National Geographic Channel Presents the Epic Story of a Slave, Preacher and Revolutionary in RISE UP: THE LEGACY OF NAT TURNER

For the First Time Ever, the Possible Grave Site of Nat Turner and
Rebels Is Revealed

Hosted by Roger Guenveur Smith (“The Birth of a Nation”), Hourlong
Documentary Premieres Friday, Oct. 7 at 10/9c on National Geographic

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In 1831, Nat Turner, an African-American slave and preacher, led a
bloody slave revolt in Southampton County, Virginia. Turner is most
remembered as a killer, rather than a freedom fighter driven by faith,
but in RISE UP: THE LEGACY OF NAT TURNER, viewers will get a
different perspective into his notorious legacy that extends beyond this
rebellion. From executive producer Nate Parker, the one-hour documentary
premieres on Friday, Oct. 7, at 10/9c on National Geographic Channel,
coinciding with the Fox Searchlight Pictures theatrical release of
critically acclaimed Sundance Jury and Audience Awards winner “The Birth
of a Nation,” which is directed by Parker and is the dramatic story of
this historic liberation movement.

Host Roger Guenveur Smith (“The Birth of a Nation,” “Dope,” “American
Gangster,” “Chiraq”) will take viewers on a journey throughout
Southampton County to explore where Turner lived, fought and died. Along
the way, Smith meets with academics and descendants to peel back the
layers of one of the most misunderstood Americans in history, including
Kenneth Morris, Jr. (third-great-grandson of Frederick Douglass), Evelyn
Sykes Hawkins (Turner descendant), Vivian Claude Lucas (Turner
descendant), archaeologist Dr. Kelley Fanto Deetz, Dr. Alfred Brophy
(professor, history and law, University of North Carolina) and Dr. Sarah
Roth (associate professor, history, Widener University).

“The story of Nat Turner is pivotal in the narrative of our country,”
said Tim Pastore, president, original programming and production,
National Geographic Channel. “His story is essential to discussions on
historical and contemporary racial tensions, and we are honored to be
able to share the importance of his legacy with our viewers.”

Turner’s story has been masked throughout history, and the reasons sit
firmly in the community of Southampton County. After leading one of the
most violent rebellions of the time, Turner was subsequently arrested
and hanged two months later. He was never given a proper burial, but for
the first time ever scholars and archaeologists believe they may have
discovered the grave site of Nat Turner and his rebel comrades.

“Nat Turner left a lasting legacy that continues to resonate with
Americans today,” said Nate Parker, executive producer. “Working on this
documentary allowed us to give the public the background knowledge of
who Turner was and why his rebellion has left such a lasting impact on
our country.”

The documentary will outline the history of enslaved people in Virginia
and the culture Turner was born into, lived in and revolted against. It
will give an in-depth timeline of the events that led to the
insurrection, mapping the entire event and laying out a series of
recollections of the violent rebellion, ultimately leading into the
Civil War. In addition, Smith will delve into how this rebellion and
Turner’s legacy continue to resonate and inform ideas about civil rights
in our country, as well as discuss ways in which African-Americans
continue to face oppression.

“In my mind, Nat Turner is an American revolutionary, but he’s never
been embraced as such, and my question is why,” said Smith. “What
happened in Southampton County continues to reverberate in America
because of an ongoing debate as to how exactly we remember those among
us who paid the ultimate price so that this country might be whole.”

RISE UP: THE LEGACY OF NAT TURNER is produced for National
Geographic Channel by National Geographic Studios and Tiny Giant. For
Studios, executive producers are Bengt Anderson, Jeff Hasler and Brian
Lovett. For Tiny Giant, executive producer is Nate Parker and Lia Buman.
For National Geographic Channel, Tim Pastore is president, original
programming and production.

About National Geographic Channels

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About The Birth of a Nation

Set against the antebellum South and based on a true story, THE
BIRTH OF A NATION follows Nat Turner (Nate Parker), a literate slave and
preacher whose financially strained owner Samuel Turner (Armie Hammer)
accepts an offer to use Nat’s preaching to subdue unruly slaves. As he
witnesses countless atrocities – against himself, his wife Cherry (Aja
Naomi King), and fellow slaves – Nat orchestrates an uprising in the
hopes of leading his people to freedom.

THE BIRTH OF A NATION is directed by Nate Parker from his own screenplay
and story by Parker and Jean McGianni Celestin. Produced by Nate Parker,
Kevin Turen, Jason Michael Berman, Aaron L. Gilbert, and Preston L.
Holmes, the film stars Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Mark Boone Jr., Colman
Domingo, Aunjanue Ellis, Dwight Henry, Aja Naomi King, Esther Scott,
Roger Guenveur Smith, and Gabrielle Union, with Penelope Ann Miller and
Jackie Earle Haley. THE BIRTH OF THE NATION opens nationwide on October
7, 2016.


National Geographic Channel
Stephanie Silva, 202-912-6721