Here's the Other Show About an Alternate Civil War History You Probably Haven't Heard About

August 1st 2017

Danielle DeCourcey

There's a new show that imagines a very different ending to the Civil War. In Amazon's "Black America," freed slaves create their own country—and it's causing a lot of discussion about the need for more black creatives in Hollywood.

Although the show was in development for months, the recent release of its title comes after HBO announced their own alternative history show, "Confederate," created by Game of Thrones  showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss and depicting a world a world where slavery still exists.

HBO's premise was met with intense backlash, with many critics arguing it's story that shouldn't be told by two white men. 

By contrast, Amazon's show is led by two black men: Aaron McGruder, creator of Cartoon Network's "The Boondocks," and "Straight Outta Compton" producer Will Packer.

After seeing the "Confederate" announcement, McGruder and Packer decided they should reveal more details about their own series.

“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.

In "Black America," recently freed slaves take over the governance of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama as reparations for slavery, creating their own nation called "New Colonia." This new nation becomes a powerful leader in the industrialized world, with conflict and drama ensuing. 

People on Twitter were generally supportive of Amazon's "Black America" as a rival to HBO's "Confederate."

Meanwhile, HBO's "Confederate" continues to receive intense backlash. 

On July 28, five black women launched the hashtag #NoConfederate to protest the new show. It ended up trending on Twitter.

One of the Twitter users, April Reign, an activist and former attorney, was also a creator of the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag that protested the consistent lack of diversity in Academy Award nominations year after year. With "Confederate," Benioff and Weiss are two white men presenting a TV show about slavery in an industry that's already lacking storytelling from black people. 

An analysis from the Bunche Center for African-American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, found that people of color were under-represented by 5 to 1 as creators of scripted cable shows. The same is true for creators of broadcast scripted shows, while writers for broadcast and cable scripted shows are underrepresented by 3 to 1. 

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