Amazon Developing Slavery Reparations Series ‘Black America’ From Will Packer, Aaron McGruder

Will Packer Aaron McGruder
REX/Shutterstock

Amazon is developing a drama series from Will Packer and Aaron McGruder that will deal with a post-slavery reparations America, Variety has confirmed.

The alt-history series will explore a world in which newly freed African Americans have secured the Southern states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama as reparations for slavery. The new nation, known as New Colonia, has a tumultuous relationship with the United States government.

Packer and McGruder will executive produce the series. Packer is a prolific producer, having recently worked on films such as “Girls Trip,” “Straight Outta Compton,” and “Ride Along” to name just a few. McGruder is best known for creating the comic strip and accompanying cartoon series “The Boondocks,” as well as the series “Black Jesus.”

Packer is repped by CAA and Ziffren Brittenham. McGruder is repped by ICM and LEG.

“Black America” is the latest alt-history project from Amazon, along with the Emmy-winning series “The Man in the High Castle,” which explores world in which the Nazis have won World War II.

The announcement of the new Amazon series comes on the heels of HBO confirming that they are developing the series “Confederate,” which hails from “Game of Thrones” executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, along with Malcolm Spellman and Nichelle Tramble Spellman. The series takes place in an alternate timeline, where the southern states have successfully seceded from the Union, giving rise to a nation in which slavery remains legal and has evolved into a modern institution.

The HBO series announcement was met with immense backlash, with HBO’s programming president Casey Bloys addressing the controversy during his presentation at the Television Critics Assn. press tour. “Our mistake — HBO’s mistake, not the producers — was the idea that we would be able to announce an idea that is so sensitive and requires such care and thought on the part of the producers in a press release was misguided on our part,” he said.

Regardless, activist April Reign, who created the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, got the hashtag #NoConfederate trending on Twitter. “We believe the time to speak up is now, before the show has been written or cast,” Reign wrote at the time. “Before @hbo invests too much money into #Confederate.”

However, Reign tells Variety she supports the Amazon show.

“I think it’s a much better representation of alt-history than what was proposed by Benioff and Weiss,” she said. “I support this project as it will show black and brown people thriving in this country, something that isn’t shown enough on screen. I’m also confident that, based on Mr. Packer’s previous track record, the crew behind the camera will be much more inclusive than we’ve seen from ‘Game of Thrones.'”

HBO responded to the outcry with a statement: “We have great respect for the dialogue and concern being expressed around ‘Confederate.’ We have faith that Nichelle, Dan, David and Malcolm will approach the subject with care and sensitivity. The project is currently in its infancy so we hope that people will reserve judgment until there is something to see.”

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  1. In 1995, I worked with my first Japanese-American coworker who helped me write the African-American Ancestral Family Grant (AAFG), a proposal for the reparations. To date, I have sent it to every US president since Bill Clinton. I only received a note of receipt from George W. Bush. However, I still believe it is a legitimate solution to the continued state of inequality among blacks in America. These descendants of American slaves have never received the respect and honor due on behalf of their ancestors who built this great nation. In regards to these two alt-history pilots, I object to both. Without agreeable legislation in place to address the reality of this critical situation, both alt-history series would only confuse the issues and make it harder for all to accept the truth about our nation’s struggle with bigotry.

  2. Pink Shimmer says:

    I think this is a great project! White people want to erase the fact that their founding fathers raped, stole, and killed in order for America to be what it is today; then act like black people are the problem, while they picnic and noodle salad. White people want to erase the fact that under the guise of Christianity, they brainwashed, and manipulated black people for over 400 years, to believe they are subordinate. The jig is up white people! It’s time for black people to stop accepting “what is”, and stimulate their minds with “what if.” That “what if,” turning into action.

    It’s time we blacks, get our minds out of the injustices of the past and defeat whites with our dollars. And yes white people, many of us, most of us have them.

    Get angry black people. Read your history!

