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Photo Courtesy of Uzo Aduba

Uzo Aduba to Portray Shirley Chisholm In New FX Limited Television Series 'Mrs. America'

The Emmy-award winning actress will play the Civil Rights icon in an upcoming nine-part series about the Equal Rights Act.

Uzo Aduba is gearing up for a major role, as she's set to play the politician, author and first black woman to be elected to US Congress, Shirley Chisholm, in an upcoming limited series from FX, Shadow and Act reports.

The series, titled "Mrs America" will also star Cate Blanchett and will center on several American female figures and the fight to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, which proposed that civil rights not be determined on the basis of sex.

READ: 100 Women: Uzo Aduba Wants to Use Her Roles to Give a Voice to the Voiceless


Here's a description of the show from FX via Shadow & Act:

Mrs. America tells the story of the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), and the unexpected backlash led by a conservative woman named Phyllis Schlafly, played by Blanchett. Through the eyes of the women of that era - both Schlafly and second wave feminists Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, Bella Abzug and Jill Ruckelshaus - the series explores how one of the toughest battlegrounds in the culture wars of the 70s helped give rise to the Moral Majority and forever shifted our political landscape.

The series will also star Rose Byrne as Gloria Steinem, Ari Graynor as Brenda Feigen-Fasteau, Melanie Lynskey, who will play Rosemary Thomson, James Marsden as Phil Carne, Sarah Paulson as the fictional character Alice, and several other recognizable actors.

We spoke with the Emmy-winning actress, who was one of OkayAfrica's 2018 100 Women, last year. She spoke about understanding the sacrifices and struggles of those who came before us, of which we might add Chisholm, the first Black major-party candidate to run for president of the United States, is an obvious of.

"Whatever I think is hard is nowhere near what hard is. First solid lesson," she said. "Anything that I considered to be difficult, I don't have to reach that far back into my history and to my community stories to know what hard really looked like."

"Mrs America" will premiere as a 9-episode series on FX. The show's exact premiere date is yet to be announced, but we'll keep you posted as we learn more.

Op-Ed
Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images.

Black Women Are the Future of French Cinema—When Will Cannes Catch Up?

In this op-ed, OkayAfrica contributor Aude Konan reflects on the progression of diversity in French cinema a year after the Noire N'est Pas Mon Métier demonstration at Cannes Film Festival.

A year ago, 16 French actresses of African descent walked the red carpet at Cannes to talk about a new project they authored, Noire N'est Pas Mon Métier (Being Black Is Not My Job), where they shared their experiences with racism and sexism in the film industry.

In an era where the movements #MeToo and #OscarsSoWhite gained global momentum and led to some change in the Academy Awards, it was a first considering that outside of Aissa Maïga, French actresses seldom get any visibility and speaking out against racism put them at risk of being blacklisted, like the actor Luc Saint Eloi's unfortunate experience 20 years ago.

The red carpet moment was generally well received in France and in the rest of the world, with the main actresses getting large media coverage with features in Le Monde, Le Figaro and even Vogue U.S. The presidents of the Cannes Film Festival welcomed the actresses. No promises were made by any of the gatekeepers in French cinema, but the actresses were hopeful.

Since the book's release, the actresses have been busy working, some of them lucky enough to be able to portray fully fledged characters, others being reduced to play the "black woman" stereotype over and over again. Recently, one of them, Karidja Touré, well known for being in the film Girlhood, mentioned that she was pretty good at mimicking an "African accent." Semantics aside—and the fact that there is no such a thing as an African accent, as Africa is still not a country—it is pretty revealing: despite the wonderful coverage these actresses had, has the movement contributed to any change?

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Walshy Fire, Ice Prince & Demarco's 'Round of Applause' Will Soundtrack Your Summer

PREMIERE: New heat from the Major Lazer producer & DJ.

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Akwaeke Emezi's 'Freshwater' Is Being Developed Into a Series for FX

The adaptation is in early development as the Nigerian author teams up with screenwriter and director Tamara P. Carter to bring 'Freshwater' to life.

Akwaeke Emezi's debut, Freshwater, took the literary world by storm when it was released just last year.

We can now anticipate seeing the book be brought to live for TV. Their autobiographical novel is now in the early stages of being developed into a series for FX, Variety reports.

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