The Book of Negroes miniseries debuts Tuesday night

The Book of Negroes, the anticipated TV miniseries adaptation of the award-winning novel by Hamilton writer Lawrence Hill, will have its premiere in Cannes on Thanksgiving Day and in Toronto on Tuesday night.

The Book of Negroes sold nearly a million copies worldwide

Actors Aunjanue Ellis (left) and Cuba Gooding Jr. appear in a scene from The Book of Negroes. (Joe Alblas/Conquering Lion Pictures/Out of Africa Pictures/CBC)

The premiere of the television adaption of The Book of Negroes by Hamilton-based author Lawrence Hill will take place Tuesday at the TIFF Lightbox in Toronto.

The internationally co-produced, six-part miniseries recounts the story of an African woman named Aminata Diallo – played by Aunjanue Ellis – who is kidnapped from Africa and sold into slavery in the southern U.S.

She later makes her way to Halifax and back to Africa and finally, to England at the turn of the 19th century.

Director Clement Virgo told CBC Hamilton in a previous interview that he wasn’t worried about the book’s weighty subject matter being watered down for TV audiences.

“I want the audience to feel the story as opposed to just watching a spectacle and feeling detached from it,” Virgo said. “I’m very, very confident that we’ll be able to translate the emotional impact of the story.”

The internationally co-produced, six-part miniseries also features Allan Hawco, Jane Alexander, Cara Ricketts, Ben Chaplin and Cuba Gooding Jr.

The 2007 novel, which was published in some countries under the title Someone Knows My Name, earned widespread praise.

It sold nearly a million copies worldwide and also won a host of honours, including the Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for best overall book and the 2009 edition of CBC's Canada Reads. It was also set to music by the Nathaniel Dett Chorale in 2012.

The Book of Negroes will air on CBC and be available online in January.