HBO’s Confederate has been steeped in controversy since it was first announced last month. The forthcoming series from the core crew behind Game of Thrones is set in an alternate timeline where the South has seceded from the Union, and slavery is still legal in half of modern-day America. Just as quickly as the show was announced, the backlash arrived–with many prominent voices decrying it as exploitative. The outrage has only further galvanized in the ensuing weeks. Perhaps the best response to the show, however, is not a response at all, but a just-announced Amazon series that has been in the works for a year and a half.
As Deadline reports, Black America is a show that takes place in 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.
The series comes from The Boondocks and Black Jesus creator, Aaron McGruder, and Will Packer, the producer behind hits like Girls Trip and Straight Outta Compton. Amazon announced Black America back in February, but kept all the details in the dark, aside from who was involved, and the “alternate history” aspect.
According to Deadline:
It was HBO’s announcement of Confederate this month that prompted the Black America team to reveal the project’s premise. “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.
Although all that is now known is the premise and creative talent involved, Black America will likely avoid the scorn of Confederate’s detractors by finding a fresh and respectful way to examine the horrors of slavery through a modern lens.