    • CelluloidFan35mm says:

      You call what you’re saying empowerment? You’re carrying on like some paranoid lunatic.
      It’s interesting that you blame whites for everything and you are unable to take responsibility for your own actions behaving like black people are not at fault for anything.
      Plus, what makes you think that our history is any better or more accurate than what’s out there?
      In your eyes, Nat Turner is a hero and not the religious and murderous whack job that he really was. Educating the masses is one thing but educating people based on omitted info, half-truths and outright misinformation is irresponsible and unacceptable.

      • CelluloidFan35mm says:

        @Pink Shimmer,
        Remind me how could I be racist against my own race? All over a different viewpoint? In case you missed it, I am African-American as well.
        I guess it’s “You’re either with us or against us” in your mind.
        And it’s seems that you keep ignoring the fact that we need to fix the issues within our own community because many of the issues we have are self-inflicted but you keep carrying on as if white people are the sole problem and the black community is blameless and playing the victim card every chance that presents itself.

        Again, we need to take responsibility for own part of the problem, too.

      • Pink Shimmer says:

        It’s amazing that when an African American speaks the truth about the history of the African American experience, they are militant, paranoid, A lunatic.

        I am sure that if we were to speak of the challenges of being any other race, being gay, being transgender etc, you wouldn’t dare make the same statements. The problem with America is racist people like yourself. If you would read, which I know you don’t you would see that my comment is of empowering African Americans to use our “DOLLARS,” in protest. Peace be with you in your journey.

    • CelluloidFan35mm says:

      How about trying to fix the issues in our own communities and start accepting responsibility for them instead of blaming others for them because most of the issues are self inflicted and I do not need some raving paranoid, vengeful racist nut job like yourself representing me.

      • Pink Shimmer says:

        For your information. I am half white. Encouraging black people to understand the history and use it to fuel change is not racist it is empowerment. Why is it that all other races, done unjustly by whites may speak on it, yet when a black person talks of it strongly it is considered racism? My comment is not in hatred of white people as it would be in hatred of myself. It is about educating the ignorant masses both white and black. Please have several seats and read several books.

  3. Chardon Bennett says:

    Well I 💡 BLACKS SHOULD OF GOT REPARATIONS BECAUSE THEY WHERE PROMISED IT , IN FACT THERE ARE MORE WHITE PEOPLE ON WELFARE AN FOOD STAMPS IN THE USA , REALLY ALL US WHITES DID WAS KILL THE INDIANS , BUY THE BLACKS , AN FORCE THEM TO BUILD THIS COUNTRY , AN EVERY TIME THEM BLACKS STARTED DOING GOOD , LIKE IN TULSA, OKLAHOMA !!! WHEN THEY HAD TO MUCH MONEY , WE BOMB THEM , AN NO ONE WENT TO JAIL FOR IT …. DRUGS WASNT IN THERE COMMUNITY UNTIL WE FIGURED OUT WE COULD MAKE EVEN MORE MONEY OFF THEM BEING IN JAIL , SO LET THEM HAVE THERE SHOW

  4. Kevin Kerr says:

    Actually it shows them thriving in a separate country.

  5. staying far far away on this. I will go as far as now boycotting Amazon for not telling the truth about anything related to this species. I am sick of this agenda being pushed down our collective throats at every turn. BLDM

  6. BambiB says:

    Subtract the welfare payments from the slavery reparations and every black in America would owe tens of thousands of dollars.

    • Pink Shimmer says:

      Not me. I am an African American that went to college and works hard for all I have. Please have several seats and read a few books.

  7. Matt Spiegel says:

    What makes a strong and well adjusted race of people? Free handouts or working hard and making something of yourself?

    • Jay gamble says:

      You mean like the Euro-Americans did? Glad you took notice. Making others do all the hard work. Creating laws to keep it tilted in your favor so you would not have to compete. Then blaming the oppressed when a few kicks in the door,

  8. SouthernGent says:

    Don’t be mad Beautiful White People’s, I’m sure you guys will be portrayed just fine. Having your better lives, and advantages, spending those passed down inheritances, living in those Beautiful Stately homes passed down to you, Still having those mentally psychotic mindsets to even hate a person of another race, especially after you consistently steal, hurt, mentally mistreat them. etc, etc, etc. You all will be just Dandy!

