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Tonight Lifetime debuted Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia, a biopic on the life of gospel legend Mahalia Jackson, starring Danielle Brooks. The movie shared personal details of Jackson’s life even fans of the singer most likely didn’t know. And as co-executive producer of the TV film, there was one detail in particular Brooks made a point to include.

“It was the issue of not being able to be a mother,” Brooks tells ESSENCE. “I just know that’s very difficult for women and when that opportunity was taken away from her having a hysterectomy, that, to me — I became a co-executive producer of the project, and once they gave me room to share my opinion that was one of the things I made very clear we have to have. We have to tell this story and show the complexity of a woman wanting to be a mother and not having that ability. That was important to me.”

Mahalia also delves into the New Orleans’ native’s fierce love of the lord, her entrepreneurial endeavors, and her relationship with Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement. Check out our conversation with Brooks in the video above and catch the encore airings of Mahalia on Lifetime this Easter weekend.

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