In “The Book of Negroes” miniseries, which is coming to BET next month, Aunjanue Ellis & Lyriq Bent play Aminata (the story’s protagonist) and Chekura, two slaves who meet each other under the direst circumstances, but still manage to find love.
Canada’s CBC Connects (the series has already begun airing in that country) caught up with the 2 stars to find out what attracted each of them to the story and their individual characters, as well as how they developed their on-screen chemistry, during the miniseries’ shoot.
BET launches its first-ever event miniseries “The Book of Negroes,” a six-part historical drama in the tradition of “Roots,” based on Lawrence Hill’s award-winning, Oprah Winfrey-listed novel (known in the United States as “Someone Knows My Name”). The highly anticipated television event will run over the course of three consecutive nights in two-hour installments, starting Monday, February 16, 2015 at 8 PM ET/PT.
Director Clement Virgo’s adaptation stars Aunjanue Ellis as Aminata Diallo, abducted as an 11-year-old child from her village in Sierra Leone (West Africa), is sent to live as a slave in South Carolina, and years later, forges her way to freedom, serving the British in the Revolutionary War and registering her name in the historic “Book of Negroes” – an actual document that provides a short but immensely revealing record of freed Loyalist slaves who requested permission to leave the US for resettlement in Nova Scotia, only to find that the haven they sought was steeped in an oppression all of its own.
Watch the 3-minute CBC clip, featuring Ellis and Bent in conversation; scattered throughout the clip you’ll find lots of new footage not seen in the trailer: