Amazon just unveiled its first original, live-action special about the fictional civil rights-era girl.

‘An American Girl Story — Melody 1963: Love Has to Win’ will be released today on Prime Video and is executive produced by Common (Selma). This special is extremely timely and offers hope in a dark situation. It also encourages everyone to follow their dreams in the face of adversity – whether that adversity is race or gender related. It is the first of four planned American Girl specials.

Based in 1963 Detroit during the civil rights movement, Melody centers around a 10-year-old girl Melody, Marsai Martin from Black-ish, 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 reminding her that it’s important to ‘stand up for what’s right, even when it’s hard or scary.’ Melody will also star Frances Fisher (Titanic) as school teacher Miss Abbot, Frankie Faison (The Wire) as Melody’s grandfather Frank Ellison, and Idara Victor (Rizzoli & Isles) as Melody’s mother Frances Ellison. The star of the show, Marsai Martin, opened up about her special role in this epic film.

 

Are you a big American Girl fan?

Yes, I am now. I learned so much more about the dolls and stores since making the movie.

 

What was it like working on the movie? It was an amazing experience.

I got a chance to go back in time and wear really cool clothes and hairstyles. I worked with a great director, cast and crew and I am very proud of this movie.

 

What did you learn about the 1960s while working on the film?

I learned that African Americans were still fighting for some basic rights and equality. Things like the right to sit at a lunch counter and eat lunch with friends of different races. It seems crazy that it was against the law to sit together in some places in the 1960s.

 

Why is this an important movie to come out right now?

It matches a lot of what is going on in the world right now. Hopefully kids and parents will watch it together and talk about how to make things better.

 

Did you always want to be an actress?

Yes, ever since I was little I loved watching movies and creating my own movies, so getting to do what I love is a blessing.

 

When you’re not working, what do you love doing?

Singing, dancing and making videos for my social media accounts.

 

What’s your favorite part of working on blackish?

Being Diane lets me do and say things that I could NEVER get away with in real life. I also love having a second

About The Author

Michelle Ganney
Contributing Editor

Although born in Charlotte, North Carolina, Michelle was raised in England from the age of 2 years old. She discovered her love of writing at University with an overriding interest in the film, TV and entertainment world. She interviews talented, global stars as the Entertainment Editor at BELLO mag.

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