"A JAZZ TV DRAMA SERIES STARRING JUNE!"
*June drives the magical Underground Railroad Xpress through time. Harlem! is her story..."
HARLEM, 1921. The lights! The jazz! The booze! The 1920's Harlem Renaissance is in full swing. Josephine Baker shimmies across her stage, Langston Hughes writes his poetry, Louis Armstrong plays his sax, and an ambitious, glamourous Billie Holiday-esque jazz singer, MAGNOLIA PEPPERSON (31) sings her heart out after ditching her humdrum life as a maid in the south and fleeing the Ku Klux Klan to chase her dreams in New York City.
But the KKK is not the only thing Magnolia left behind. She also ditched her peculiar, Shirley Temple-like daughter, JUNE PEPPERSON (16) - whom she ashamedly had out of wedlock. In a desperate effort to win her mother’s love, an orphaned June takes a train to Harlem to find Magnolia, but ultimately is hit by an oncoming train while rushing to see her mother’s first big jazz performance. She is now a ghost. This is her story.
In her afterlife as a teenage spirit, June drives a magical train, THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD XPRESS, through different time periods as an Underground Railroad Conductor. Like a young Harriet Tubman, she saves souls, reunites families, embarks on daring adventures and sets people free (in her case-of-the week).
But the one person she refuses to rescue is herself. Even after death, June is not free of the excruciating pain of her own past - being that little girl whom her mother left behind. Thus, the 1920’s is the one time period she refuses to return to. But when THE ANCESTORS send June back to Harlem on Assignment, she must face her unhappy past, discovering what it would have really been like to grow up during the Harlem Renaissance as a flapper (if she hadn’t died), and even meeting her first star-crossed love, a crippled white World War 1 veteran FAGAN MIDDLETON (17). Ultimately, June must reconcile with her mother Magnolia to truly pass over to the other side (GALLAHAD).
Harlem! is ultimately a mother-daughter story geared for a family audience (ABC). It features exciting 1920’s jazz song, dance, Broadway and fashion. It’s a spin-off of the film Strange Fruit: The Hip-Hopera.