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The executive producer of WGN America’s Underground, the story of fugitive slaves fighting for freedom in the years before the Civil War, casts John Legend as none other than the legendary abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

Legend’s role as the social reformer is brief but gives Underground‘s heroes a taste of hard-won wisdom and will air on April 5th.

Because Frederick Douglass was one of the most photographed men of the 19th century Legend had plenty of visual cues to draw upon and said, “He understood the importance of strategy. He understood the power of image and of story to humanize the slaves and to show how evil the institution was. If it weren’t for him showing the human worth of slaves, we might not have seen abolition happen when it did.”



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