Watch Someone Knows My Name

  • 2015
  • 1 Season

Someone Knows My Name is a historical drama television series produced by Entertainment One. The show premiered in 2010, and is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Book of Negroes by Canadian author Lawrence Hill. The series follows the story of Aminata Diallo, a young girl who is captured by slave traders in West Africa and forcibly transported to America. Throughout the show's six episodes, Aminata navigates the horrors of slavery, fights for her freedom, and eventually finds her way back to her home continent.

The show is a poignant and powerful exploration of the African diaspora, tracing the lives of those who were forced to leave their homes and endure unimaginable suffering in search of a better life. It is an unflinching portrayal of the brutality of slavery, but also a celebration of the resilience and strength of those who survived.

The series is set primarily in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, taking viewers on a journey from the bustling West African city of Bayo, to the plantations of South Carolina, the streets of New York, and the coast of Nova Scotia. The show's attention to detail and commitment to historical accuracy is evident in its costume design, set production, and use of real-life historical figures like George Washington and John Clarkson.

At the center of Someone Knows My Name is Aminata Diallo, played by British actress Aunjanue Ellis. Ellis delivers a stunning performance, bringing depth, nuance, and emotion to the character of Aminata as she experiences both the horrors and the small triumphs of life as a slave. The series also features standout performances from actors Lyriq Bent, Ben Chaplin, and Louis Gossett Jr.

The show's narrative structure is non-linear, jumping back and forth in time to reveal the many facets of Aminata's story. Flashbacks to her childhood in Bayo provide insight into the person she was before her capture and enslavement, while scenes set in later years show her fighting for abolition and reuniting with loved ones she thought were lost forever.

One of the most compelling aspects of Someone Knows My Name is its exploration of the various ways in which slavery impacted the lives of those who lived through it. The series portrays not only the physical violence and dehumanization of slavery, but also its psychological toll. Aminata must constantly navigate the feelings of loss, trauma, and dislocation that come with being ripped from her homeland and forced to live as a commodity rather than a human being.

The show also examines the role that gender played in slavery, highlighting the unique challenges faced by women who were both oppressed and objectified by their captors. Aminata's experiences as a woman add another layer of complexity to an already grueling situation, and she must find ways to resist and survive in a world that seeks to erase her agency and identity.

Ultimately, Someone Knows My Name is a powerful and moving exploration of the legacy of slavery, and a testament to the enduring power of the human spirit. Through Aminata's journey, viewers are invited to bear witness to a painful and important chapter in history, to mourn the unfathomable losses suffered by the enslaved, and to celebrate the strength and resilience that allowed some to survive and even thrive in the face of incredible adversity.

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Episode 6
6. Episode 6
February 18, 2015
Upon their arrival in Africa, Aminata leaves the Loyalists behind to find her way back to her home village of Bayo
Episode 5
5. Episode 5
February 18, 2015
As racial tensions boil in barren and destitute Shelburne, Aminata organizes a final journey back to Africa.
Episode 4
4. Episode 4
February 17, 2015
After British defeat, Aminata registers Black Loyalists in The Book Of Negroes for an escape to freedom in Nova Scotia.
Episode 3
3. Episode 3
February 17, 2015
When Revolution breaks out in New York, Aminata seizes her chance and escapes to freedom in the haven of Canvas Town.
Episode 2
2. Episode 2
February 16, 2015
Aminata, forced to deflect the affections of the two men who own her, adjusts to plantation life in the Carolinas.
Episode 1
1. Episode 1
February 16, 2015
Stolen from Africa, eleven-year old Aminata Diallo is enslaved and forced to endure a treacherous journey to America.
  • Premiere Date
    February 16, 2015