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About

True First Series

Legends of African Descent and Their Untold Stories.

A people’s history that leaves no person of African descent behind.

History is the weaving of stories into the fabric of who we are as a people and a nation. We like to mark our journey with books, monuments, awards and commemorative plaques, setting in stone and ink the list of our collective achievements. Yet history is also written in the spaces between the mortar, the gaps that are left by those who decide how to structure the past. Until very recently, the gatekeepers who chose what to memorialize were almost exclusively men. And they were invariably white.

The True First project is a rescue effort. It is a passionate attempt to resurrect the men and women of African descent who were swept aside by the broad brush of history. These are the innovators, visionaries and creative minds that came before the people now credited with their accomplishments. They are also the leaders who were the first to break through the color barrier or reach milestones that had always been the exclusive domain of white privilege. The first African-American to be hired by the postal service, the mother of rock ‘n roll, the first Black man to run for President of the United States, the first Black Deputy Marshall. True leaders. True firsts.

This docudrama series sets the record straight. We’ve looked at what everyone else has taken for granted and turned it on it’s head. We’re finding people of African descent who have been erased from the historic record and what we’ve uncovered is genuinely fascinating.

True First is itself a true first. Each episode explores the life of a forgotten trailblazer of African descent who made an early and significant contribution to their craft or profession. Athletes, entertainers, pioneers and politicians all feature in a historical saga that spans from the birth of nations to the firsts of the new millennium. From the Wild West to Washington, their untold stories are at times heartbreaking, often astonishing, and always inspirational.

Mission

The True First series brings the achievements of men and women of African descent into the mainstream of our historical narrative. Its mission is to inspire, motivate and engage viewers in the untold stories of Black lives that changed the course of history. By setting the record straight, True First restores a more inclusive chronicle of the women and men who built our social, political and cultural institutions.

Vision

True First envisions a comprehensive accounting of the contribution that pioneers of African descent have made to the panoply of human achievement. Former slaves, political leaders, philanthropists and musicians are showcased in stories as varied as the lives they recount. By reviving these often-forgotten True Firsts, we can imagine a world where all innovators can claim their rightful place among the dreamers, artists and singular minds who have made us who we are – regardless of race, ancestry, gender or creed.

Food for thought...

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.

Harriet Tubman

A few of our episodes...

W.E.B. Dubois
W.E.B. Dubois

W.E.B. Dubois The first American of African descent to earn a doctorate at Harvard went on to found the National Association for the Advancement of...READ MORE

Season Seven
Michaëlle Jean
Michaëlle Jean

Michaëlle Jean Canada’s first Governor General of African descent arrived in the country as a Haitian refugee in 1968. She was raised in Quebec and...READ MORE

Season Five
Stage Coach Mary Fields
Stage Coach Mary Fields

Stage Coach Mary Fields The Montana law forbidding women to enter a saloon was never applied to Mary Fields. That’s because this gun-toting bad-ass was...READ MORE

Season One
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Sister Rosetta Tharpe This musical legend’s first professional partnership was with her mother, a Baptist singer and evangelical preacher in rural Arkansas. By the age...READ MORE

Season One
View our entire list of episodes.

Crew

Meet the creative minds behind the scenes of True First

Lenny McAllister
Production Consultant
Brian Cook
Videographer
Darryl Tookes
Composer & Music Director
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Talent

Meet the faces that tell the stories of True First

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