From the world of liberal cable programming, we will have the privilege of not one, but two competing, alternative-history dramas about blacks. Both sound insufferable. From Deadline:
A century and a half after slavery was abolished in the U.S., the wounds left by one of the darkest periods in American history are far from healed, as evidenced by the controversy surrounding the recent announcement of HBO’s upcoming drama series Confederate, from Game Of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, which explores an alternate timeline of seceded southern states where slavery is legal and has evolved into a modern institution.
Another alternate history drama series, which has been in the works at Amazon for over a year, also paints a reality where southern states have left the Union but takes a very different approach. Titled Black America, the drama hails from top feature producer Will Packer (Ride Along, Think Like A Man franchises, Straight Outta Compton) and Peabody-winning The Boondocks creator and Black Jesus co-creator Aaron McGruder. 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.
Ah, yes, the fictional New Colonia as a global powerhouse, just like real-life, majority-black, global powerhouses such as Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Haiti.
As for the tone of the hourlong series, it’s “a drama, but it wouldn’t be Aaron McGruder without traces of his trademark sardonic wit,” Packer said.
In the era of Get Out, I can imagine such ‘wit’ will be at the expense of whites.
Black America creates the kind of utopia that has been on the minds of generations of black Americans for whom the series may have a sense of wish-fulfillment.
Wish-fulfillment being the key notion here.
“It was something that was personally intriguing for me as a black American,” Packer said. “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.”
That involves “bringing on the appropriate historians to make sure we are telling the story in an accurate and responsible way,” Packer said, noting that historians have been brought in as consultants on the project, working with the producers.
Umm, how do you get historians to ensure you tell an accurate story that is entirely fictional?
That sounds like a neat trick!
Packer said that it is early to talk about Black America‘s message since the series is still being developed. But by answering the questions “what if reparations were given, what would this country and that alternate country look like today, how would Americans look, our communities, relations, I think that there definitely is a message about how we co-exist today where that didn’t happen, there weren’t reparations, and you still have black Americans who are suffering from the effects of slavery in various ways,” Packer said. “You still have the prison-industrial complex that disproportionally imprisons black and brown people, you can trace that back for many reasons to slavery.”
Ultimately, Black America “will speak to where we are now and the mistakes this country has made and things we should do going forward,” Packer said.
Of course it will.