On the heels of the pearl clutching involved with the proposed HBO series, Confederate, comes yet another alternate history take; this time meant to be the reverse image of Confederate, Amazon’s Black America.
It envisions 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.
My first thought is that this actually would be a show I would watch. This isn’t Amazon’s first foray into Alternate History. They are currently producing The Man in the High Castle, an alt-history in which the US lost World War II and the country is partitioned between the victorious Japanese and Germans. Of course, that was a show that I actually thought I would want to watch too, but the execution just seemed boring. Maybe it’s the source material. I read Phillip K. Dick’s novel years ago, and of the many alternate history Germans-win-world-war-two books I’ve come across, it was a nine on the dull meter.
Still who knew I would live to see an age when there could possibly be three (counting Confederate) alternate history TV shows? What an age we live in…
Unlike the backlash (or is it blacklash?) to Confederate, black twitter loves the idea of this show. So this tells me that now Amazon is committed to producing at least one episode for Amazon pilot season, or forever face the wrath of SJW social media. So since I’ll have at least one episode to view, I admit I’m wondering what they’ll do with it, but one thing I’m sure of, New Colonia won’t look like its real universe counterpart, Liberia. Liberia was supposed to be a promised land for freed slaves, and instead, after a brutal civil war is just one more African semi failed state.
But as the description of the show indicates, New Colonia will be a major industrialized nation, leaving the pasty United States in the dust. One hopes the producers will at least put some effort into putting together a timeline of the show to explain how that would happen, since currently Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama are not exactly industrial powerhouses. Here’s an idea producers: After World War II, the New Colonia Armed Forces capture a lot of Nazi scientists and factories and ship them back home, forming the basis of the New Colonia space program.
Well now I’m getting excited about the show, and if it’s successful, how about a crossover special? My pitch: In the same way that Netflix took several Marvel properties to lead up to a combined series (The Defenders), maybe Confederate and Black America can have a massive crossover event in which The CSA and New Colonia find a way to cross dimensions and discover each other and immediately go to war. That certainly takes race war to a new, science fiction level. And which side do you root for?