The Boondocks and Black Jesus creator Aaron McGruder is teaming up with Will Packer (Ride Along, Straight Outta Compton) for a new series in the works at Amazon, and the timing of the project couldn’t be better. In the wake of HBO announcing it has a new show in the works by Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss called Confederate – an alternate history show that would be set in a world where slavery is still legal in the US – today Deadline reports that Amazon is developing an alternative history drama of its own from McGruder and Packer called Black America, which is decidedly a much better take than the HBO project that’s been the target of a huge backlash online since it was first announced. Here’s more info from Deadline’s report:
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 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. Inexorably tied together, the fate of two nations, indivisible, hangs in the balance.
McGruder and Packer’s project has reportedly been in development for over a year, but the title and plot details have been kept under wraps until now. “It felt [like] 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 on the decision to announce the details today. Packer didn’t comment on Confederate directly, but he noted that “the fact that there is the contemplation of contemporary slavery makes it something that I would not be a part of producing or 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.” And while Black America is a drama, Packer added “it wouldn’t be Aaron McGruder without traces of his trademark sardonic wit.” If the timing of today’s report is any indication, that’s a promise we can count on.