I am one of the millions around the world that is hooked on the hit HBO series, Game of Thrones. Fans across the globe were ecstatic with the return of the show’s seventh and final season, which has been split into two parts. Showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss have done a great job bringing to life the book series created by George R R Martin.
The duo has recently had a new project greenlit by HBO, the premise of which is unfortunate at best, but truly dangerous at worst. Their new show, titled Confederate imagines a United States that is not so united. They are creating a world where the South was able to secede from the North, slavery was still legal and how that would look in modern times.
Are we really supposed to trust two white men to ever be able to portray such a topic, without it looking like slavery porn? There appears to be a peculiar fascination white men have with life during the horrifying years of slavery. Countless films and TV shows have been dedicated to viewing slavery through a white lens. Some of the more well-known are The Birth of a Nation (original), Gone with the Wind, Django Unchained, 12 Years a Slave, and Roots to name a few. They are essentially trying to continue profiting from slave labour. However, they are taking it a step further by creating a world where slavery never ended.
For the black people currently calling the USA home, not much has changed for the better since the abolition of slavery. Generational wealth is still not a reality for the descendants of those that literally, yes literally, built America into what it is today. For black Americans today, this TV show may bring to life horrifying consequences. There are those who really do wish that the South was able to secede from the other States. Now, I’m not saying that they are T***p supporters, but I’m not saying that they’re not. However, they are the ones that still wish they could wave their Confederate flags high and mighty. There is absolutely no need to create a world where slavery did not end, as the reality that black Americans currently face is pretty damn traumatising and often times fatal enough.
The news of this series getting the okay has had an interesting timeline. The actor John Boyega recently commented on GoT’s lack of black characters. The usual response was that there are black characters, notable examples being Grey Worm and Missandei who are following Daenerys. And that is a very important distinction to make, they are secondary characters. Their entire storyline and lives are dictated by a white, silver haired character. Both the aforementioned were slaves before Daenerys “freed” them from their masters, and they have been following her ever since. Other non-white characters are seen as those that need to be saved by the benevolence and compassion of The Mother of Dragons. Their characters are never fully formed, or truly independent of white character arcs.