Entertainment

'Black America': What to know about the anti-'Confederate'

Posted August 2

Amazon may be trying to offer an alternative to HBO's upcoming drama "Confederate."

"Black America," a series in development for Amazon, will focus on freed slaves who form their own country. The show is being viewed by some as "Confederate" counter-programming.

HBO announced plans last month for its show set in a contemporary world in which slavery remains legal, sparking controversy and calls for cancellation.

Related: HBO draws ire after 'Confederate' announcement

HBO says it has "respect" for the "concern" being voiced, but stands by the vision of "Confederate" producers David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Nichelle Tramble Spellman and Malcolm Spellman, who have yet to write or produce any episodes.

Meantime, "Black America" producer Will Packer shared details about his project in an interview with Deadline published on Tuesday.

Here's what you need to know about the series:

A different viewpoint

In "Black America," a group of newly freed black slaves secure Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi as reparations. They form a nation called New Colonia.

The show is being billed as a drama with "sardonic wit."

Heavy hitters behind it

"Black America" comes from Packer and writer Aaron McGruder.

Packer's recent producing credits include "Ride Along," Straight Outta Compton" and "Girls Trip."

McGruder is the creator of the popular animated series "The Boondocks."

"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," Packer told Deadline.

It proceeded 'Confederate' announcement

"Black America" has been in development for awhile and was first announced as an untitled Packer/McGruder project back in February.

Packer said the concept "was personally intriguing for me as a black American."

As for "Confederate," Packer said "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."

Already found fandom

If social media is any indication, some are already hyped for the series.

Alt-history is hot at the moment

"Black America" and "Confederate" are just two of the latest "what if" projects taking center stage.

The Amazon series "The Man in the High Castle," based on the Philip K. Dick novel of the same name, imagines if the Nazis had won World War II.

The novel "Underground Airlines" by Ben H. Winters looks at America if the Civil War didn't happen. It was voted a best book by Amazon last year.

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