News Press Releases
Oprah Winfrey Hosts ‘Own Spotlight: Culture Connection & August 28th with Ava Duvernay & Rev. Al Sharpton’ Featuring Discussions Around This Moment in History & the Importance of Voting—
DuVernay’s Star-Studded Short-Form Film “August 28: A Day in the Life of a People” Featuring Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett, Don Cheadle, Regina King, David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Andre Holland, Michael Ealy, and Glynn Turman
LOS ANGELES – Continuing conversations surrounding issues impacting Black lives, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced today “OWN Spotlight: Culture Connection & August 28th, Ava DuVernay & Rev. Sharpton” to air Friday, August 28 at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET/PT on OWN and streaming for free on the Watch OWN app and the OWN Facebook and Youtube pages beginning at 2 p.m. ET. The special features Oprah Winfrey as she speaks separately with both acclaimed director Ava DuVernay and Rev. Al Sharpton regarding the historical context of August 28th and the significance of the upcoming election, along with a special presentation of DuVernay’s short film “August 28: A Day in the Life of a People.”
“This year, we have experienced the profound importance of learning and understanding the history of our country as it pertains to social justice,” said Oprah Winfrey, CEO of OWN. “Both Ava and Rev. Sharpton have been doing the work in their own ways to raise awareness for these issues, and I look forward to bringing my conversations with these leaders to our passionate OWN audience ahead of the upcoming election.”
During the special, Winfrey speaks with DuVernay about the work she is doing in support of social justice, how she uses history to inform her activism, and how imperative it is for everyone to vote in the upcoming election. Winfrey later discusses with Rev. Al Sharpton the connection of the upcoming ‘Get Off Our Necks’ Commitment March taking place on the same day as the historic March on Washington 57 years ago. Rev. Sharpton shares ways that everyone can show their support in this moment, reiterating his intention for the march is not about numbers but long-term impact.
The interviews bookend DuVernay’s scripted short-film entitled “August 28: A Day in the Life of a People,” starring Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett, Don Cheadle, Regina King, David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, André Holland, Michael Ealy, and Glynn Turman. DuVernay uses a robust combination of both documentary and narrative techniques to transport viewers through six stunning historical moments that all actually occurred on the same day – August 28th – in various years. Written, produced and directed by DuVernay, “August 28” traverses a century of black progress, protest, passion and perseverance of African American people. The project gives historical perspective within the creative framework of one date that has had a profound effect on America including the passing of The Slavery Abolition Act on August 28, 1833, the lynching of Emmett Till on August 28, 1955, the first radio airplay from Motown Records on August 28, 1961 with The Marvelettes “Please Mr. Postman,” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech during the massive March on Washington on August 28, 1963, Hurricane Katrina making its tragic landfall on August 28, 2005, and then-Senator Barack Obama’s acceptance of the Democratic nomination for the presidency on August 28, 2008. The film was lensed by cinematographer Malik Sayeed and edited by Oscar nominee Spencer Averick. Ten-time Grammy nominee Meshell Ndegeocello composed the score. Paul Garnes produced, with co-producers Tilane Jones and Tammy Garnes.
This special is part of OWN’s overall OWN YOUR VOTE initiative, a bipartisan registration and get-out-the-vote campaign partnering with national and local grassroots and voting rights organizations to provide tools and resources that will empower Black women to vote this November. Black women powerfully influence election outcomes and OWN YOUR VOTE supports this group of voters to show up to the polls and help friends, family, and their community to do the same. Winfrey recently shared that OWN will grant November 3rd as a company holiday to ensure all employees have the time to vote and volunteer. “I challenge other companies to do the same because this might be the most important election of our lives,” Winfrey said in her social post.
“OWN Spotlight: August 28th and March on Washington” is produced by OWN. The executive producers are Oprah Winfrey and Tara Montgomery.
About OWN Spotlight
“OWN Spotlight” presentations tackle issues and concerns facing Black lives. The programs feature candid and in-depth conversations that create real dialogues to inspire systematic change. Previous programs include the two-night special “Where Do We Go From Here?” that simulcast across the Discovery family of networks featuring Oprah and Black thought leaders discussing the current state of racism America; “Oprah and 100 Black Fathers” sharing the urgency of having “the talk” with their children and the dreams they have for the future of their families; “COVID-19: The Deadly Impact on Black America” that investigated the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Black communities; “Oprah At Home with Lupita Nyong’o and Cynthia Erivo,” which examined colorism in Hollywood; “Oprah and Alicia Keys – The Interview” discussing Alicia Keys’ new memoir “More Myself;” “When They See Us Now” featuring Oprah in conversation with award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay and the cast from the acclaimed series “When They See Us” along with real men formerly known as the Central Park Five; and the follow-up documentary from D. Channsin Berry “Dark Girls 2” exploring the prejudices darker-skinned women face around the world.
ARRAY is a multi-platform media company and arts collective based in Los Angeles. Founded in 2012 by filmmaker Ava DuVernay, the company currently operates a trio of branded entertainment entities: ARRAY Releasing, ARRAY Filmworks and ARRAY Creative Campus in partnership with the non-profit cinema and social justice organization ARRAY Alliance. www.arraynow.com.