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Soul of a Nation

Soul of a Nation

  • Premiered: 
    March 2, 2021
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: ABC
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Newsmagazine
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Current Events
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Plot Synopsis

SOUL OF A NATION is a newsmagazine that explores authentic realities of Black life and dive deeper into this critical moment of racial reckoning. Each one-hour episode focuses on a specific theme including spirituality, Black joy, activism in sports, and the racial reckoning that erupted after George Floyd's death. Jemele Hill, Marsai Martin and others are among the roster of special guest hosts for each episode with interviews and reporting by ABC News anchors and correspondents, including Adrienne Bankert, Linsey Davis, T.J. Holmes, Sunny Hostin, Janai Norman, Steve Osunsami, Byron Pitts, Deborah Roberts, David Scott and Pierre Thomas, and ESPN's Michael Wilbon.

The series travels across the country, unpacking issues critical to Black Americans through intimate storytelling. Every episode will bridge the past, present and future through a variety of voices and experiences from athletes, entertainers, performers and screenwriters, including Carmelo Anthony, Nick Cannon, Deon Cole, Kim Coles, Tommy Davidson, Mo'Ne Davis, Danny Glover, David Alan Grier, Wood Harris, Janaya Future Khan, Renee Montgomery, Sylvia Obell, Jenee Osterheldt, Chris Paul, John Ridley, Saweetie, Michael Yo, The Undefeated's Domonique Foxworth, Soraya McDonald, Marc Spears and Justin Tinsley, and ESPN's Lisa Salters and Maria Taylor. Viewers will meet remarkable people like 95-year-old Lucille Burden Osborne, the great-granddaughter of Charles McGruder -- her enslaved ancestor who was deployed to neighboring plantations as a breeder but created a home for his many children after emancipation; get a behind-the-scenes look and day in the life of some of TikTok's most influential young Black content creators to understand the business behind their brands; and learn about Afrofuturism as a philosophy, aesthetic, genre and tool for social change. In each episode, familiar faces -- performers, activists, scholars and clergy -- will gather for an entertaining and provocative conversation "in the kitchen" about current events. A special performance featuring some of the nation's greatest musicians, such as Cynthia Erivo, or spoken-word artists will close out each episode.

In the series opener, "Reckonings," guest host Sterling K. Brown dives into this moment of racial reckoning in present-day America tackling issues ranging from policing to reparations and segments highlighting the arts and entertainment. Brown, ABC News' Adrienne Bankert, Sunny Hostin, Byron Pitts and Pierre Thomas lead this groundbreaking hour. It will feature interviews with actor and reparations activist Danny Glover, EGOT winner, producer and social activist John Legend, and U.S. Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, one of the many officers who defended the Capitol on Jan. 6. Plus, Legend will give a special intimate musical performance.

On Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 10pm ET/PT, ABC premiered a one-hour SOUL OF A NATION special on the anniversary of George Floyd's death and the racial reckoning that swept the country. Tamron Hall and T.J. Holmes host this one-hour special from Minneapolis and are joined by ABC News chief justice correspondent Pierre Thomas, ABC News correspondent Janai Norman, NIGHTLINE co-anchor Byron Pitts and THE VIEW co-host Sunny Hostin. The special features in-depth interviews with Floyd's family, civil rights attorney Ben Crump, civil rights leader and founder and president of National Action Network Rev. Al Sharpton, Floyd's pastor and Resurrection Houston Lead Pastor Patrick P.T. Ngwolo, actor Kendrick Sampson, and a performance of "Other Side" by singer-songwriter Aloe Blacc and from poet MacArthur "Genius" Fellow Terrance Hayes.

To commemorate the inaugural time that Juneteenth is observed as a Federal Holiday, ABC premiered "Juneteenth: Together We Triumph" on Friday, June 18, 2021 from 9-11pm ET/PT. Leslie Odom Jr. guest hosts with performances by Jimmie Allen, Chloe of Chloe x Halle, Leon Bridges and H.E.R. This two-hour event presents an enriching evening of celebration and resilience in observance of Juneteenth, the holiday commemorating when the enslaved persons in Texas learned of their freedom
On Friday, September 17, 2021 from 8-9pm ET/PT, ABC premiered "Corazon De America: Celebrating Hispanic Culture," a one-hour special that celebrates diversity within Hispanic culture and identity in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Actor Benjamin Bratt and his brother Peter Bratt host and direct the one-hour special, respectively, telling the stories and celebrating the culture of the Hispanic community, keeping the importance of identity and pride at the forefront of the conversation. Sunny Hostin, Alex Perez, John Quinones, Stephanie Ramos, Cecilia Vega and Gio Benitez also lead the hour, which features an interview and performance by global Reggaeton superstar Ozuna. The special provides an understanding of the depth and beauty of the Hispanic community through stories focusing on civil rights, colorism, language, food, sports, music and more.