And Another One: Are You Ready For A Web Series About Traveling Back In Time To The Slave Era?

October 17, 2014  |  

 

Are you ready for another production about slavery? Well, you better get ready because one, a web series at that, is in production.

According to Shadow and Act:

Created by playwright, screenwriter and actor Steve Harper, and starring Tracie Thoms (“Annie,” “Death Proof,” “Looper” among many other film and TV roles), “Send Me” deals with a black woman (Thoms) who has the power to send black people back in time to slavery days.

But Harper makes clear to point out that the people who do this in the series are doing it of their own free will: “It’s not a punishment. They want to go – to explore their blackness, their history, to connect to who they are. It takes place now, in 2014, and it involves time travel. Candidates apply for the chance to take the trip. Those who want to go are trying to find out who they are now based on who their ancestors were.”

Harper is currently crowdfunding to cover production costs and thus far, he has raised a little over $10,000 out of the $100,000 requested. As such, it’s hard to really visualize how this series will finally look if it ever comes to fruition. But judging by all of those involved, including the director and the producer, “Send Me” sounds pretty original.

And according to Harper, who wrote this on his IndieGoGo page:

Almost every time I mention the premise of this show, I get into a deep conversation about race in this country. The conversations are wide ranging and there are no easy solutions. That’s the same spark I hope to ignite in homes all over the world as a result of making this series. People are, apparently, eager to talk about race relations even though some consider this a “post-racial” moment. By creating and producing this drama about 21st century people who are dealing with the past, I want to continue the conversation in a unique and entertaining way.

Entertaining and slavery don’t really sound like they belong in the same sentence. And I imagine that for some folks, purely fictionalized accounts of slavery might touch a few nerves. However, it has been done before. The 2011 French film Case départ broke all sorts of barriers in using comedy to tell a similar story about two time-traveling blacks, who venture back to the antebellum South where they get sold to a plantation owner. On the surface, it sounds like a horrible idea, but as a film, it’s not that bad.

And in general, why should slavery be off-limits in terms of topics, which art can be created around? As I’ve mentioned many times before, comedy and tragedy are not that strange of bedfellows. People laugh because it hurts. People laugh because sometimes what is happening is so absurd, the best and only non-violent response is laughter. So if this series does take on a lighthearted approach, I’m actually kind of cool with it – just as long as it is tasteful.

However, I do wonder if the slave theme and period, which Hollywood has taken a tremendous interest in as of late, has finally reached its peak. Thus far, we have had Django, 12 Years a Slave, Belle, I Am Slave and a slew of other film and TV movies still working their way down the underground railroad pipeline. At this point, what could another production centered around slavery teach us or even entertain us with that hasn’t already been done?

Not to mention, it’s hard to imagine people – real or fictionalized – who want to travel back in time to visit the era of American slavery. I mean, I can certainly see going back in time if the intent was to kill a slave owner or two, but to go back just to see what things were like? What is this, a zoo trip? Plus, we had plenty of history of our own before slavery. And as a black person, I think I might prefer a time traveling trip down the Nile as opposed to a donkey trek on the plantation. I mean, what if I get caught and forced into the fields?

But what say you? Are you ready for another production revolving around slavery? And what do you think of the premise? If the technology was available, would you take a trip back to in time to help an ancestor? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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  • The Elusive Chanteuse

    Although a part of me is excited about seeing productions with telling the history of black folks, i feel like there are other stories that need to be told. maybe about the stolen africans who fought along side seminole indians? maybe about the young teenagers involved in the civil rights movements? you know there’s diverse cultures and stories that could/should be explored….

  • Tubie

    This sounds like it’s based loosely on Octavia Butler’s book, Kindred (which I read in college and it’s really really good). The only really difference is that they protagonist in the book didn’t have a choice to go back in time (if I remember correctly; it’s been a while since I’ve read the book).

  • the.sun.will.come.out.tomorrow

    Who would want to (pretend) go back to this period in time?

    Who thought this was a good idea.

  • Why can’t we be put in crowns? Why can’t we be put when we were teaching whites what civilzation is and was and how it is supposed to be! This has made me sick! #urbanchitchat

    • Nicholas I

      “Why can’t we be put when we were teaching whites what civilzation is and was and how it is supposed to be” — Genius trolling! You’re f’ing magic dude!

      • Guest

        No honey, YOU are the genius troll here. Seriously, you would have to be to think that you could peddle your delusions on MN. You are a special kind of troll, one who still believes that their ilks are more than just pure global parasites. You’re the f’ing magic dude, so for that you get an E for effort.

