Shortly after HBO announced its plans to develop Confederate — a post-Civil War series which depicts what would have happened if the South had successfully seceded and slavery was still thriving — Amazon has reportedly also jumped on the bandwagon. The streaming service has announced that it is coming out with its own alternate history series, titled Black America.
The show, which has been in the works for more than a year, is reportedly in a “very very active development” stage, according to Deadline. Black America will reportedly explore what America would be like today if freed slaves had been given the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama as reparations after the Civil War. The show will reportedly be set in the fictional utopia of New Colonia, which Will Packer, the show’s producer, said was “intriguing” to create. “It was something that was personally intriguing for me as a black American. 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,” said Packer. Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder also will be contributing to the series.
The plot is somewhat similar to the HBO series in the works, but the difference with Amazon’s program is that an all-black creative team is leading the narrative, Deadline reports. Additionally, the Girls Trip producer insisted Black America will not fuel the legacy of slavery, unlike its competing series. “The fact that there is the contemplation of contemporary slavery makes it something that I would not be a part of producing or consuming,” he told Deadline. “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.”
Soon after news of the HBO show was revealed, many critics hopped on Twitter to express their disappointment with the alternate narrative. Although there are many similarities and coincidences between the two, Packer said Black America was not created in response to Confederate. Black America has not been given an official premiere date as of yet. We’ll just have to wait and see how history rewrites itself.