Samira Wiley Narrates Ruth Bader Ginsburg Speech in Amend: The Fight for America Sneak Peek
Samira Wiley is paying tribute to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
In PEOPLE's exclusive sneak peek at episode four of Amend: The Fight for America, premiering Wednesday on Netflix, the Handmaid's Tale actress narrates a portion of Ginsburg's speech to Congress during her 1993 confirmation hearing.
"It is part of our history — a sad part of our history, but undeniably a part of our history — that the 14th Amendment, that great amendment that changed so much in this nation, was not intended by its framers immediately to change the status of women," Wiley, 33, begins in the clip.
"It allowed a system to persist in the United States where women couldn't vote, they couldn't hold office, if they married they couldn't hold property in their own name," she continues. "I remain an advocate of the Equal Rights Amendment for this reason. I have a daughter and a granddaughter. I know what the history was."
She concludes: "I would like the legislators of this country and of all the states to stand up and say we know what that history was, we want to make a clarion announcement that women and men are equal before the law. I would like to see that statement made just that way in the U.S. Constitution."
Hosted by Will Smith and executive produced by Smith and Emmy-winning writer Larry Wilmore, Amend is a six-part docuseries that explores the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The amendment, passed in 1868 following the Civil War, promised liberty and equal protection for all people.
In addition to Smith and Wiley, Mahershala Ali, Diane Lane, Samuel L. Jackson, Pedro Pascal, Yara Shahidi, Sterling K. Brown and more stars appear in the series to breathe new life into speeches and writings from the amendment's "most ardent advocates and foes," according to the synopsis, including Ginsburg, Frederick Douglass, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Andrew Johnson. An array of contemporary thought leaders and experts also offer commentary.
"We are living in unprecedented days as a society, as a country, and as a human family," Smith, 52, said in a statement. "I believe that the cultivation of personal and historical understanding is the imperative spark igniting the flames of desperately needed compassion and healing. As Americans, we endeavor to form a more perfect union that truly establishes justice and equality for all."
"Our hope with this series is to illuminate the beauty that is the promise of America and to share a message of connection and shared humanity so that we will be able to better understand and celebrate our different experiences as Americans and promote progress toward the true equality promised to all persons under the 14th Amendment," he added.
Amend: The Fight for America premieres Wednesday on Netflix.
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