Oprah, Angela Bassett, Courtney B. Vance and Phylicia Rashad Among Cast in Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me HBO Adaptation

Oprah Winfrey, left; Angela Bassett; Courtney B. Vance; Phylicia Rashad
Oprah Winfrey, left; Angela Bassett; Courtney B. Vance; Phylicia Rashad
Photo: Rachel Luna/Getty Images (Getty Images), Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images (Getty Images), Leon Bennett/Getty Images (Getty Images), Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images (Getty Images)

We have a paramount cast lineup for a paramount author’s paramount work!

On Thursday afternoon, HBO announced the initial cast for its adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me. And wow, what a lineup. The cast includes Oprah Winfrey, Angela Bassett, Alicia Garza, Joe Morton, Phylicia Rashad, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, Courtney B. Vance, Pauletta Washington and Susan Kelechi Watson.


Of course, if you’re familiar with the star-studded live stage reading of the award-winning author’s acclaimed book, you probably recognize these names.

More info about the adaptation, via a press release sent to The Root:

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.

Kamilah Forbes will direct and will also serve as executive producer of this project. Other listed executive producers are Coates, Watson and Roger Ross Williams. Coates’ material is always relevant and this adaptation will be especially welcome as we navigate the racial reckonings and American uprisings in 2020.

“Yes, we know racism exists; yes, we know white supremacy exists, but let’s really uncover it,” Forbes told The Root in a 2018 interview. “Let’s sit with that. We have to make peace with the chaos. Because the chaos runs so much deeper than any one of us can articulate. What does it mean to be enslaved longer than we’ve been free in this country? Even though we know this at our core, we don’t talk about that all the time.”

The cast that has been announced so far is already full of heavyweights, but additional cast will be announced at a later date...so, get ready! Between the World and Me is currently under production under COVID-19 guidelines and will this fall on HBO. It will also be available to stream on HBO Max.


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Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.