Apple TV+ has released the first official trailer for Lincoln’s Dilemma, their upcoming docuseries that explores the trajectory of Abraham Lincoln’s presidency. 

While the 16th president of The United States is most famous for issuing the Emancipation Proclamation during his time in office, the complete story of his presidency is often oversimplified. Lincoln’s Dilemma seeks to change this through rare archival materials and insight from history experts. 

Most, if not all, monumental moments in US history were taught to us through rose-colored glasses, in a way that positions America as a non-threatening yet all-powerful ruler of the new world. Instead of continuing the narrative that Lincoln freed the slaves out of the kindness of his heart, Lincoln’s Dilemma digs deeper. 

As one commentator states in the trailer, “Lincoln’s number one agenda is unification. It is not the abolition of slavery.” A simple statement that reflects that the true dilemma Lincoln faced was political, not moral.

Instead, Lincoln’s Dilemma explores the Black leaders and voices that impacted the famous historical figure. Frederick Douglass, whose influence at the time reached equally as far as Lincoln, is cited in the series as a crucial thought leader that impacted the president’s decision. 

Tony and Grammy winner Leslie Odom Jr. (One Night In Miami, Hamilton) lends his voice as Frederick Douglass. Emmy winner Jeffrey Wright (WestworldFrench Dispatch) narrates the documentary as Abraham Lincoln.

The series is directed by Jacqueline Olive and Barak Goodman (PBS’ Frontline), produced by Jelani Cobb, Kunhardt Films, and Richard Plepler’s Eden Productions. 

Lincoln’s Dilemma will debut on Apple TV+ Presidents’ Day Weekend, February 18.