Sticking to the recent boom in alternate history dramas, An American electronic commerce and cloud computing company ‘Amazon’ is developing Alt-history drama called Black America. It envisages what would happen if newly freed African-American formed their own nation after Civil War from three Southern states including Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama as reparations for slavery.
The drama series dealing with post-slavery reparations America will be developed from a prolific producer, Will Packer (Ride Along, Think Like A Man franchises) and a Peabody-winning The Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder.
In the alt-history series, you would find a sovereign nation, known as New Colonia as reparation for slavery formed by securing southern states. New Colonia has had a tumultuous relationship with the United States government. The past 150 years have been witness to assassinations, military incursions, regime change, coup etc. Today, after two decades of peace with the United States and unmatched growth, flourishing New Colonia joins the ranks of top industrialized countries on the international level as America slides into rapid decline. Relentlessly tied together, the fate of two nations, indivisible, hangs in the balance.
After HBO’s announcement of Confederate this month from Game of Thrones prompted the Black America team to unveil the project’s premise. Producer, Will Packer told Deadline that he felt that it was the appropriate time to make sure that audiences and the creative community knew that there was a project that preexisted and they were pretty far down the road with it.
Packer is repped by CAA and Ziffren Brittenham. McGruder is repped by ICM and LEG.
In the latest Amazon’s project list ‘Black America’ tops as alt-history drama, along with the Emmy-winning series called “The Man in the High Castle”. The Man in the High Castle explores the world in which the Nazi have won World War II.
An upcoming HBO series ‘Confederate’ has drawn immense social media backlash as it imagines a modern world where the American South seceded and slavery remains legal. This project met vast backlash with fears that the depiction of modern day slavery would be exploitative and is racially insensitive.
Casey Bloys, HBO’s programming president addressed the controversy at the Television Critics Assn. press tour and quoted “Our mistake — HBO’s mistake, not the producers — was the idea that we would be able to announce an idea that is so sensitive and requires such care and thought on the part of the producers in a press release was misguided on our part”.
Activist April Reign started a movement against HBO’s upcoming drama with hashtag #OscarSoWhite, got another hashtag #NoConfederate trending on popular social-networking site, Twitter. Reign writes “We believe the time to speak up is now before the show has been written or cast,” she adds “Before @hbo invests too much money into #Confederate.”
However, the activist Reign tells that she supports the Amazon show. Reign tells that she thinks that Amazon drama has a much better representation of alt-history than what was proposed by Benioff and Weiss. She supports the project as it will show black and brown people thriving in the nation, something that isn’t shown enough on screen. She is also confident that, based on Mr. Packer’s previous track record, the crew behind the camera will be much more inclusive than we’ve seen from ‘Game of Thrones’.
HBO responds with a statement – “We have great respect for the dialogue and concern being expressed around ‘Confederate.’ We have faith that Nichelle, Dan, David, and Malcolm will approach the subject with care and sensitivity. The project is currently in its infancy so we hope that people will reserve judgment until there is something to see.”