Directors: Charles Officer, R.T. Thorne
Studio(s): Inferno Pictures, Sphere Media’s Sienna Films
Cast: Aml Ameen, Ronnie Rowe, Jr., Mouna Traoré
Details: CBC, Canada’s public broadcaster, and BET+ are collaborating on The Porter (working title), an original drama series about a group of railway workers who unite to form the world’s first Black union.
Story: Set in the 1920s and inspired by real events, The Porter follows the journeys of four ambitious souls who hustle, dream, cross borders and confront barriers in the fight for liberation – on and off the railways that crossed North America. It is a gripping story of empowerment and idealism that highlights the moment when railway workers from both Canada and the United States joined together to give birth to the world’s first Black union.
Ameen will portray ‘Junior Massey,’ an intelligent, smooth, ambitious and fearless risk taker and war veteran employed as a porter with the Transcontinental Railroad; alongside Rowe Jr. as fellow porter ‘Zeke Garrett,’ Junior’s friend and war buddy, who is calm, thoughtful and persistent to a fault in his fight for integration. Traoré will play ‘Marlene Massey,’ Junior’s wife who works with the Black Cross Nurses, an offshoot of Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association, risking resources and reputation to help her community and reach her full potential.
Set primarily in Montreal, Chicago and Detroit as the world rebuilds after the First World War, The Porter depicts the Black community in St. Antoine, Montreal – known, at the time, as the “Harlem of the North.” They’re young, gifted and Black, from Canada, the Caribbean, and the U.S. via the Underground Railroad and through the Great Migration, and they find themselves thrown together north and south of the color line, in an era that boasts anything is possible – but if change isn’t coming for them, they will come for it. By any means necessary.
The Porter is set to become Canada’s biggest Black-led television production and has been greenlit for 2021/2022. Source(s): Deadline; newshowtv.com; nowtoronto.com.