The “all publicity is good publicity” expression was tested last month when HBO announced Confederate, a new series from Game of Thrones co-showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss about an alternate history of America where the Confederacy seceded from the Union and slavery is legal. The fallout was fast: There were protests and regrets, and Benioff and Weiss even spoke to Vulture about the controversy. This is all happened before even a single page of the show has been written. That’s how sensitive the topic is.
But if done well, alternate-history programming can be entertaining and enlightening, which is why Amazon has gone ahead with Black America. The series, which hails from Will Packer and The Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder, is also about the Southern states leaving the Union. But as Deadline points out, it “takes a very different approach” than Confederate.
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 United States 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. (Via)
Black America was originally announced in early February, but it didn’t have a title then, or even a premise. So if you’re wondering about the timing of this report: yes, it was intentional. “I 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. He also described the tone of the series as a drama, “but it wouldn’t be Aaron McGruder without traces of his trademark sardonic wit.”
No casting information or premiere date is available yet.