Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Common, Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, Fantasia, Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith and Angela Bassett are just a few of the big names who will appear on this week’s ABC telecast of “Taking the Stage: African American Music and Stories That Changed America.” It airs on Thursday, January 12 beginning at 9 p.m. EST.

The two-hour program, presented by The Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture, will spotlight the contributions African-Americans have made to the global landscape and will focus on music, dance and spoken word. The show will also feature film footage of iconic items from the museum’s collections – items ranging from a plane used to train the famed Tuskegee airmen for World War II combat duty, to a bible owned by Nat Turner.

Other celebrities participating include Dave Chappelle, Chuck D., Doug E. Fresh, Savion Glover, Tom Hanks, Samuel L. Jackson, Rashida Jones, Elijah Kelley, Janelle Monáe, Octavia Spencer, Chris Tucker, Jesse Williams, Patti Austin, Christina Aguilera, Alvin Ailey dancers, Jon Batiste, Shirley Caesar, Chloe x Halle, Gary Clark Jr., Cynthia Erivo, Jamie Foxx, Robert Glasper, Dave Grohl with Trouble Funk, Herbie Hancock, Gladys Knight, John Legend, Mary J. Blige, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin, NeYo and Usher.

The special was filmed on September 23 at Washington’s John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.

Will you be watching?

Photo Credit: