Actor Michael Kenneth Williams explores the hope and resilience of the Black community throughout history as the guest host. Williams, ABC News’ Linsey Davis, Sunny Hostin, Steve Osunsami, Rachel Scott and Pierre Thomas lead the hour which features an interview with and performance by singer Andra Day. The episode looks back at the Tulsa Race Massacre nearly 100 years later, features the unseen Black men who have been sentenced to death row and examines the racial reckoning in present-day America which some call “the third reconstruction.”
This hour includes the following stories and conversations:
• Nearly 100 years after angry mobs destroyed Tulsa, Oklahoma’s “Black Wall Street,” search crews have discovered a dozen coffins in an unmarked grave and believe there could be dozens more. Osunsami takes a closer look at the push to find and identify the victims of the Tulsa Race Massacre and the controversy surrounding the efforts to render justice for those who died and their descendants. He speaks with Joi McCondichie and Kristi Williams, descendants of massacre survivors, and the piece also features Tulsa mayor G.T. Bynum. Osunsami’s reporting on the massacre is also featured in ABC Audio’s new podcast, “Soul of a Nation: Tulsa’s Buried Truth.”
• Andra Day sits down with Davis for a wide-ranging conversation where they discuss “imposter syndrome,” the power of Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit,” the roots of Day’s song “Rise Up,” and how Holiday’s playfulness and joy emerged in times of great stress. Day also gives a special performance of her new song, “Tigress & Tweed.”
• Thomas brings viewers the untold stories of the unseen Black men and women whose lives have been impacted by the criminal justice system after they and their loved ones were sentenced to death row. He interviews Pamela Woods, sister of Nathaniel Woods who died by lethal injection; Anthony Ray Hinton who spent decades on death row for a crime he didn’t commit and was exonerated in 2015; Callie Greer who advocated for the life of the man who was accused of murdering her child Mercury Colley; and Equal Justice Initiative Founder/Executive Director Bryan Stevenson.
• Hostin moderates this week’s “In the Kitchen,” with Janaya Future Khan, Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad and D. Watkins to discuss what it will take for Black people to truly gain equality.
• Scott travels to Louisiana where she discovers the stories of progress among freed Black people during the Reconstruction era, drawing parallels to present day. She speaks with Dr. Robert Perry, the great-grandson of Pierre Caliste Landry, America’s first Black mayor and Brian K. Mitchell, the great-great-grandnephew of Oscar Dunn, America’s first Black lieutenant governor.
• Boston Globe columnist Jeneé Osterheldt contributes a piece on the racial reckoning that took place in the past year.