The New Year has just begun, but many are already looking forward to Black History Month. Lifetime recently announced two new films that will air this February—the Gabby Douglas Story and Trip to Bountiful.

The Gabby Douglas Story premieres February 1 and stars Regina King, S. Epatha Merkerson, Imani Hakim, Sydney Mikayla, and Douglas herself.

According to Lifetime it “tells the inspiring true story of the international gymnastics phenomenon who overcame overwhelming odds to become the first African-American ever to be named Individual All-Around Champion in artistic gymnastics at the Olympic Games.”

The second film, Trip to Bountiful, airing February 22, is based on Horton Foote’s Tony-winning play, which follows “one woman’s quest to reconnect with her past in order to ensure her family’s future” in the Jim Crow South. The film stars Cicely Tyson, Vanessa Williams, Keke Palmer, and Blair Underwood.

Lifetime has found success showcasing films about African-Americans. Sins of the Mother, based on Carleen Brice’s novel Orange, Mint, and Honey was a ratings hit for the network as was Betty and Coretta and Abducted: The Carlina White Story.

Source: Shadow & Act

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  • The Other Jess

    Gabby made history – first American woman of any race to ever win both the all-around and team golds. Since gymnasts have such a short career lifespan (many retire by 21), I think a movie about her life is appropriate. She worked hard, won and deserves the movie.

    Dominique Dames made history too, but timing is everything. Dominique came along in a time when the media wasn’t alternating between loving and hating on Black women for every little thing. It was at a time when Black women specifically weren’t under the microscope (and weren’t being used to fight against each other). So Dominique didn’t get the public shine that Gabby did, but Dominique also didn’t get the public hate Gabby did. Maybe the media feels guilty for running that monkey ad right after Gabby Douglas finished in one competion??Just sayin’.

    Dominique also was a gymnast in a time before social media made it so easy to publicize the stupid comments of a few to millions instantly. Gabby endured online comments that Dominique didn’t have to because she came along at a time before twitter. Gabby could immediately see people insulting, even during the games,which could cause her to stress out and mess up. Dominique wouldn’t know if anybody was making comments about her until after the games were over. (Personally, I think the comments and their being reported were planted intentionally, but that’s another topic.)

    But either way, Gabby’s story doesn’t change the accomplishments of Dominique – and vice versa. We should appreciate them both, regardless if wider America/mainstream crossover appeal for a movie is there.