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‘American Masters’ Filmmakers On Historical Importance & Overlooked Contributions Of Black Performers – Guest Column

‘American Masters’ Filmmakers On Historical Importance & Overlooked Contributions Of Black Performers – Guest Column

Editor’s note: Yoruba Richen is the director and Mehret Mandefro and Lacey Schwartz Delgado are executive producers of American Masters: How It Feels to Be Free, a documentary that looks at the historical importance and overlooked contributions of Black performers. Focusing on Lena Horne, Abbey Lincoln, Nina Simone, Diahann Carroll, Cicely Tyson and Pam Grier, the docu — also executive produced by Alicia Keys — airs tonight on PBS in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Richen, Mandefro and Schwartz Delgado wrote this guest column for Deadline.

As we honor Martin Luther King Jr. this weekend and the nation prepares to inaugurate our 46th president, let us remember the Black women our Vice President-elect Kamala Harris described as “too often overlooked, but so often prove that they are the backbone of our democracy.” Specifically, let’s consider the all-too-often overlooked Black female performers, who have long used their art to

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