John Legend is not only the executive producer of WGN’s Underground, he has a song on the season 2 soundtrack, and he’s making an onscreen appearance as none other than the legendary abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Check Legend out as Frederick Douglass
Legend makes a brief appearance in the episode airing April 5, and gives Underground‘s heroes a taste of hard-won wisdom.
In addition to being an escaped slave, Douglass was one of the most photographed men of the 19th century — which, happily, gave Legend plenty of visual cues to draw upon and also tied into Douglass’ advice for fellow fugitives.
“He understood the importance of strategy,” Legend says. “He understood the power of image and of story to humanize the slaves and to show how evil the institution was. If it weren’t for him showing the human worth of slaves, we might not have seen the abolition happen when it did,” Legend said.
Check out an interview the producer/actor did with Access Hollywood about his role, and the new song “In America” he wrote just for the show: