She stars as the titular character in the upcoming The Lena Baker Story, a film that was shopped around at this year's Cannes Film Market in May, but, to my knowledge is yet to find distributor, whether for television (network or cable), theatre, or home video.
From the film's website: It's based on a true story and takes place in the early 1900’s in Cuthbert, Georgia... The moment Lena Baker thinks she has overcome her inner demons, she is called to work for Elliot Arthur, a white man, father, a millworker and a drunk. As their relationship unfolds, it becomes strange, strained, and highly unacceptable for the time. Elliot needs Lena; Lena seems to need him. He abuses her and keeps her from her children by imprisoning her in his home. When she has finally had enough, Lena stands up and attempts to break free from the bondage of Elliot Arthur. A struggle ensues, and Elliot Arthur, a white man, is shot by Lena Baker, a blac woman, that night in Southwest Georgia in 1945. A jury of 12 white men found Lena guilty of murder and she received the death penalty, earning her a place in history as the first and only woman to be sentenced to death by electric chair in the state Georgia. She was pardoned posthumously in 2005.
My take? I've grown weary of historical black dramas! I don't have any concrete evidence at my immediate disposal, but it certainly feels like that category of film dominates black cinema. If it's a comedy, you can be sure it'll be something contemporary, filled with some form of hybrid minstrelsy. If it's a drama, it's more often than not historically based. Why? Again, I haven't done any hard research on this, so this is all basically conjecture on my part, although I feel quite certain that any research I do will prove this accurate. I'll take on that challenge and report my findings.
As for Tichina's performance? I haven't seen enough of her on screen, so I actually know very little about her range as an actress. But she certainly looks convincing in the trailer.
I'd guess that this will likely make its way to television, and home video.
Here's the trailer for The Lena Baker Story: