HBO isn’t the only network with a post-Civil War alt-history in the works. After Amazon announced earlier this year that they were developing a project with Will Packer and Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder, details of the drama titled BLACK AMERICA have been revealed.
The series 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 shapes 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. Inexorable tied together, the fate of two nations, indivisible, hangs in the balance.
After seeing the online reaction to HBO’s Confederate, Packer said, “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 added, “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.”
McGruder is best known for creating the animated comedy Boondocks and more recently penned the series Black Jesus. While Black America is a drama, “it would be Aaron McGruder without traces of his trademark sardonic with,” said Packer.
“It was something that was personally intriguing for me as a black American,” said Packer. “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.”
While Packer didn’t comment directly on the HBO alt-history drama Confederate, he did speak in line with the sentiments of that series online critics. “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.”
Emily J | Managing Editor
This news was first reported by Deadline.