I’ll Fly Away is an American drama television series which aired on NBC from 1991 to 1993 and starred Regina Taylor as Lilly Harper, a black housekeeper for the family of district attorney Forrest Bedford, whose name is an ironic reference to Nathan Bedford Forrest, the founder of the Ku Klux Klan. As the show progressed, Lilly became increasingly involved in the Civil Rights Movement, with events eventually drawing in Forrest as well.
Taking place in the 1950s American south, “I’ll Fly Away” gave us a district attorney named Forrest Bedford who hires black housekeeper Lilly Harper to aid with the care of his three kids. Eventually Lilly gets drawn in by the Civil rights movement and Forrest finds himself attached to the casue too. It was Waterston’s most grounded TV performance and a gorgeous showcase for the resplendent and gifted Taylor.
I’ll Fly Away won two 1992 Emmy Awards, and 23 nominations in total. It won three Humanitas Prizes, two Golden Globe Awards, twoNAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Drama Series, and a Peabody Award. However, the series was never a ratings blockbuster, and it was canceled by NBC in 1993, despite widespread protests by critics and viewer organizations.
The series takes its name from a Christian hymn written in 1929 by Albert E. Brumley. The events of the series take place in the fictional town of Bryland, located in Bryland County.