HBO Special Event BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME Debuts November 21, With Mahershala Ali, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Angela Davis, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Mimi Jones, Ledisi, Greg Alverez Reid, Nate Smith, And Olivia Washington Rounding Out The Cast.
LOS ANGELES, September 30, 2020 – HBO’s BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME will debut SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT, with Mahershala Ali, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Angela Davis, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Mimi Jones, Ledisi, Greg Alverez Reid, Nate Smith, and Olivia Washington rounding out the previously announced cast. The HBO Special Event is based on the #1 New York Times bestseller of the same name by author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates. BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME will debut on HBO and be available to stream on HBO Max.
Originally adapted and staged by the Apollo Theater in 2018, the special will combine elements of that production, including powerful readings from Coates’ book, and will once again be directed by award-winning director and Apollo Theater Executive Producer Kamilah Forbes. It will also incorporate documentary footage from the actors’ home life, archival footage, and animation. The special was produced under COVID-19 guidelines
The full cast includes Mahershala Ali, Angela Bassett, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Angela Davis, Alicia Garza, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Jharrel Jerome, Mimi Jones, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Ledisi, Janet Mock, Jason Moran, Joe Morton, Wendell Pierce, Phylicia Rashad, Greg Alverez Reid, Mj Rodriguez, Kendrick Sampson, Yara Shahidi, Nate Smith, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, Courtney B. Vance, Olivia Washington, Pauletta Washington, Susan Kelechi Watson, Michelle Wilson, and Oprah Winfrey.
Mahershala Ali is a two-time Academy Award®-winning actor for his roles in “Moonlight” and “Green Book.” He was recently nominated for an Emmy® for his supporting role in Hulu’s award-winning series “Ramy.” Ali will next star in “Swan Song,” written and directed by Academy Award® winner Benjamin Cleary for Apple TV+and as Blade in the anticipated upcoming Marvel film. In 2019, Ali executive produced the HBO documentary “We Are the Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest,” which recently won an Emmy® for Outstanding Children’s Program. Ali was also nominated for an Emmy®, Golden Globe, and SAG Award for his role in HBO’s “True Detective.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates is the author of the bestselling books The Beautiful Struggle, We Were Eight Years in Power, Between The World And Me, and The Water Dancer, He is also the current author of the Marvel comics The Black Panther and Captain America.
Angela Davis, through her activism and scholarship over many decades, has been deeply involved in movements for social justice around the world. Her work as an educator – both at the university level and in the larger public sphere – has always emphasized the importance of building communities of struggle for economic, racial, and gender justice. She is the author of ten books, including Women, Race and Class, Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday Are Prisons Obsolete? The Meaning of Freedom and Other Difficult Dialogues, and most recently, Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement. She draws upon her own experiences in the early seventies as a person who spent eighteen months in jail and on trial, after being placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted List.” Having helped to popularize the notion of a “prison industrial complex,” she now urges her audiences to think seriously about the future possibility of a world without carceral systems and to help forge a 21st-century abolitionist movement.
Tip “T.I.” Harris is an artist, entrepreneur, and activist who has amassed a business empire to include a record label, a 10-year old clothing line (Akoo, which stands for “A King of Oneself”), a real estate holdings company, production company, non-profit organization (Us or Else), owner/founder of Trap Music Museum, co-owner of Bankhead Seafood, owner of Super Sound Studios, investor and much more. Harris was also awarded the first-ever “Voice of the Culture” award by ASCAP and is the host of a new #1 rated podcast, expediTIously with Tip “T.I.” Harris.
Mimi Jones, bassist/vocalist/producer/label owner and now filmmaker, has reigned supreme, as a side woman to an impressive coterie of musicians and as a leader with three original recording projects on her own Hot Tone Music label. Jones studied Music at the Manhattan School of Music Conservatory and has also studied with Linda McKnight, Lisle Atkinson, Barry Harris, Milt Hinton, Dr. Billy Taylor, Yusef Lateef. She has toured extensively for over 25 years throughout the seven continents and has played with such people as Frank Ocean, Kenny Barron, DD Bridgewater, Dianne Reeves, Tia Fuller, Roy Hargrove, Terri Lyne Carrington, Beyonce, Jason Moran, and more. Mimi Jones co-directs a multimedia interdisciplinary production with pianist ArcoIris Sandoval entitled The D.O.M.E. Experience, creating choreography, musical and visual works inspired by social injustices and environmental changes in our world. Voted #1 & #2 rising star by the DownBeat polls for 3 consecutive years, she is currently working on a new project called The Black Madonna. The Berklee School of Music professor recently began collaborating with a trio called Nite Bjuti featuring Vocalist Candice Hoyes, and Sound Chemist Val Jeanty.
Ledisi is a twelve-time Grammy-nominated powerhouse vocalist with a career spanning almost two decades. Since arriving on the scene in the late 1990s, she’s garnered three Soul Train Music Awards, an NAACP Theater Award, and 6 NAACP Image Award nominations. Most recently, Ledisi received two LA Alliance Ovation Award nominations, one for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. Ledisi is extremely passionate about being an advocate for the arts. Lobbying for young musicians and protecting the rights of creatives. She is also a playwright and author, releasing her first book Better Than Alright: Finding Peace, Love, and Power, a collaboration with Essence. Her latest book, Don’t Ever Lose Your Walk: How to Embrace Your Journey is released through her own Chinweya Publishing Company. Her first play, Legend of Little Girl Blue made what was supposed to be a subtle premiere at The Wallis Theatre in Beverly Hills CA. Seven shows grew into 19 sold-out nights, already Legend of Little Girl Blue has been asked to premiere on a bigger stage coming in Spring 2021. As CEO of her record label Listen Back Entertainment/BMG, she continues to utilize and develop her versatile skills as a singer/songwriter, music producer, author, playwright, film producer.
Greg Alverez Reid most recently appeared In the HBO documentary “The Apollo”. He is an actor and arts collaborator who has traveled the country and the world performing and creating with all types of artists. His theatre credits consist of off-Broadway and numerous regional theatre and renowned arts centers, including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in his native Washington, DC. Notable performances include “Fences,” directed by Phylicia Rashad, and the inaugural stage productions of Between The World And Me, directed by Kamilah Forbes. Greg has collaborated with arts organizations including Hi-Arts, NAACP Hollywood Bureau, Sundance Theatre Lab, KCTYA, and FOTD@HU, as well as produced content for HBO, VH1, One Foot Productions, Seachange Entertainment, MTV, Logo, and NBC. He is a proud graduate of the Illustrious Howard University and the British American Drama Academy at Oxford University.
Nate Smith has been a key piece in reinvigorating the international music scene with his visceral, instinctive, and deep-rooted style of drumming for nearly two decades. He holds a diverse and ample résumé, which includes work with esteemed jazz leading lights such as Pat Metheny, Dave Holland, Chris Potter, José James, John Patitucci, Ravi Coltrane, and Somi among many others. His 2x Grammy-nominated debut album, KINFOLK: Postcards from Everywhere, sees Smith fusing his original modern jazz compositions with R&B, pop, and hip-hop. He has also ventured into the pop/rock world with recent collaborations with Vulfpeck spin-off band The Fearless Flyers, Brittany Howard (of Alabama Shakes), and performances with songwriters Emily King and Van Hunt. In recent years, through a series of viral videos, he has emerged as one of the most influential and popular drummers of his generation.
Olivia Washington will next be seen in “The Little Things,” directed by John Lee Hancock for Warner Bros and is currently working on “Macbeth,” directed by Joel Coen for A24. She previously recurred on “Mr. Robot,” and in the second season of Spike Lee’s “She’s Gotta Have It” on Netflix. On the stage, Olivia appeared in Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Kenny Leon with Shakespeare in the Park in New York. Last year she also starred and received rave reviews for her work in Familiar, directed by Edward Torres, at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego.
BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME is directed by Kamilah Forbes who also serves as executive producer; executive produced by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Susan Kelechi Watson, and Roger Ross Williams. Williams’ production company ONE STORY UP produces.