Amazon to launch alt-history drama competing against HBO

Amazon Studios is partnering with producer Will Packer and Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder for its own alt-history series that will portray newly freed slaves as having secured Southern states as reparations for slavery.  

The announcement by Amazon comes one week after HBO faced criticism for its upcoming slavery drama, Confederate, which is set in an alternate world where the South won the Civil War and slavery still is legal. 

Amazon's new show, which is titled Black America, is completely opposite of the Confederate, which is being created by Game of Thrones masterminds David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. 

Black America will be set in the post-Reconstruction time period and show newly freed slaves securing Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama as they use the land to shape their own destiny, Deadline reported.   

In the drama, the sovereign nation formed is called New Colonia, and it has a difficult and sometimes violent relationship with its much larger neighbor, the United States. 

Will Packer

Aaron McGruder

Amazon Studios is partnering with producer Will Packer (left) and Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder (right) for its own alt-history series that will portray newly freed slaves as having secured Southern states as reparations for slavery.

Coups, assassinations, regime change and military incursions have occurred over the past 150 years in the drama.

But now after 20 years of peace with the United States, New Colonia is able to transform into one of the major industrialized countries in the world as America declines.  

The formal announcement about the new show from Packer, who produced hit movies Girls Trip and Ride Along, and McGruder, who won a Peabody award, was prompted due to HBO's announcement of Confederate. 

'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.

Packer added that the show is in 'very, very active development' as McGruder is 'off and writing'. 

He also revealed that the hour long show originated at Amazon Studios with the company's head of content Roy Price calling him a year ago.  

'Literally, Roy said to me, 'you're either going to think that I'm crazy or brilliant',' Packer recalled of how the conversation began. 

The announcement by Amazon comes one week after HBO faced criticism for its upcoming slavery drama, Confederate, which is set in an alternate world where the South won the Civil War and slavery still is legal. Confederate is being created by Game of Thrones masterminds David Benioff (left) and D.B. Weiss (right)

The announcement by Amazon comes one week after HBO faced criticism for its upcoming slavery drama, Confederate, which is set in an alternate world where the South won the Civil War and slavery still is legal. Confederate is being created by Game of Thrones masterminds David Benioff (left) and D.B. Weiss (right)

'I said 'Well, first of all you're both, second of all, what's the idea?' And after I heard it, I said, 'Yes, that underscores the idea that you're both crazy and brilliant'.'

Packer said: '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.'

Price then reached out to McGruder, who had worked with Packer previously on

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