Exclusive: Ibram X. Kendi Presents The Underground Railroad with 2022 Peabody Award

·2 min read
Thuso Mbedu as Cora Randall.
Thuso Mbedu as Cora Randall.

The 2022 Peabody Award winners are being revealed and The Root is proud to exclusively announce one of this year’s winners in the entertainment category: Prime Video’s The Underground Railroad!

Bestselling author Ibram X. Kendi presented the honor to the acclaimed Barry Jenkins limited series based on Colson Whitehead’s novel, The Prime Video series follows Cora on her quest for freedom, as she uses the mysterious network “powered by a literal locomotive” to head North.

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“In 2021, Barry Jenkins gave Whitehead’s novel the adaptation it deserves, approaching its characters and landscapes with stunning reverence. This lush production created an immersive, sensory experience. It offered us poignant moments of connection between characters spanning generations and gave us weighty lessons about the devastation of the transatlantic slave trade,” Kendi said. “For its daring, entrancing and eye-opening adaptation, The Underground Railroad wins a Peabody Award.”

The Underground Railroad is in good company joining previously announced 2022 Peabody Award winners ABC’s The Wonder Years, Frontline’s Escaping Eritrea and Oscar-winning documentary Summer of Soul.

“I would like to thank the Peabody organization for bestowing this wonderful distinction. On behalf of the cast and crew, this means so much to us,” Jenkins said. “I would also like to thank all the wonderful writers on the show. Thank you to Colson Whitehead for gifting us this wonderful book to adapt in the first place. When we set out to make The Underground Railroad the primary goal for me was to honor the legacy of my ancestors and it was really beautiful to arrive in Georgia, working with our cast and crew and see so many people create a community and join in this effort of honoring these folks. A lot of the show has stayed with me. Thank you for the Peabody association for co-signing those pursuits, co-signing those endeavors.”

The Underground Railroad is currently streaming on Prime Video.

Winners for the 82nd Annual Peabody Awards can be found at the official Peabody Awards Twitter.