Shonda Rhimes, Dee Rees Will Produce The Warmth of Other Suns

Shondaland is taking a ride to cable TV, dropping off a dynamic team of women. Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers are collaborating on a limited series adaptation of Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns. The dynamic writers and producers responsible for hit shows like ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder are collaborating with writer/director Dee Rees on the project. Rees is known for her work on Pariah and the upcoming Bessie Smith biopic, Bessie on HBO.

FX will debut the drama, revolving around the rise of the early Great Migration where millions of blacks fled from the Jim Crow South for great chances at survival in the North and West, leaving behind family and the life they once knew. The New York Times Best Seller documents the period that stretched from 1915 to 1970. After 15 years of writing and collection research, the 622-page book paid off. Wilkerson won a Pulitzer Prize in 1994, making her the first black woman ever to win the honor. The Warmth of Other Sun has also won the National Book Award for nonfiction.

Black History extends well beyond February. HTGAWM star Viola Davis is set to star in a Harriet Tubman biopic for HBO. Jurnee Smollett-Bell will appear in Underground, a WGN production about Tubman’s journey to freeing slaves. Who better to tell our story than those who know it best? What an exciting time for black women screenwriters.

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