Unless you've been living under a rock, you can't miss the controversy surrounding HBO's upcoming series from the Game of Thrones showrunners, Confederate.
Now, in the aftermath of all this outrage, a new series from Amazon from Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder and Girls Trip super producer Will Packer.
We first reported on this in February when it was first announced, back then it was untitled and we just had loose plot details. The series was said to be in the mold of Amazon's "The Man in the High Castle" - the dystopian drama that is loosely based on the 1962 novel of the same name by author Philip K. Dick.
Now we have official details from Deadline. The series will be titled Black America, and its description reads that it "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. The sovereign nation they formed, New Colonia, has had a tumultuous and sometimes violent relationship with its looming “Big Neighbor,” both ally and foe, the United States. The past 150 years have been witness to military incursions, assassinations, regime change, coups, etc. Today, after two decades of peace with the U.S. and unprecedented growth, an ascendant New Colonia joins the ranks of major industrialized nations on the world stage as America slides into rapid decline. Inexorably tied together, the fate of two nations, indivisible, hangs in the balance."
Packer confirmed that with the Confederate news, they thought this would be the right time to announce Black America. "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," he told Deadline.
"I was immediately enthralled by the idea; I couldn’t stop thinking about it and what a provocative and bold piece of content it could be. Being a fan of Aaron, I thought he definitely had the right tone, the right voice, the right wit to handle a project like this. Aaron and I sat together and talked about what a huge opportunity and responsibility it would be to do this project and do it right," he continued.
Historians have been brought in on the project as consultants to make sure they are adequately and responsibly telling what a story would look like in present day. "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," said Packer.
On the drama's tone, Packer says, "a drama, but it wouldn’t be Aaron McGruder without traces of his trademark sardonic wit."
He wouldn't comment directly on Confederate to Deadline, but did say "the fact that there is the contemplation of contemporary slavery makes it something that I would not be a part of producing nor consuming. Slavery is far too real and far too painful, and we still see the manifestations of it today as a country for me to ever view that as a form of entertainment.”
Well, this sure is an epic series announcement if we've ever seen one.
Stay tuned as I'm sure we'll get more details soon on this new show.
Read the full story on Black America at Deadline.