David Makes Man, OWN

Imagine pitching your passion project to a room filled with already-intimidating network executives and Oprah walks in, unexpectedly.

Nigga, what?!

That’s what acclaimed scribe Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight) experienced as he shuffled to gather his thoughts—and himself—together. But, in the same vein, he let it all hang out, which ultimately became the beauty of the story he was attempting to sell.

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“Oprah is royalty ... I’m reading this thing and I’m crying and I’m snotting and she goes, ‘That’s the best pitch I’ve ever heard,’” he recalled.

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From a OWN’s press release:

David Makes Man centers on a 14-year-old prodigy from the projects who is haunted by the death of his closest friend and relied on by his hardworking mother to find a way out of poverty. He must choose between the streets that raised him or the higher education that may offer him a way out. Set in South Florida, the series is inspired by events in McCraney’s own life and explores childhood trauma and the power of imagination to survive.

Not unlike Moonlight, David Makes Man is deeply ensconced in the grittiness of Miami and is born from McCraney’s personal life and heart. Witnessing the gorgeous images from the trailer, I’m fully expecting an emotionally wrought peek into the heart of a black boy, something we can’t ever get enough of.

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The cast and crew recently gathered at Sundance Film Festival and posted up at the black as fuck Blackhouse Foundation to discuss the series, naturally.

“When we looked at the spectrum of life, we wanted to show it as true as it is today, as it was then. There’s a lexicon of things in our [African American community] that need to be seen and talked about,” said McCraney.

David Makes Man is executive produced by McCraney, along with showrunner Dee Harris-Lawrence (Shots Fired, Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G.), Mike Kelley and Melissa Loy (via Page Fright), Michael B. Jordan (via Outlier Society Productions) and of course, Oprah herself. The upcoming series stars Akili McDowell, Alana Arenas, and the legendary Phylicia Rashad.

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“[In this series], we offer a view of humanity. The characters in this show, they’re not all like me…but, I [still] see myself in all of them because that’s what it means to be human,” noted Rashad.

David Makes Man is scheduled to premiere Summer 2019 on OWN.