Fantasia Barrino, Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks and producer Oprah Winfrey unpack the "cinematic heirloom,

Why they were never going to land Beyoncé and why so much is still riding on its success.

After all, the movie based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel centers on a Black woman,

Who suffers unspeakable sexual and physical abuse from the men in her life

 sees her children taken away from her at birth, lives, 

during the punishing times of a post-slavery South and is belittled by the outside world as unworthy of love.

While her journey, told through her letters to God

 Eventually, arrives at an intersection of peace and forgiveness, joy is something that seems fleeting for much of Celie’s story.

They laugh, finish one another’s sentences and even shed tears.

 who have endured their own pain as Black actresses in a business where

 starring roles like this are still a rarity, and a struggle to attain.