Parents' Guide to

Soul of a Nation

By Marina Gordon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Raw but uplifting series on Black life, culture in America.

TV ABC Reality TV 2021
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This exploration and celebration of the Black American experience -- both in history and in 2021 -- feels nourishing and welcome, like a time capsule that viewers won't want to open just once. Over six episodes the series delves into current events, contextualizes pop culture and entertainment trends, and showcases such popular performers as John Legend and H.E.R. It's the brainchild of Marie Nelson, an ABC executive who remembers when it was rare to see a Black person on television, much less when they could honestly tell their own stories. The show strikes a good balance of tackling tough issues (reparations, racism) and digging into lighter fare (e.g., sneaker culture).

Soul of a Nation draws from many branches of the ABC/Disney "family": ABC News, ABC Entertainment, and ESPN are represented in the first episode. The corporate synergy on display here can feel a little forced -- for example in "In the Kitchen" (which takes place in a living room-like set, oddly), where The View host Sunny Hostin engages actors and activists alike to share their experiences. Overall though, Soul of a Nation is high-profile opportunity for ABC News to showcase its Black correspondents, cover important stories in some depth, and give all viewers food for thought and entertainment on the same plate.

TV Details

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