    • Jay gamble says:

      That part! Yep

    • I am an American Indian. We to this day have it far worse than blacks. I am sick of your agenda. We Indians who are successful have earned it not by the virtue of having red skin, but by the virtue of hard work.

      • Jay gamble says:

        We don’t believe you. You need more people. Blacks and natives have never had issues with each other’s plight. Because of anonymity and the ability to hide behind the keyboard does not give you the right to disparage

  9. Jerry says:

    I love The Bookdocks. I don’t think this projected new series will work though. I’m not seeing any scenario where Old Abe would have carried through with a war so costly in lives and so destructive of infrastructure to prevent the southern states from leaving the union to form a new nation, and then have some of those states leave the union and form a new nation. Lincoln and Grant weren’t the types who would say “we’ll fight to the death to keep Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama from leaving the United States, and then we won’t.”

  10. CelluloidFan35mm says:

    I’ll say this. I’m African-American and I will stay far, far, FAR away from BOTH these shows as I can get and I don’t give a rat’s ass if Ms. Reign thinks it shows black progress, even thought that show is FICTIONAL!
    Can we get something else from black producers and filmmakers that’s either not politically motivated, stereotypical or that’s not the same regurgitated crap over and over.

  11. James Morgan says:

    Should’ve given them Texas and California so we could see how they would handle the immigration issue. Or maybe that’s the sequel — they give those states to Latinos of Mexican descent

  12. Dude says:

    Buncha butt-hurt White Folks in the comment section . LOL !!!!!!!!

  13. dooshymcdoosh says:

    aww that’s cute, they get to play pretend time too

  14. Miss JOlie says:

    portugal is the first country to begin the slave trade from Africa with the help of Africans. The confederate war was less about ending slavery than about the north feeling threatened by the economic power in the south and the fact that almost all the food was being produced in the south. It is a pleasant fiction for people to think the north, which also had slaves, was for ending slavery as a moral objective.

    • Richard Redrose says:

      Tell that to all those slave states that decided to rebel because an anti-slavery candidate was elected. And yes, though Lincoln did not at first express the desire to end slavery by violent means, he had spoken and written about how it would naturally and providentially come to an end.

      • BambiB says:

        Actually, it was the “pro-industrial North” candidate, the “pro-tariff” candidate who planed to make manufactured goods from Britain so expensive that the South would be forced to bankrupt itself to buy goods from Lincoln’s political backers in the North. Lincoln may have had some person reservations about slavery, but here are his OWN words on the subject for your edification:

        “I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And in as much as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”

        – Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln-Douglass debate, Charleston, Illinois, September 18, 1858

        “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause.”
        – Abraham Lincoln, Letter to Horace Greeley August 22, 1862.

    • Richard Redrose says:

      Tell that to all those slave states that decided to rebel because an anti-slavery candidate was elected. And yes, though Lincoln did not at first express the desire to end slavery by violent means, he had spoken and written about how it would naturally and thankfully come to an end.

  15. Ok, did not expect this, but what a great way to showcase that these #NoConfederate jokers are indeed just a bunch of hashtag fake-outrage racists goons.
    They should be attacking this show with full force. But no, AprilOfHypocrite and her 500 cohorts are LOVING IT !!!! What a joke.

    Looking forward to both shows. #SupportTheArts

    • Greg says:

      Why would we attack a show that shows us as independent and self-sufficient. You’re telling me you don’t understand why a person wouldn’t want to be shown as a slave but doesn’t mind being shown as a dignified leader of their own country? Are you THAT delusional?

  16. realcourage says:

    There is so much real and important history that people really do not know. This “alternate reality” stuff is just crazy irresponsible, when Americans are not learning the history of real life.

    • BambiB says:

      6% of the US population cannot find America on world map. That pretty much says it all.

    • Matt says:

      Oh sure, all us whites nnnnnnnnnnnnnever hear about slavery and how we’re supposed to feel guilty about it all, lol doesn’t even begin to showcase how ridiculous your comment.

