Bronzeville is a story of the Great Migration: it follows Jimmy Tillman (Larenz Tate), a papermill worker from Arkansas who kills a strikebreaker and flees to Chicago to find a new life for himself, tracing the steps of millions of Black Americans who migrated from the rural South to the urban North in the mid-20th century.
Jimmy makes his way to Bronzeville, the legendary Black neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, where he falls in with the Copeland family, the operators of a policy racket—an underground lottery—that functioned like a bank when white-owned banks wouldn’t lend to Black people. Everett Copeland (Wood Harris) is doing a spell in federal prison for tax evasion, so he asks his old lieutenant Curtis “Eyeball” Randolph (Laurence Fishburne) to get back into the game.
(Yeah for real this is a star-studded episode! I can scarcely believe it myself.)
We play episode 1 of Bronzeville, and then I talk to two of the producers, LaRon and Lahmard Tate, about the show’s origins, productions that are too Black for TV, and the Tate family’s Chicago history.
CW: violence, racist language
HEY ALSO we have a PayPal button that I forgot about? Give us dollars, please.
Credits inspired by Zev Chevat.