Obama’s Higher Ground Adapting Heather McGhee’s “ The Sum of Us ” As Spotify Podcast Series – Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: New York Times bestseller by Heather McGhee Our sum: what racism costs everyone and how we can thrive together receives audio serial processing.

Higher Ground, the production company created by President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, has reached an option deal to turn the non-fiction book into a Spotify podcast series.

The deal is unusual because while it’s common for books to go for scripted series and movies as well as documentaries, it’s rare from book to podcast.

The book, which was published by One World / Penguin Random House in February, offers an exploration of inequality and the lesson generations of Americans haven’t learned: Racism comes at a cost to everyone – not only for people of color.

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McGhee, an economic and social policy expert and former chair of the inequality-focused think tank Demos, embarks on a deeply personal journey from Maine to Mississippi to California, counting what we lose when we embrace the paradigm of zero sum – the idea that progress for some of us must come at the expense of others.

Along the way, she meets people who confide in her about the loss of their home, their dreams and their chance to find better jobs because of the toxic mix of American racism and greed. But she also finds people who show her that a “solidarity dividend” is possible when we reject the zero sum and seek common solutions to our common problems.

The sum of us The podcast series will be an insightful and heartwarming journey through the United States with an emphasis on stories of unlikely connection and shared humanity across cultural divides. Featuring characters from The Sum of Us as well as new storylines, the podcast series is slated to launch in early 2022.

The podcast is part of a global deal between Higher Ground and Spotify, which has already led to shows such as Renegades, with Bruce Springsteen, and Michelle Obama’s podcast.

The sum of us is a deeply empathetic and heartfelt analysis of the real impact of inequality and racism on ordinary Americans, ”said Dan Fierman, President of Higher Ground Audio. “Heather not only understands and captures the larger story of how we got here, but she also truly cares about the many people affected today by our greatest societal failures. We’re excited to be working with her to amplify the great stories in her essential new book.

‘The Obamas’ Higher Ground – with its mission to inspire through powerful storytelling – is the perfect partner for The sum of usAdded Heather McGhee. “The podcast will take listeners with me as I hit the road in the aftermath of the pandemic, looking for new signs of the America we are becoming – where people from all walks of life come together to accomplish what we can’t.” just not do it by ourselves. The podcast will also delve deeper into the lives of some of the book’s most memorable characters. “

McGhee, who now chairs the board of Color of Change, the nation’s largest online racial justice organization, is represented by WME.

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