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Issa Rae Is Producing an HBO Documentary on the History of Black Television

The two-part documentary Seen & Heard will celebrate iconic figures in Black storytelling

Allison Picurro

Issa Rae has officially lined up her next project at HBO. It was announced today that Rae has signed on to executive produce the two-part documentary Seen & Heard for the premium cable network. The documentary will explore the history of Black television and will tell the stories of the people who created, worked on, and starred in the iconic shows of the past and present.

Seen & Heard will be a celebration of Black voices and Black storytelling that features interviews with actors, showrunners, writers, and celebrities, as well as a mix of archival footage and verité-driven segments. Those featured will look back on their own experiences working in entertainment, while also sharing insights into their current creative endeavors and inspiration. The film will also reflect on representation in Black storytelling and will highlight the evolution of Black creatives throughout TV history.

"Black people have such a rich, but often unacknowledged history in Hollywood," Rae said in a statement. "We have defined American culture and influenced generations time and time again across the globe."

The documentary will be directed and produced by Phil Bertelsen (Who Killed Malcolm X?). Alongside Rae, Montrel McKay of Issa Rae Productions will executive produce, as will 3 Arts Entertainment and Ark Media.

Issa Rae

Issa Rae

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for HBO