A few weeks after HBO revealed that Game of Thrones creators were developing a new series based on what would happen if the Confederacy had won The Civil War, Amazon Studios announced that they are working on their own alt-history drama.
But this one is flipping the script in an empowering way.
According to Deadline, Girls Trip producer Will Packer and Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder are teaming up for the upcoming series Black America. The drama, which they have been developing for the past year, “envisions an alternate history where newly freed African-Americans have secured the Southern states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama post-Reconstruction as reparations for slavery, and with that land, the freedom to shape their own destiny.”
Set in the present-day, the show will imagine a sovereign African-American nation called “New Colonia,” that is rapidly emerging as one of the leading industrialized nations in the world.
“It was something that was personally intriguing for me as a Black American,” Packer said.
“You would be hard pressed to find many black Americans who have not thought about the concept of reparation, what would happen if reparations were actually given. As a content creator, the fact that that is something that has been discussed thoroughly throughout various demographics of people in this country but yet never been explored to my knowledge in any real way in long-form content, I thought it was a tremendous opportunity to delve into the story, to do it right.”
This announcement came two days after five Black female activists—April Reign (#OscarsSoWhite’s creator), Rebecca Theodore, Lauren Warren, Shanelle Little and Jamie Broadnax—launched their #NoConfederate campaign to protest HBO’s upcoming drama.
Rebecca Theodore explained to HelloBeautiful why Confederate is such a “serious problem” and how it’s only real goal is to profit off of Black people’s pain through a “white lens.”
“This is about white male privilege in Hollywood. [David Benioff and D.B. Weis] didn’t think how Black people would react and they didn’t care. We don’t need an alt-history about slavery in a day and age when a white man can walk into a church in South Carolina and shoot and kill Black people. We don’t need a show like this when we have a school-to-prison pipeline or fighting to take down Confederate flags and statues throughout the South.”
She added: “The ideas behind this show is dangerous—and not in a way that art is provocative and makes you think. Black bodies were and are murdered because of the Confederacy—and regardless of signing on Malcolm and Nichelle Tramble Spellman (two Black producers)— this show gives a platform to a community that has done so many horrible things to Black people and people of color. And we’re not here for it.”
However, Black Twitter is definitely here for Black America:
Deadline noted that Packer and Amazon decided to announce their show in light of the Confederate controversy.
“It felt this was the appropriate time to make sure that audiences and the creative community knew that there was a project that preexisted, and we are pretty far down the road with it,” Packer said.
We hope it’s worth the wait!