Black-ish star Marsai Martin is raising awareness to racial inequality with her new movie An American Girl Story — Melody 1963: Love Has to Win.
The movie is airing during a perfect time in American culture, and Martin hopes that people “may have a better understanding of why people of color are frustrated and feel the need to protest.”
Based in 1963 Detroit during the civil rights movement, An American Girl Story — Melody 1963: Love Has to Win centers around 10-year-old Melody (Martin) whose eyes are opened to the racial inequality surrounding her, including the 1963 Birmingham Church Bombing.
“Melody: 1963 is a great conversation starter as it tells the story of a girl who gets bullied for something she has no control over,” the 12-year-old actress tells Celeb Secrets. “Before I shot the movie, I was not aware of some of the things that my grandparents had to go through just because of the color of their skin. Hopefully this movie will give kids, parents and grandparents an opportunity to talk about the past so we don’t repeat those mistakes in the future.”
As a result of the bombing, Melody’s belief in the “indivisible” promise of our country’s Pledge of Allegiance comes into question as she challenges her teacher on the validity of this given the horrific tragedy. “Melody is very headstrong, creative, brave and talented,” Marsai says, “and I think I am also in real life.”
After an emotional journey of self-reflection, Melody’s mother (Idara Victor) gives her the courage she needs by instilling in her that love brings out the best in everyone; reminding Melody that it’s important to “stand up for what’s right, even when it’s hard or scary.”
Filming Melody:1963 was really fun for Marsai and the rest of the cast. Since the movie takes place in the 60s, Marsai was able to experience a whole different wardrobe. “I loved the clothes, the dresses reminded me of pictures I have seen of my Grandma when she was my age. Very girly and very cute,” Martin told us.
Marsai also spilled some juicy secrets from filming that you can only read here at Celeb Secrets. “My real life Dad was photographed to play Melody’s Dad in the movie, and I had a photo double in some scenes. Towards the end of filming, we were starting Season 3 of Black-ish. See if you can tell when she is on film…we looked like twins so it will be very hard to tell us apart!”
Make sure to watch An American Girl Story — Melody 1963: Love Has To Win when it premieres on Amazon Prime this Friday, October 21st.