words the Underground Railroad, I saw Black people on trains underground and I always held on to that feeling…my people had done these things. When I read Colson’s book, I felt that same feeling…I’m going to recreate this feeling.
Mbede: I enjoy reading books and this one did not shy away from dealing with different things and different molds of storytelling through the different episodes. It articulated what I hadn’t fully processed and needed to say as a Black woman in whatever global context.
The Underground Railroad’
Cole: If we were on our railroad to freedom in America, what do you think the next stop should be on the path?
Jenkins: We always – and even if we don’t know what we’re doing – when I say “we,” I’m speaking about the three of us onscreen right now, as we go through our lives, we always have this other voice or this other eye protecting us and our folks. The freedom to move about without always having to be aware…we have to stay aware of these ‘things’ that have nothing to do with [who we are]. But it does have to do with prejudices and assumptions that have been engraved in society and societies abroad. Maybe there’s a day when ‘that thing’ is gone.
Watch The Underground Railroad exclusively on Prime Video May 14th – streaming in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide.