AUP. Ep. 40: The Gilded Age


Transcribed: Cameron Blackwell

Completed: 2/18/22

Cortney Wills: [00:00:04] Hello and welcome to Acting Up the podcast that dives deep into the world of TV and film that highlights our people, our culture and our stories. I’m your host, Cortney Wills, Entertainment Director at theGrio, and this week we’re getting into the Gilded Age. The Gilded Age is HBO’s latest original drama series created, executive produced and co-written by Julian Fellowes, who is the mastermind behind the smash series Downton Abbey. The show that earned sixty nine Emmy noms and fifteen wins over its six seasons. The show stars Meryl Streep’s daughter, Loiza Jacobson as Marian Brook and Denée Benton as Peggy Scott, who portrays an aspiring writer who reminds me a lot of what I imagine Ida B. Wells would have been like in real life. Her mother, Dorothy, is played by the incredible Audra McDonald, and the cast is full of all-stars from the film world, the theater world. It’s a real collection of talents. So often projects set in this time focus on what was happening to us in the South and imagery from newly emancipated slaves figuring things out and struggling and of course, tons of trauma. But rarely do we see what was happening further north in places like New York after Black men were given the right to vote. I mean, Black men were participating in politics, running for public office, getting those seats and making some real progress before it all came crashing down again. And so I think that this show really hooked me because I was looking at Black people that I’ve never seen on screen before. We get some insight into the Black elite and the kind of wealth that they were able to accumulate and the kind of careers that they were able to pursue. And Peggy, my goodness, Peggy Scott, this character is so full of conviction and confidence, and those aren’t traits that we usually get to see Black women of this time possess. I couldn’t wait to sit down with Audra McDonald to find out what attracted to her to this role as Peggy’s mother, Dorothy, and get her thoughts on this new world of representation. Hi, Audra. [00:02:36][151.7]

Audra McDonald: [00:02:37] Hi. [00:02:37][0.0]

Cortney Wills: [00:02:39] I think that one thing that really is sticking with me about your character is that I’ve never seen this Black woman. I’ve never seen this Black woman at this time. You know, in our country’s history, any representation that I have through studies or on screen is telling of a very different story. It is usually slaves or people just coming out of slavery and people, you know, trying to survive in the Jim Crow South. But this is this is the North, and I never knew that these I knew that they existed, but I’ve never even conceived of what their journey might have been like. And so I wonder where you were with that in coming to the project, like where were you in your understanding of this kind of Black woman? [00:03:25][46.1]

Audra McDonald: [00:03:25] Well, I knew, you know, that the Black elite existed and there was this whole community of middle class and, you know, upper middle class as far as society would let Blacks go in in New York during this time, you know, because people forget that during reconstruction with, you know, with the constitutional amendments giving the emancipation in the end of slavery and Black men the right to vote and hold office, formerly enslaved people made big strides very quickly and then the resentment started to happen. And Plessy vs. Ferguson happened. And then, you know, Jim Crow came into full effect and it just it was all ripped away very quickly. But there was a lot that was done during this time and also because we were still even in the north, still somewhat segregated in terms of where we could live in, like New York City, what areas, you know, Blacks were allowed to live, you know, especially after the draft riots, when so many people were tortured and killed. Black communities of all the resentment that was happening, you know, Blacks had their own communities, you know, in Brooklyn and what was called the Tenderloin at the time. And this is all pre Harlem Renaissance. So they needed to have businesses to serve their own communities. And so that’s how you ended up with pharmacists and Black pharmacists and dentists and doctors and undertakers and lawyers and all that because they had to have- we needed all these things to serve our own communities, our own thriving communities, and there was a social structure that existed within that and Black women in that time, especially with Black Elite, because we were all and I think we also experience this to some degree. You know, you represent the entire race when you walk out the door and you’ve got all your ancestors that you’re standing on. And then you have anybody that’s coming after you that you have to do the right thing so that they can come after you so that the door doesn’t get slammed in their face. So the pressure to sort of police each other in terms of like what was moral and what was right and all that was very, very strong and that was left to the Black women to, you know, to create societies within that to make sure that any wayward women or women who might be considering life that’s a little unsavory. We bring you in to the churches we bring you in to live in our homes. If you need a place to have all of that, we had to police our own in a way, and I hate using that word, but that’s kind of what went on during that time. But regardless, there was a whole world that existed, and it’s so easy to erase, I think, because basically, who’s telling the stories, you know, who gets to tell the story? So what I love is that Julian Fellowes, along with Sonja Warfield and we have an incredible Black historian and author, Professor Erica Dunbar, incredible. That is our co-executive producer. And then you have Salli Whitfield, who is is our one of our executive producers and directed many of the episodes as well. You have these Black voices that are helping to tell the story and then you have Black people on the other side presenting this story. So we’re getting some of these characters are hybrids or composites based on people that actually existed. But we’re getting to see this world that did exist. And so this is a way to educate people. And I got drawn to it because I knew the show is happening. I was a big fan of Downton Abbey and I love I love period dramas and I love all that stuff. So when I heard that, you know, there was interest in me for the roles, I was very concerned. I was like, Oh gosh, well, what’s it going to be? You know, I’m very picky now about what I’m doing because I and I’m not passing judgment on anybody for anything they choose to do. But for me, I want to make sure that I just didn’t want to perpetuate a tired old stereotype that we might have seen way too many times at this point. So I was very nervous. And I read that first script that my character was involved in, and I was like, Oh, what? Yes, yes, please. Yes, let’s tell this story with all of its intricacies and all of its mess, and all of you know there is a bit of glory in it. There’s realism and this is a family dynamic and it’s, you know, you know, the Black woman in this story. You know, Peggy, who’s this incredible sort of like Ida B. Wells sort of like prototype Peggy Scott. And then, you know, Peggy’s mom is someone who is trying to protect this family and trying to protect their legacy and trying to protect her race and and at the same time wants to uplift her daughter and just the intricacies of that was just fascinating to me, and it’s it is a part of the Black experience. And why not- why not finally show that especially in this day and age when people are trying to erase, erase, erase. Let’s get rid of critical race theory. Because what? Because we don’t want to know our history? I’m sorry. You know, so for me, it’s like, all right, this is a way to maybe educate some people. [00:08:14][288.5]

Cortney Wills: [00:08:14] Yes, and that’s what it feels like. This series, yeah, exactly. It feels like a bit of an education, and it feels like it’s just filling in holes that I kind of put a pin in, you know, at different points in my life and career. Maybe, you know, maybe I learned a little something about the Black elite, you know, in college, you know, in my AFAM class. And and then maybe I think about it again when I see a certain project or, you know, rub up against for me now it’s you know, what about the stories about the wealthy Black folks now, you know, and where does that fit when so many of our cultural and social issues have to do with money? You know, and now some of us have some. And now that presents a new set of tension and barriers and conflict, right? But thinking about the fact that even that is not like, you know, that is not a new thing that came because of all of this progress, you know, in recent years, this was a thing from from from the outset, right when we got out of slavery. And I think there’s a lot to learn from that and to see this family navigating that and this woman, Dorothy In particular, navigating that with just being a woman, let alone a Black woman, but a woman, because we see her at least considering and making choices, it seems, are watching her words out of concern for her husband or her obligation to her husband. You know, when we see her kind of in the middle between her husband and her daughter, who is certainly like you said, Ida B. Wells kind of prototype revolutionary pushing the envelope. And that’s not new either. That’s very relatable even now. [00:09:57][102.7]

Audra McDonald: [00:09:58] But it’s I have to say, I think it’s new on- I mean, yes, the story isn’t new, but that we’re seeing that. I mean, we’re seeing this era. I mean, even in itself, just the era. But then saying, yeah, and Black people were there, too. Mm hmm. And they weren’t just enslaved or, you know, they weren’t just like, Yes, ma’a,, they have to take your coat for you, ma’am. I mean, no, there was a whole life. And what I love about what’s what they’re doing with the Gilded Age is that they’re bringing, you know, like their main heroine. They bring Marian Brooks in twice. You’ve seen that. I haven’t seen all the episodes either, but I know the episodes that I shot bringing her into Black space. Yeah. And putting her under Black gaze, which you know we’re so used to being seeing, even in a way portrayed- portrayed so much in film and television. You see Blacks go into white space and existing under the white gaze, but to have it turned on its head and then the audience becomes the white person in that Black space. Mm hmm. What Marian is seeing, and I think played by Loiza Jacobson, she’s amazing. I think it’s so important to see that and to experience that. Even if somebody says, what, what is this? What is going on? And then then turns to a history book afterwards, or leave just Google’s Blacks during the Gilded Age, just to see what they called the gilded era. Just to see what they come up with is that then I think a lot of the jobs will have been done. [00:11:23][85.9]

Cortney Wills: [00:11:24] I think so too, and it is empowering. It was empowering. I know exactly what episode you’re talking about the first time that Marian drops by this home unexpected. And what happened is not what I expected to happen. I mean, it was like. How dare you? Yeah, and like you are, you know, how dare you stop by and announce, how dare you be so informal to us? Like, I felt like you were going to say, who raised you? [00:11:52][28.5]

Audra McDonald: [00:11:54] Right [00:11:54][0.0]

Cortney Wills: [00:11:55] To the white girl and then your daughter lets her have it like, ma’am, you do not know me. Like, please just check her right there. Like, don’t act like we are real friends. And the fact that she had that agency there in that time, it was empowering and it was it was jolting. And the pride that your character not pride, but the recognition that your character has of where you are of Brooklyn being this place where you can walk in the front door and not the back door like recognizing in the moment that it was special, you never see Black people portrayed as being that present in the moment. They’re always reacting, they’re always surviving. They’re always like making the best out of where they are, but kind of being able to acknowledge and revel in the fact that we are where we want to be, where we’re supposed to be, where we’re empowered to be, where we have some control. And in kind of taking that power and wielding it, we’ve never seen that shit before. It was amazing. [00:12:55][59.9]

Audra McDonald: [00:12:56] Yeah, yeah, no. I mean, I have to say when I when they first approached me and I was like, Well, what is it going to be one of the first scenes they gave me, because, you know, if you have to be very careful and secretive about who sees what? But one of the first scenes they gave me the like just to sort of take a look at what Dorothy’s character’s like. We want you to read this scene, and it was that luncheon scene and I was like, Oh yeah, oh yeah, I want this. So that’s why I jumped at it. [00:13:21][24.9]

Cortney Wills: [00:13:21] Do you think that Dorothy, you know, we see that she’s a bit of a controlling mom or, you know, this family has high expectations for their daughter. And we know upward mobility and being elite, and all of that is is hugely at play here. But how much of it is that and how much of it is wanting to be able to protect your daughter? [00:13:43][21.5]

Audra McDonald: [00:13:43] Oh, it’s all about protecting her. All of it is about protecting her. You want to think about the fact that in that day and age, post-draft riots post slavery, post-Civil War and even to this day, there is still the awful, dangerous racist trope about Black women that they are sexually promiscuous and sexual beings. So even my daughter’s physical being is in danger in her being where she is because she’s up on the Upper East Side, Fifth Avenue, living in this white house where I don’t know what could happen to her. She could be raped by anybody in that household or around the area, and nothing would, and it would be it wouldn’t even be considered a crime. So this is all about getting her trying to get Peggy to come back down, to be a part of Brooklyn, where she can have a life, she can walk in the front door, she can have a career, she can have a husband, she can have dignity. She could be a part of that society is to protect her and to protect her family. I mean, that’s that she’s that’s her only child, which also I have some ideas about back story in my mind. You know, when you play a character, you want to try and fill in their backstory as much as you can. That’s odd for a Black woman, you know, in that time to have only had one child. So I think this is probably her only surviving child. So my guess is that Dorothy is extremely protective, and Arthur, I imagine, we will explore this at some point. But Arthur was formerly enslaved. So Arthur is a former slave who has come as far as he has. So that’s what that’s happened with Peggy’s father. So they are very much always operating under the fact that there is danger everywhere. And so we are doing everything we can to protect ours and to protect our future generations and us again. We’ve got the ancestors saying, you’re on our shoulders, we’ve gotten this far and that we got everybody in front of us that are coming after us that we are responsible for. Yeah, as a as a culture and a community. So it’s all about protection for her. I mean, yeah, the eliteism is there, but it’s about protecting her daughter. [00:15:42][119.1]

Cortney Wills: [00:15:43] And I think that’s really I think that’s really authentic, like accurate. But I also think it’s really important because how easy it is or could be to misread all of it as she’s just uppity. She just thinks her daughter’s too good to work in a white woman’s house. That’s for the, you know, that’s for the poor Blacks, that’s for the other Blacks, that’s for the lesser Blacks. And there you go, planting the seeds of separation among us, right? Like if you some people really would think that that Dorothy’s husband already forgot where he came from and is just operating out of a place of wanting to be better than an elite. And it’s like, how could you ever say that? Like, you could never forget where you comes and how you go about navigating that and maybe warding that off to the extent that you can? Your methods for doing that might be different, but the intention, of course, is the same. It it’s fear and. It is wanting to protect your family and your future generation, the way that you know how, and we don’t all know how in the same way. And I think that that’s going to be your stance to be really powerful because I do, like I said earlier, I think we’re still struggling with that as a community and as a people. Now that that divisiveness and that, you know, kind of pulling someone’s Black card or questioning how authentic or how down they could be because they might have risen to a certain level of success, that’s a poison, too. And I think that has a lot to do with erasing this part of our history is because that didn’t always fit with the narrative that, you know, applied to most people. And that said, you know, you know, they’re the exception to the rule. And when you’re trying to prove the rule, you don’t want to give anybody the exceptions. And now we’re in a place where we can look at them and say we have ties to those people too, and we have things to reflect on from those kinds of people, too. And I think that’s so important. I’m so grateful for you all for giving us a representation of that. [00:17:51][128.7]

Audra McDonald: [00:17:52] Absolutely. No, I’m so excited by what- and you know what what’s to come you know, with these characters and just to open, you know, open people’s eyes to this part of history and you have to and you also you think about, you know, you could see Dorothy is uppity or you could see Arthur is forgetting where they’re from. But, emancipate this, you know, the Gilded Age or where our story takes place within the Gilded Age, I think we’re starting in like the 1880s. OK, so emancipation was when 1863 and when was it finally ratified or part of the Constitution 1865? This is I mean, that’s as. I mean, you know, you’re saying how long ago you and I met? It’s about that long ago. OK, so we’re not even a generation away from it. So you have to understand that that is the context with which, you know, all of the Black people are moving through society at this particular moment in time. And if you’re moving in through that society in the North with reconstruction and that resentment, that’s starting to happen, the white resentment that’s starting to happen, the fact that Southerners who were formerly elite that were part of the Confederacy are starting to be accepted back. You know, Blacks are seeing that and starting, and lynchings are starting to happen and the Jim Crow is starting to creep in all at this moment and reconstruction is starting to go down. We are closing ranks trying to get as much education, as much money, as much as as quickly as possible, because I think they could see at this point start to have the rumblings of we got to protect our own and move as quickly as we can to get as far as we can. And here we are, 2022 still fighting poll taxes in their own special way now. You know, however they call it. [00:19:33][100.8]

Cortney Wills: [00:19:34] Yep. How much it changes and how much stays the same, right? [00:19:36][1.7]

Audra McDonald: [00:19:37] Exactly. [00:19:37][0.0]

Cortney Wills: [00:19:37] Well, thank you so much. I could talk to you about this for so much longer, but I have to let you go. But this is a real pleasure, and I love your work on this series and beyond. So thanks so much. [00:19:47][9.5]

Audra McDonald: [00:19:47] Thank you. Thank you so much, Cortney. Nice to see you again. [00:19:49][2.1]

Cortney Wills: [00:19:50] Take care. Audra mentioned Erica Dunbar, and she’s our next guest on Acting Up. Dr. Erica Dunbar signed on as a historical consultant for the project and ended up being a co-executive producer as well. I’m so glad that she will be joining us on today’s episode of Acting Up. She’s the author of A Fragile Freedom, African-American Women in Emancipation in the Antebellum City and Never Caught the Washington’s Relentless Pursuit of their Runaway Slave Ona Judge. She had a lot to do with this world that we’re finally getting to see in this series that offers some insight about what the Black experience was like in the North. Post-slavery thanks so much for joining me Erica. [00:20:36][46.7]

Dr. Erica Dunbar: [00:20:39] Hi Cortney, good to meet you. [00:20:39][0.1]

Cortney Wills: [00:20:39] The Gilded Age is offering me a glimpse of Black folks like I’ve never seen before. I mean, when I think of that time period and I think about Black Americans, I think about Jim Crow and I think about nooses and trauma, and I don’t really have anywhere to file this kind of Black family that we’re getting to meet on the Gilded Age. I know that you had a lot to do with the way that they are being portrayed. So talk to me about even where do we start with that? Like, why haven’t we seen these people? Where have they been and where in history do you start to look to find them? [00:21:15][35.2]

Dr. Erica Dunbar: [00:21:15] Yeah. I’m so glad you started the conversation the way you have, because, you know, in my mind, this is exactly what we need to see. We need to be introduced to. While it’s is a fictional show, it’s based on real people like T. Thomas Fortune and others. And the fact that, yes, there was a Black elite in the 1880s in New York. And when we like you said, you think about what are the representations that we’re accustomed to in television and film, and I’d argue, you know, we move from like the Civil War to, I don’t know, the Harlem Renaissance or maybe the hardening of the color line and segregation, the formalization of segregation, the 1890s. So what happens in that period in between and I think it’s really sort of we get to see through the Scott’s that we’re a generation or two removed from slavery and they’re folks who are living a life who are living, who are loving, who are worshiping, who are attempting to build wealth all within the indignities of racism around them. So how do they maneuver? How do they live? How does a young woman like Peggy even think that she has the right to be in a space where she can become a professional, where she can make decisions about her life in a world that has been confined because of her race and her gender? And so to me, this is just a great opportunity to reimagine this moment when we teach scholars, teach the Gilded Age, Black scholars when we’re teaching Black History, we don’t typically refer to it as the Gilded Age. We think about it as the nadir and race relations right. Its lowest point when lynching and what have you is happening, and all of that is indeed happening, and we see the erasure of any of the benefits and progress that came supposedly with reconstruction. But there’s also something else that’s happening here. And when we think about people like T. Thomas Fortune and create the globe who are writing the most well, read News Black newspaper at the time. Yes, Black folks are reading the newspaper yes they’re getting news. Yes, they’re thinking about politics. They’re thinking about themselves as Republicans at that time. And Peggy is a part of that world. And so this is. It’s a great opportunity to open up the public imagination about Black life in the late 19th century. [00:23:38][142.7]

Cortney Wills: [00:23:39] Yes. What were some of the resources that you tapped into to inform the way that these characters were shaped and what they did and what they thought? [00:23:46][7.5]

Dr. Erica Dunbar: [00:23:47] I’m fortunate because I study the 19th century, so I actually have read the New York Globe, which was, you know, which everybody was reading at that time. But really, it’s working with some of the cast, giving them suggestions about books, secondary sources, books that they should read. Black Gotham was kind of at the top of my list because it’s a book about family history during this time period in Brooklyn. It helps people understand why are- how do Black folks get to Brooklyn? Why are they living there? Like, where are they living? And in addition to the wonderful resources of New York, I always turn to the Schomburg and the New York Public Library and think about the photography, the images that we actually have available to picture, not just sort of where people were living, but their clothing the the way they are still reimagining themselves just 15 or so years after emancipation, national emancipation, all of that’s important. So those were some of the resources or source material that I used working with both reading scripts and thinking about story, but also interacting with with talent. [00:24:59][72.3]

Cortney Wills: [00:25:01] You know, it’s interesting because on television right now we’re kind of just scratching the surface of seeing Black wealth in any form really explored or represented. Whether you’re talking about, you know, Kenya Barris and Black A&F or you’re talking about our kind of people or OWN’s new show, the Kings of Napa, like we’re seeing those representations start to pick out, but even those are like new money. Right. There’s no Succession happening around a Black family. And if you ask me right now, of course, I know a ton of very affluent, very wealthy Black families, but I can’t trace them, you know, I have no idea how they started. Are there any that started back then? Is that who we’re looking at here? [00:25:44][43.3]

Dr. Erica Dunbar: [00:25:45] I think we are, you know, we’re we’re looking at in some ways beyond the sort of 15 years after the end of slavery. This is where this is the pinnacle of Black wealth, this is. And I think what’s so important and is something that we can trace throughout the 19th, the 20th and into the 21st century is the fragility of Black wealth, right. So when you watch Succession, you’re not really worried that they’re going to lose all their money, or maybe you kind of wish they lose all their money. Right? That you sort of know in the back of your mind, no matter what happens, no matter who’s running the company, that these folks are set up for the rest of their lives. And we think about Black. Well, it’s the exact opposite, right? It is. You are one illness, one death of a father or mother away from poverty. Right. And so and the energy and we see this with with Peggy’s family, the energy that goes into not just a building wealth, but maintaining it right? And how you do that and a moment in time when you are still expected to get off the sidewalk when somebody walks by or you can’t catch a carriage in New York like these, you know the things that we still that resonate today that Black wealth is is a project and has the same kinds of hurdles. We haven’t seen those hurdles disappear. And yet the dignity right, the dignity, the the respectability politics as well are on full display in the Gilded Age. [00:27:27][101.4]

Cortney Wills: [00:27:27] Yes. But my question for you is how would this family and how did this family relate to or view, you know, the less fortunate Black population, the ones who are working as maids, the ones who are scrubbing floors, the ones who are running from nooses? Is it like we have to up, you know, we are part of them and we made it out and we’ve got to do better? Or is it like what? Don’t confuse us with those, you know, like with those people, we are better than them. [00:27:58][30.6]

Dr. Erica Dunbar: [00:27:58] Yeah, there’s definitely a measure of respectability politics that we see throughout the Black elite, right? The desire to be separate and apart from the Scott’s themselves have a maid who’s a part of- who is serving them right? Yeah. And so there is a clear desire to be considered elite, wealthy, above, right? So that that goes across racial lines. I think the difference, of course, is when we think about someone like Peggy’s father when we know where he came from and that his background will never allow him to forget those who have less. Right? But he’s also very aware once again about the fragility of their wealth. So part of it is also a barrier trying to kind of protect wealth in addition- and status, not just wealth, but status, right? In order to separate and distance themselves from a past that was uncomfortable at best, but humiliating for most. [00:29:09][70.2]

Cortney Wills: [00:29:09] Are their family is now that we can trace back, right? We can say Rockefellers and Vanderbilts, and you know, so many names that are recognizable. Are there Black families that we can trace back to this time? You know, from now. [00:29:22][13.4]

Dr. Erica Dunbar: [00:29:24] Most certainly, and I think I think this is OK to say that, you know, one of the books that that Julian Fellowes was enamored by is a book called Black Gotham, and it is a family history that traces the life of Philip White, who was a pharmacist, a druggist. He lived in Brooklyn. He had this kind of family and traces it up to, you know, his his, I guess it’s his great great niece it’s a friend of mine who’s a professor. There are tools now that allow us to trace lineage in a way that, you know, we we turn on PBS and we see it right with Henry Louis Gates or whomever. But most definitely, there’s a way to track those families, whether or not the wealth lived, survived. That’s a different question because many folks lost their wealth as Jim Crow segregation became codified by federal law. We see, you know, we we know that story. And so while it’s easier while we can trace those families, the wealth is, is, is a different story. [00:30:31][67.9]

Cortney Wills: [00:30:32] There is not one that sticks out in your mind like the Black Rockefellers are blank. No? [00:30:38][6.2]

Dr. Erica Dunbar: [00:30:40] I’m. I’m going to stick with Phillip White, although he we can’t compare Black Rock- there were no Black Rockefellers. When we talk about the Black elite, the amount of money that they had could not compare to the Astors right? — compare to the fictional characters of George and Bertha Russell. No these are two different. It’s apples and oranges. But what we’re getting into the world of orange is of Black folks. The money, it’s all relative. The money that they have far surpasses the majority of Black people across the nation. Whether they are still, they are still picking cotton in the south or they are in service in as domestics, which most Black women were doing in the 19th century in New York, and their feelings of discomfort with Peggy. And you know, I think this is important to say, it wasn’t just about her being her doing a job that was beneath her because she was the secretary, right? And that was not necessarily beneath them. But there is also the fear and concern about what it means to send a young Black woman into a white household every day to work, where she sleeps, where she lives, right? There are very real concerns about being able to protect a Black woman’s body in those spaces on the Upper East Side, that would have been an impossibility for the Scott’s. [00:32:04][83.6]

Cortney Wills: [00:32:05] This was so enlightening, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us today. We’ll be watching. The Gilded Age airs Monday nights on HBO Max and it is just heating up. So if you haven’t checked it out, definitely tune in, catch up and get ready because I have a feeling this is only the beginning. I love that the show recruited some really fantastic Black women to help inform this story and shape this narrative that I’m quite relieved to finally see on screen from executive producer and director Salli Richardson Whitfield to Erica Dunbar, who was the historical consultant and an executive producer, as well as Sonja Warfield, who co-exec produces and is a writer on the series. There’s Black women in front of and behind the camera on this one, and don’t we love to see that? Thank you for listening to Acting Up, if you like what you heard. Please give us a five star review and subscribe to the show wherever you listen to your podcast and share it with everyone you know. Please email all questions, comments and suggestions to podcasts@theGrio.com. Acting Up is brought to you by theGrio and executive produced by Cortney Wills and produced by Cameron Blackwell. For more with me and Acting Up, check us out on Instagram @ActingUp.Pod. [00:32:05][0.0]

The post AUP. Ep. 40: The Gilded Age appeared first on TheGrio.

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