Sa'iyda Shabazz
Updated March 05, 2017
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

According to our president, 19th-century abolitionist Frederick Douglass is “an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more.” If this is true, then it is fitting that singer John Legend is playing Douglass on the new season of WGN America’s Underground.

Legend, who is also an executive producer on the show, will star as Douglass in the April 5th episode. Even though the episode doesn’t air for another month, Entertainment Weekly has released a first look of Legend in the role. He looks quite dapper in a waistcoat with gold embroidery. He also rocks Douglass’ signature deep side part.

Douglass, an escaped slave turned abolitionist, is probably one of the most famous former slaves, long before his recognition by the President. He used his platform to give a face to slavery as a way to implore whites of the North and South to push for its eradication.

Douglass was frequently photographed throughout his adult life as a way to bring more attention to the cause. Legend understands the gravity of this role, and apparently it wasn’t something he ever planned for. “I never imagined playing Frederick Douglass. I thought of myself mostly as a musician most of my life.” He said in an interview with

Despite his surprise at the role, Legend aptly explains how what what Douglass fought for still fits into the modern day, even though he’s been dead for over 200 years.

He is absolutely right, and we hope everyone is listening.