Washington D.C. -- WGN America’s critically acclaimed original series “Underground,” which tells the unflinching story of some of America’s valiant heroes—enslaved people who risked their lives to reach freedom—made history Monday when it became the inaugural public program presented at the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) following its historic grand opening, and the first public program held in the Oprah Winfrey Theater.
Hundreds of museum visitors gathered to watch one of “Underground’s” most poignant episodes from its freshman season entitled “Cradle,” which shines a light on the lives of the four child characters – James (Maceo Smedley III), T.R. (Tobias Nichols), Boo (Darielle Stewart) and Henry (Renwick Scott) – who, through very personal circumstances, transition from the innocence of their childhood to the harsh realities of growing up and experiencing the real world and its racial, class and age challenges.
Peter Liguori, President and CEO of Tribune Media Company, who introduced the “Underground” screening said of the new museum, “This building is testimony to the fact that the African American story is a central part of the American story.” He added, “This soaring structure is a symbol of perseverance…of over-coming…of true character tested and revealed. The people, the heroes featured in these exhibits, and the untold millions not named here, earned this museum its tribute.”