August 28: A Day in the Life of a People needs to be a perennial feature on OWN, and a play done across the nation during Black History Month.

Director(s) Ava DuVernay
Screenplay By Ava DuVernay
Date Released (On OWN) 8/28/2018
Genre(s) Historical
Good If You Like African American History
Noted Cast
Unnamed Lupita Nyong’o
Unnamed Angela Bassett


Through 6 stories, all taking place on August 28th, we go through the lows and highs of African American history. Whether it is the death of Emmett Till or Hurricane Katrina or the highs of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech or Barack Obama accepting the nomination to be the candidate for the Democrats. The day is etched in more history than many have known and thanks to DuVernay, it is put into the zeitgeist.


It Is A Short Which Could Become A Play

With each part beginning as a monologue, then morphing into a poem, you see the layout of a play. One which, during Black history month, you can imagine kids and teens performing, one by one, as they take note of what Black culture has been crafted by.

You Can Imagine It Expanded

Though each segment is built off a poem or essay, you can easily imagine more coming from each moment. Whether it is Lupita Nyong’o’s “On the Pulse of Morning” segment or the Angela Basset feature of “Dust Tracks on a Road” at the Martin Luther King Jr. speech, each segment doesn’t just tip its hat to a moment but a story to be told. One that, arguably, for damn near each segment, hasn’t been done justice at the cinema or on television yet.

Overall: Positive (Worth Seeing)

August 28: A Day in the Life of a People is but another example of how Ava DuVernay, in a rather short term, has found a pedestal amongst Spike Lee, John Singleton and more. For while a great director and writer overall, who stands above many a peer, there is a need to note what her work means to Black culture and how she produces more than entertainment but pieces which will live eternally and be referenced for eons to come.

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