John Legend’s latest move is proof that he is much more than an amazing voice, he is also a sound business man who knows how to use it. Legend is one of the executive producers of the new WGN series “Underground,” which will explore racism and cruelty, and the heroic men and women who fought against it.
As a former graduate of The University of Pennsylvania, Legend studied African-American studies. According to Essence, he said, “This is the kind of stuff I studied in college and I knew about this a lot, but I didn’t ever see it on television in this way.”
The 10-episode series stars Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge, and Christopher Meloni. Legend thinks that the series is going to be “powerful and a lot of people are going to gravitate toward it and once they start watching it, we’re going to get them.”
He also expressed his feelings towards activism and making change as an artist:
I feel compelled to because when I grew up, my understanding of what it meant to live an important life was not just to try and accumulate things for yourself, but to try and help other people. When you see injustices, speak out. I feel like that’s part of our legacy and the tradition that we came from, especially as artists in the public eye. I always thought that as an artist, that comes with the job. It’s what we’re supposed to do. It’s not for everybody. Some artists aren’t interested in these subjects, but I read about this all of the time. I’m a political junkie.
While he isn’t being an actor-activist, Legend is busy trying to write a song for his unborn daughter.
“It’s hard,” said Legend. “Part of me thinks maybe I just have to see her before I can write it, but I’ve been trying to think about what fatherhood means and what I should say to her.”