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Lee Daniels Drama ‘Our Kind of People’ Offers a Peek at Black America ‘No One Has Seen’

OUR KIND OF PEOPLE: L-R: Alana Bright, Yaya DaCosta, Rhyon Nicole Brown, Kyle Bary, Lance Gross, Morris Chestnut, Nadine Ellis and Joe Morton
The cast of ‘Our Kind of People’ (from l.): Alana Bright, Yaya DaCosta, Rhyon Nicole Brown, Kyle Bary, Lance Gross, Morris Chestnut, Nadine Ellis and Joe Morton. (Image credit: Robert Ascroft/Fox)

Our Kind of People, a Lee Daniels drama inspired by Lawrence Otis Graham’s book Our Kind of People: Inside America's Black Upper Class, premieres on Fox Sept. 21. Set on Martha’s Vineyard, the show follows a strong-willed single mother, Angela Vaughn, as she sets out to reclaim her family’s name and promote her hair care line. But she soon discovers a dark secret about her mother’s past that will turn her world upside down and shake up the community. 

“We were just so excited about finding another project together, and this came along,” Daniels said during a TCA Press Tour event. “And [Gist] understood the world. And it's great to have a bunch of Black people on television, in a different type of way outside of Empire. This is a different type of rich Black person. They are not new money. It's old money, and it's nuanced old money. It's very specific. So, I'm excited about having people see this world that nobody has seen before, no one understands.”  

Also Read: Fall 2021 Premiere Dates

Karin Gist executive produces with Daniels. Daniels co-created Empire and Star on Fox. Gist was an executive producer on Star.

Yaya Dacosta, Morris Chestnut, Joe Morton and Nadine Ellis are in the Our Kind of People cast. Dacosta plays Angela Vaughn. She was in the Lee Daniels movie The Butler

Gist said the Angela Vaughn part in Our Kind of People “was really made for [Dacosta].”

“As soon as she said Angela's words, she brought life to that character,” said Gist. “And I was, like, ‘There she is. That's Angela Vaughn.’"

Dacosta said her character’s involvement in hair care made the role attractive to her. “This is one of the things that made me say ‘I have to play this role,” she said. 

Dacosta mentioned an “underground network of natural hair care. To see the movement blossom and then to come into 2021 and be offered a part like this felt like everything just coming full circle.”

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.