ABC News announced today a special lineup of programming for Black History Month, including the return of Emmy Award-winning Soul of Nation with a one-hour special, titled Black in Vegas.
The upcoming primetime special will explore the history of Black entertainers in Las Vegas and celebrate those who are now putting their stamp on that historic strip. People such as Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Boys II Men, and Lionel Richie, along with top comedians including Marsha Warfield, Eddie Griffin, and others, have all strengthened their legacy with stellar performances in the desert.
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Black in Vegas examines the historical events that paved the way for today’s generation, like the 1971 federal consent decree. During that time, entertainers like Frank Sinatra helped kick down barriers for Black performers in Vegas by demanding that talented artists such as Quincy Jones and Sammy Davis Jr., be able to share the same hotel. Today, Black entertainers are now headlining or performing in a variety of shows on the strip, including their own residencies.
Executive produced by Catherine McKenzie, the ABC News Studios special features interviews with Smokey Robinson, comedians George Wallace and Luenell, Usher, Ne-Yo, Anna Bailey, Florence LaRue from the Fifth Dimension, and never-before-seen video interview with Sammy Davis Jr., Black in Vegas, gives an inside perspective on what it’s like to make a living on the strip and will highlight some of the artists who will perform there this year, sharing reflections on what it means to be a person of color in Sin City.
“Soul of Nation Presents: Black in Vegas” airs Wednesday, Feb. 1 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EST) on ABC, next day on Hulu.