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Obamas, Oprah Winfrey and others salute black culture in National Museum of African American History special on ABC

Fantasia performs in the new special “Taking the Stage: African American Music and Stories That Changed America” on ABC.
Fantasia performs in the new special “Taking the Stage: African American Music and Stories That Changed America” on ABC.
(Fred Watkins / ABC)

The spotlight falls on black culture on Thursday with the ABC special “Taking the Stage: African American Music and Stories that Changed America.” 

The star-studded two-hour special, recorded last fall, includes appearances by among others, Oprah Winfrey, Samuel L. Jackson, Dave Chappelle and Tom Hanks and also marks one of the final public events attended by President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

Veteran producer Don Mischer and music legend Quincy Jones collaborated on the special, which features performances by Stevie Wonder, Christina Aguilera, Fantasia, John Legend, Gladys Knight and others.

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Also honored during the special are six surviving members of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Mischer called the special one of the highlights of his 40-year career. 

He said he and Jones were hopeful that the special “will help all Americans see how our stories, our histories, and our cultures are an interwoven tapestry.... to see beyond our differences, to celebrate the America all its citizens have helped to create, a culture born in the struggle for freedom that is one of the most diverse, dynamic and cheered in the world.”

greg.braxton@latimes.com

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Twitter:@GeBraxton


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