Black-ish star cast as lead in An American Girl Story

(Last Updated On: October 19, 2016)

Photo credit: Amazon Prime


Marsai Martin has wowed audiences in her role as the spirited and outspoken youngest daughter, Diane, on ABC’s Black-ish and will now star in her first movie, An American Girl Story-Melody 1963: Love Has to Win.

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Image credit: Amazon Prime

An original live stream special  scheduled to premiere on Friday, Oct. 21 in the US and UK, the movie is the first of four original American Girl specials on Amazon’s Prime Video.

The special features Martin as the lead character Melody, Frances Fisher (Titanic) as Miss Abbot, Frankie Faison (The Wire) as Melody’s grandfather Frank Ellison, and Idara Victor (TURN: Washington’s Spies) as Melody’s mother Frances Ellison. Executive produced by Alison McDonald (Roots), Oscar winner Common’s Freedom Road Productions, and Christopher Keenan and Melinda McCrocklin for American Girl, the special is directed and produced by Tina Mabry (Mississippi Damned, Queen Sugar).

Based in 1963 Detroit during the civil rights movement, An American Girl Story—Melody 1963: Love Has to Win centers around 10-year-old Melody whose eyes are opened to the racial inequality surrounding her, including the 1963 Birmingham Church Bombing. As a result, her belief in the “indivisible” promise of our country’s Pledge of Allegiance comes into question as she challenges her teacher on the validity of this given the horrific tragedy. After an emotional journey of self-reflection, her mother gives her the courage she needs by instilling in her that love brings out the best in everyone; reminding Melody that it’s important to “stand up for what’s right, even when it’s hard or scary.”

“The American Girl Melody special is an empowering and inspiring story that will quickly become a favorite for young girls, while bringing families together to help start a healthy dialogue,” said Tara Sorensen, head of kids programming at Amazon Studios. “Although our special is historical, the themes presented are sadly very timely and relevant for the world in which kids today are exposed.”

An American Girl Story—Melody 1963: Love Has to Win will be available for Prime members using the Amazon Video app for TVs, connected devices including Fire TV and mobile devices, or online at Amazon.com/originals—Prime members will also be able to download the series on mobile devices for offline viewing. For a list of all Amazon Video compatible devices visit http://www.amazon.com/howtostream.

Black-ish star cast as lead in An American Girl Story