Black history is American history, so no one should blink an eye when a black woman’s face represents Mrs. America. And no, I’m not talking about the long-running pageant—though we’re the face of that, too—I’m talking about the upcoming FX series.
According to a press release provided by FX:
Mrs. America tells the story of the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), and the unexpected backlash led by a conservative woman named Phyllis Schlafly, played by [Cate] Blanchett. Through the eyes of the women of that era—both Schlafly and second wave feminists Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, Bella Abzug and Jill Ruckelshaus—the series explores how one of the toughest battlegrounds in the culture wars of the 70s helped give rise to the Moral Majority and forever shifted our political landscape.
Mrs. America comes from Emmy-winning producer Dahvi Waller and is executive produced by Waller, Stacey Sher, Coco Francini, Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, and Blanchett. Boden and Fleck, who co-wrote and directed Captain Marvel, will direct the first two episodes of the series—fitting, given the series’ feminist slant.
Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected into U.S. Congress, who represented New York’s 12th congressional district from 1969 to 1983, will be portrayed in the series by none other than Uzo Aduba.
Though Hillary Clinton is touted as the women’s pioneer in politics, it was Chisholm who truly paved the way. Not only was she the first black candidate to run on a major-party ticket for the President of the United States (1972), she was the first woman to run on the Democratic presidential platform.
Aduba is also used to making history in her respective field, having won the SAG Award for Best Actress in Comedy (2015 and 2016), Best Ensemble in a Comedy (2015, 2016, 2017) and Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (2015) and Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy (2014) for her role as Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren in Netflix’s Orange is the New Black. Aduba is only one of two people who have won Emmys for the same role in both comedy and drama categories, joining Ed Asner.
As far as film, it was announced in November 2018 that Viola Davis will also be taking on the role of Chisholm. So, we have at least two major projects to look forward to when it comes to honoring this historic leader in politics.
Mrs. America will premiere on FX as a nine-episode series in 2020.