The film was for The 1619 Project, a major initiative from the Times that challenged what we know to be true about America’s history of slavery and how it impacts the world we live in today.

Directed by Jenn Nkiru, the film was shot in Point Comfort, Virginia, the actual place where the first ship carrying enslaved Africans arrived nearly 400 years ago. It features Janelle Monae reciting the project’s introduction.

The film aired during the 2020 Academy Awards, a time when black representation in film was still lacking.