  17. I hope they are honest about the role of Muslims and their global slave trade which created slavery in this and nearly every other country in the world.

    • Matt says:

      @illinousatlarge: Sorry, this thing confused me, was not replying to you but the comment above. I agree with you about the Muslim slave trade, should mention the Jewish slave trade as well, but I won’t hold my breath.

  18. Hugh Jass says:

    “The crew behind the camera will be much more inclusive than we’ve seen from ‘Game of Thrones.”

    Game of Thrones is inspired by European mythology and history, which, if you haven’t noticed is full of white people. If you start policing art, and thinking that the people behind it owe you something, then art will die.

  19. John Miller says:

    Hilarious! Blacks are brought up with the same level of hate of whites as whites are brought up with hatred of blacks. We should put all of them in a steel cage, watch them rip each other’s throats out, and broadcast it on Pay-per-View, with all proceeds helping people who are actually in need.

    • Matt says:

      I was never brought up to hate anyone, but I will say this, I would love to be able to perform a grand experiment where myself and all the other whites get to go chill out in an alternate universe for about a year or so, let’s see how long the non-whites in America and Europe last.

      • Greg says:

        Yep that definitely sounds like “NO HATE” there Matty boy. I promise you if all the whites left.. you sound like they’d get rid of people like you first.

  20. Miss JOlie says:

    an alt history show where black people have 3 states and cannot get along with the government? Wow what a douchey subject and just another way for black people to feel all righteous and never have to workd towards peace and reconciliation. More divisive black politics. shame.

  21. An American says:

    Nope. I can’t support Confederate. We don’t need to see a world in which Black people are still enslaved. No thanks. Media needs to show Black folks in a better light. TV and movie depictions of African Americans had been horrid over the years and has been a driving force behind racism. Black America sounds great, and I’m looking forward to it.

  22. Anon E Moose says:

    Is the generation that demanded safe spaces at their college free of cis white males now moving into TV production? MLK must be turning in his grave about now.

  23. tommariner says:

    Given Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama as reparations as “alt-History”? Wait, that didn’t happen?

  24. Galactus99999 says:

    I can think of at least a dozen great Science Fiction books that I would love to see made into a movie or TV series and the people with the money come up with stuff like this.

  25. Meaux says:

    As much I would love to see this come to light. I see it as another reason for kooky white people to fear monger even more so of black people in control of anything they see as their “WHITE PRIVILEGE” rights

  26. MsCynthiaclarson says:

    Boring topic. Will be cancelled after season 1..-

  27. Peggy Allen says:

    I will fully support this show. HBO’s Confederate is racist to it’s core. The white producers and HBO execs can’t understand why showing African Americans as STILL being slaves is so hurtful and demeaning which is why they shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near that story.

    • dooshymcdoosh says:

      Hillary 2016, Trump 2020

    • hahaha says:

      i gotta say if all you got out of reparations was Alabama Louisiana and miss you guys got screwed:D

    • augleda says:

      Great point Peggy. In general, I think it’s very telling to see how people imagine a fantasy world.

    • Matt says:

      Another oversensitive crybaby. Go live in a 3rd world country, then you’ll actually have something to really whine about.

      • Matt says:

        @AO2K Lol, you honestly think it was blacks who built this country? So they built the highways? The Empire State Building? The Mackinac Bridge? Did they Invent refrigeration? A/C Current? The Microchip?

        Blacks did some farm work and made a FEW, read that again, FEW white jerks rich at the expense of all the working class whites.

        That is all meaningless tho since the Civil War wiped out all that wealth and then some. Do you even have a clue how disastrous that war was?

        All the ports in the South were littered with mines and wrecks for years, railroads, bridges, entire towns had been destroyed, untold numbers of households lost their bread winners, yet you think slavery was a boon for America? Then look at what we’ve had to put up with since.

        You don’t know what you’re talking about, you just parrot what you’re told.

      • what would this country be without the wealth from the free labor of the slaves? it wouldn’t be as GREAT as it is today. You should be thankful.\

      • Beauregard, Ah say, Beauregard says:

        Thank you, Matt. Well said.

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