Underground is a new period drama that follows a group of runaway slaves as they use the Underground Railroad to reach freedom. The 10-episode series plays on WGN America and is executive produced by John Legend, who recently spoke about what he wants the series to accomplish during an interview with AOL.

“I think we have to confront our history,” Legend said, according to the Huffington Post. “We have to understand it and how it relates to what’s happening in the world now. So when we talk about the issues of race and how we interact with each other in this country, we can’t talk about American history, we can’t talk about how this country was built, and we can’t talk about the politics of this country without understanding that so much of our history involves slavery.”

Legend hopes that people facing modern day oppression can find a way to pull from the stories of the show’s characters to find their own inspiration.

“When you think of the depths of oppression and the depths of the evil that these folks faced — and they decided to do something that was against the odds anyway — we can apply that to anything that we’re going through today,” he said. “It’s not nearly as oppressive now, but we’re still fighting for justice in America and we can take courage from their courage. We can be inspired by their heroism.”

Watch the trailer and see the show on Wednesdays at 10/9c on WGN America.

Photo credit: Twitter

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