      • mmmdot

        You’re nothing but a descendant of the dregs of society from Europe, who were nothing but a bunch of unwashed, disease-ridden RAPISTS, THIEVES, and KIDNAPPERS themselves!! LMAO! They were nothing but a bunch of violent, illiterate savages who did nothing but sit on their lazy azzes and exploit the wealth generated by the hard work of non-white people.THAT is what “whiteness” is all about! Being lazy, diseased, mediocre, and substandard. The fact that you have a FALSE sense of white racial superiority about the DISEASED, barbaric, animialistic mad dogs you’re descended from is HILARIOUS and SAD. Please! You people nothing but wet dog smelling, white trash hillbillies and rednecks that STILL take pride in the fact that you MURDERED and RAPED people to signify your “natural racial superiority”. LMAO!!! Just get over yourself, you inbred hillbilly.

  • Why can’t we get sent back to a time when Black People here great? #urbanchitchat Boring and Tried of this Sterotype! We are a great people group and we need to see that more!

    • Nicholas I

      “Why can’t we get sent back to a time when Black People here great?” — BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! Good one!

      • Guest

        It is good one dear!!!! Didn’t you know people don’t buy your garbage whitewash history anymore–Shocker!!!!!
        “Columbus discovered America”–BWAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHHA AHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHHAHHAHAHHAH! Now that’s a Good one!

      • What? Did I say something funny? Nicholas….last time I checked your people were in caves while mine were building cities! #urbanchitchat

        • Nicholas I

          # Jingaboongalungupwaloo

          • Guest

            Is that what your mom/sister/aunt screamed when she was screwing your pop/uncle/nephew to have you? You are beyond lame.

        • Nicholas I

          Fascinating. Which cities?

          • Alexandria, Egypt. Was one that your people wrote that your people wanted when they first saw it!

            • Nicholas I

              Alexandria? Your people built Alexandria? So you’re Greek. Nice. Or Coptic? You said your people built cities. What’s another one? Athens? But in your picture you look negrotic. Strange.

              • Guest

                Wow! Lame and dumb, what a twofer!!!!

              • mmmdot

                Excuse you dumb racist mofo but have you ever heard of the kingdoms of Ghana or Mali? Or the famous Islamic university of Sankoré based in Timbuktu, which was established in the 14th century? In the 14th century, the West African empire of Mali, which was larger than western Europe, was reputed to be one of the biggest, richest and most powerful states in the world. In fact while The Black Death was killing off disgusting and diseased Europeans who had no concept of basic sanitation, let alone BATHING, civilizations which avoided the plague THRIVED—the empire of Mali became one of the RICHEST EMPIRES in the world. In fact the BLACK MOORS of Northern Africa who invaded the Iberian peninsula are responsible for bringing Europe of it’s diseased, poo-flinging, feudal Dark Ages because it reintroduced of much of the learning of the ancient world to Europe through translations into Arabic of works in medicine, chemistry, astronomy, mathematics and philosophy, as well as through the various contributions made
                by Islamic scholars.

                Thanks to agricultural techniques introduced in Europe by the Moors during their occupation of the Iberian Peninsula that Europe was able to produce enough food to go beyond feudalism and sustain a larger city dwelling population. This in turn led to the rise of a trading middle class and the start of the Renaissance. So thanks to the Moors that the Renaissance started in Europe. This knowledge, brought to Europe by the Moors, helped to create the conditions for the Renaissance and the eventual expansion of Europe overseas in the 15th century. THANK THE AFRICANS for ANY innovations that Europe has come up with in the past millennium? Kay? And you need to check yourself ANYWAY, white trash because the United States was Europe’s first GARBAGE DUMP for all the unwanted, ILLITERATE, and diseased infested WHITE CRIMINALS and PEASANTS that it wanted to CLEANSE itself of. As a white American you’re descended from the THIEVES, WH0RES, AND RAPISTS of Europe who would’ve been forced into wars they couldn’t even SPELL, if they weren’t HUNG or put into the stocks first. We all know how common ILLITERACY was amongst Europeans back then. Go die in a fire on top your burning cross, you inbred American white trash hillbilly.

            • Nicholas I

              “your people wrote that your people wanted” — Yeah? Who are my people?

              • Guest

                –Who are my people?

                “I’ll take cave dwellers for $1000 Alex.”

                • mmmdot

                  LMAO!!!!

              • mmmdot

                You’re nothing but a descendant of the dregs of society from Europe, so get over yourself, you inbred hillbilly.

      • mmmdot

        All your *LAZY* and *DISEASED* WHITE ANCESTORS did was STEAL NATIVE AMERICAN LAND and FORCE AFRICANS to work on it, while
        RAPING them both. That doesn’t make you superior; it just means you’re
        descended from LAZY, GOOD-FOR-NOTHING, LOW-CLASS RAPISTS, THIEVES, and KIDNAPPERS. You ALSO need to remind yourself that the BLIGHT and PLAGUE that Europe felt the need to “CLEANSE” itself of were your UNWANTED WHITE ANCESTORS. If Europe didn’t use America as the FIRST GARBAGE DUMP for it’s low class white trash criminals and servants, they would’ve been hung or forced to fight and DIE in wars they couldn’t even spell. They would’ve have lived their POINTLESS SHORT LIVES and DIED right in EUROPE. Then your American white trash azz wouldn’t have the opportunity to be descended from Europe’s THIEVES and WH0RES today. So thank Europe for flushing its toilet and sending its WHITE SHXT over here and shut your wet-dog smelling, sister fxcking, inbred, redneck, albino monkey poo flinging azz the fxck up. White people are not superior to anyone anywhere EVER–and that’s culturally or otherwise.

  • Mynx

    I love the fact that people want to talk about our history, but there’s more to us than slavery.

    • Nicholas I

      “there’s more to us than slavery” : Yeah, there’s that singer, and that other guy, and that time Leroy went upside his ol’ lasy’s head.

      • 1Val

        Is there more to “your people” than imperialism, colonialism, hegemony and genocide of other races?

        • Guest

          Thank you!!!! These people still think it’s the 1800. They’re delusion still can’t fathom that people finally see them for the global parasite that they truly are.

        • Nicholas I

          You don’t know who my people are. And you could never understand my people anyway.

          • Guest

            Actually my dear we do! And you’re absolutely right, we will NEVER understand your people, EVER!!!!! But your presence here, is proof enough of the degenerate we’re dealing with.

            • mmmdot

              “But your presence here, is proof enough of the degenerate we’re dealing with.”

          • mmmdot

            Sure we do!!! Ted Bundy! The deviant, bloodthirsty cannibal, serial killer, and rapist who was executed in the the electric chair and thrown into a grave like the garbage that you white people are!

      • Guest

        HA! You Neans are hilarious!!! Are you lost dear? This isn’t the renaissance sweetie, so you might want to hop on over there to peddle your bulls*^t whitewash history. They’re the only ones who will buy that garbabe. Trolling MN must be the only thing your life consist of– “Yeah there’s that singer”. Hysterical!!!!

      • mmmdot

        You need to remind yourself that the BLIGHT and PLAGUE that Europe felt the need to “CLEANSE” itself of were your UNWANTED WHITE ANCESTORS. If Europe didn’t use America as the FIRST GARBAGE DUMP for it’s low class white trash servants and criminals, they would’ve been hung or forced to fight and DIE in wars they couldn’t even spell. They would’ve have lived their POINTLESS SHORT LIVES and DIED right in EUROPE. Then your American white trash azz wouldn’t have the opportunity to be descended from Europe’s THIEVES and WH0RES today. So thank Europe for flushing its toilet and sending its WHITE SHXT over here. KAY? You’re nothing but a descendant of the dregs of society from Europe, who were nothing but a bunch of unwashed, disease-ridden RAPISTS, THIEVES, and KIDNAPPERS anyway!! LMAO! They were nothing but a bunch of violent, illiterate savages who did nothing but sit on their lazy azzes and exploit the wealth generated by the hard work of non-white people.THAT is what “whiteness” is all about! Being lazy, diseased, mediocre, and substandard. The fact that you have a FALSE sense of white racial superiority about the DISEASED, barbaric, animialistic mad dogs you’re descended from is HILARIOUS and SAD. Please! You Neanderthal mofos STILL got the caveman gene in you. LMAO! Just get over yourself, you inbred hillbilly.

  • Just saying!!

    I’m ready. I’ve actually had a similar concept in my head for a while now. Just a way for people to see how slavery affects us today (and of course for ignorant folk to realize how ashamed they should be by how they behave now).

    Not sure when black people all of a sudden became so afraid and frustrated concerning the topic of slavery but they need to get over it. Delving into our past brings us purpose and can sometimes help determine our future.

    • Just saying!!

      Although I never intended for my concept to be a comedy lol…that can certainly change things…

  • Truffles

    Madamenoire, thanks for deleting my meaningful comment. I see now what you really want promote on your website. You’re not for us, you want to poison us.

    • T. T.

      Well Truffles my comment was deleted as well & I tried to repost but it’s waiting in moderation. I thought my comment was meaningful as well but if my meaningful comment isn’t wanted on this particular topic then so be it. My comments on Iggy & Snoop were posted but,

      • Secret87

        They keep secret/me comments lol.

  • appassionata

    The pathology amongst my people is real. *sigh*

  • But why slavery though?