A new series depicting railway workers in the historically Black Montreal community of Little Burgundy in the 1920s is bound for the CBC.
The public broadcaster says it's partnered with the U.S. streaming service BET Plus on the eight-part original drama, which is inspired by real events and has the working title "The Porter."
A news release says the show follows four characters "who hustle, dream, cross borders and confront barriers in the fight for liberation, on and off the railways that crossed North America."
With its proximity to train stations, Little Burgundy became a central point of migration, had a thriving jazz scene, and is where acclaimed pianists Oscar Peterson and Oliver Jones grew up.
The CBC says the show will feature railway porters and their families, and the impact they had in Black communities in cities across North America.
That impact included the creation of the world's first Black union.
The first season is set primarily in Montreal, Chicago and Detroit after the First World War, when Little Burgundy was dubbed the “Harlem of the North.”
The show, from Inferno Pictures and Sienna Films, is set to debut in the CBC's 2021/22 season.
Co-executive producers Arnold Pinnock and Bruce Ramsay created the series, with Annmarie Morais, Marsha Greene, and Aubrey Nealon.
Morais and Greene are writers/showrunners on the series, while Charles Officer and R.T. Thorne are set to executive produce and direct.
"'The Porter' is more than a healthy dose of history. It’s a bold, sexy, unapologetic look at Black ambition,” Morais said Thursday in a statement.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 10, 2020.
The Canadian Press