The universal story of loss, courage and triumph is powerfully being examined in the upcoming DVD release of the acclaimed mini-series, ‘The Book of Negroes.’ The show, which became BET’s top-rated original mini-series when it had its U.S. premiere on the cable network in February, stars Aunjanue Ellis, Louis Gossett Jr. and Cuba Gooding Jr. In celebration of the program’s special edition DVD release on Tuesday, Shockya has a new exclusive clip, which features the Oscar-winning ‘Jerry Maguire’ actor discussing his character’s relationship with Ellis’ character.

An epic dramatic adaptation of the critically acclaimed novel by Lawrence Hill, ‘The Book of Negroes’ depicts the extraordinary life of Aminata Diallo (Ellis)–an indomitable African woman who survives against all odds in a world that forever underestimates her. Kidnapped by slave traders in West Africa and subsequently enslaved in South Carolina, Aminata must navigate her way through the American Revolution in New York, the isolated refuge of Nova Scotia and the treacherous jungles of Sierra Leone, before ultimately securing her freedom in England at the dawn of the 19th century.

‘The Book of Negroes’ clip features Sam and Aminata meeting in the woods, as she emotionally tries to wipe blood from her hands, while they’re struggling to survive during the war. As shots are then fired and panic sets in amongst the people around them, Sam takes Aminata on his carriage to get her away from the warfare.

Gooding, Jr. then states how he thinks the relationship between his and Ellis’ characters is very complex. It begins with a hint of physical attraction between the two, but the emotional connection then quickly grows, as Aminata also has a strong emotional presence. The actor also reveals that he believes that people can also find solace in his character of Sam. While people often tried to gain his acceptance, Gooding, Jr. also believes his character was trying to gain Aminata’s approval.

In Sam’s determination to gain Aminata’s affection, the performer also felt the two characters naturally formed a bond and a determination to completely connect with each other. Gooding, Jr. also points to the end of the fourth episode in the mini-series, when Sam asks Aminata if they’ll ever see each other again. While they realize they may never physically be together again, their souls will always be connected.

The mini-series was directed by Clement Virgo, who also co-wrote the script with Hill. ‘The Book of Negroes’ also stars Lyriq Bent, Jane Alexander, Ben Chaplin and Allan Hawco.

Besides featuring the historical drama’s six episodes, the special edition three-disc DVD set, which is being distributed by Entertainment One, will also feature more than three hours of in-depth bonus features. The DVD’s extras include the featurettes ‘History of the Black Loyalists Society’ and ‘Amistad;’ ten cast interviews with stars Ellis, Gossett Jr., Gooding Jr. and others; two exclusive interviews with Hill; and 30-minutes of deleted scenes. Additionally, the DVD set, which is being sold for $39.98, contains a 28-page collector’s book featuring an exclusive essay from Hill. The Book Of Negroes is also available for purchase through all major digital download platforms, either as a complete mini-series or episodically.

Watch Gooding, Jr. discuss Sam and Aminata’s relationship in Shockya’s exclusive ‘The Book of Negroes’ clip below.

Cuba Gooding Jr. and Aunjanue Ellis in The Book of Negroes

Aunjanue Ellis in The Book of Negroes

The Book of Negroes DVD

Written by: Karen Benardello

By Karen Benardello

As a graduate of LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic, Karen Benardello serves as ShockYa's Senior Movies & Television Editor. Her duties include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, and scribing movie, television and music reviews and news articles. As a New York City-area based journalist, she's a member of the guilds, New York Film Critics Online and the Women Film Critics Circle.

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