A new documentary film tells the story of how Nina Simone, Abbey Lincoln, Lena Horne and other trailblazing performers changed popular culture with their music, films, fashion and politics.

The film features Simone, the revolutionary musical prodigy; Lincoln, the singer turned civil rights activist; Horne, the first Black woman signed to a major studio; Diahann Carroll, the first Black woman to win a Tony Award and star in her own TV series; Pam Grier, the first female action hero; and Cicely Tyson, an actress and former fashion model who uses her art as a form of protest.

Directed by Yoruba Richen and executive produced by Alicia Keys, How It Feels to Be Free “explores how these women re-shaped the way Black women were represented on stage and screen and how Black female entertainers who came after them built off their success, learned from their failures, and continue working to change the industry.” The film situates their activism as precursors to contemporary movements like #TimesUp, #OscarsSoWhite and #BlackLivesMatter.

Watch the trailer below.