Amazon has a new show about an alternate American history — but don't compare it to HBO's already-controversial series Confederate.
Black America will explore a world where the South separated from the Union — and the formerly Southern states are now a new country, New Colonia. Meanwhile, the United States is "both ally and foe" for the nation, according to Deadline, which had the exclusive news from Amazon.
Deadline explains that Will Packer and Aaron McGruder have been working on Black America for more than a year, but they decided to share the news about the project now because of the Confederate controversy. The HBO drama, from Game of Thrones' David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, imagines an America where slavery is still legal.
"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 told Deadline.
The outlet reports that the new show will imagine "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."
According to Deadline, New Colonia is on the rise as a nation at the same time the United States is in "rapid decline."
"It was something that was personally intriguing for me as a Black American," Packer told Deadline. "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."
Packer also told the outlet that the show has consulted "appropriate historians" so that the show will still be as "accurate and responsible" as possible. "Even though the story is set in contemporary society, not post-slavery, it relies on us being factually correct in telling the story of how we got to a contemporary society where you've got a sovereign country that is run by Black Americans,” Packer told Deadline.
Packer also mentioned the U.S. prison system, which he noted "disproportionally imprisons black and brown people." "You can trace that back, for many reasons, to slavery," he told Deadline.
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