It’s probably safe to say that Octavia Spencer has become an on-screen legend over the years, and now she’ll be lending her talents to ABC’s Black-ish in a special Black History Month episode, according to a report from TV Line.
Black-ish is a family comedy series starring Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross as Dre and Rainbow Johnson. The couple has five kids, Zoey played by Yara Shahidi, Junior played by Marcus Scribner, Jack played by Miles Brown, Diane played by Marsai Martin, and a newborn. The show follows the family as they try to settle into their predominantly white upper-middle-class neighborhood without losing “black cards.”
The show has always managed to pay tribute to important figures in the black community, as well as highlight issues and injustices faced by black people and people of color. In the upcoming Black History Month episode, Dre learns that Jack and Diane aren’t being taught enough about black history in school and decides to voice his complaints to the administration. While there, in true Dre fashion, he ends up giving the entire school a presentation on black history during a general assembly.
As for Spencer, her role in the episode is being kept a secret but TV Line has learned that she will be playing herself. The episode will also be directed by star and producer Tracee Ellis Ross.
The Oscar-winning actress took to Instagram to share a screenshot of the announcement and express her excitement.
Spencer also made headlines during last year’s Black History Month when she participated in the Black Panther challenge and bought out an entire theater in Mississippi so that residents could see the flick for free, according to a report from the Washington Post.
“I will be in [Mississippi] when this movie opens,” Spencer wrote on Instagram, at the time.
“I think I will buy out a theatre in an underserved community there to ensure that all our brown children can see themselves as a superhero.”
The actress has appeared in several films and TV shows but she’s probably best-known for her role in The Help, which also starred Viola Davis. In the movie, both Spencer and Davis play maids who are working and trying to navigate Mississippi in the Jim Crow era. Spencer also received acclaim for her role as Dorothy Vaughan in 2016’s Hidden Figures with Taraji P. Henson. Hidden Figures tells the story of the black women who helped NASA launch astronaut John Glenn to space but never quite got the real-life recognition they deserved.
Octavia Spencer will be seen on the February 26 episode of Black-ish on ABC.