Amazon’s scripted audio drama series ‘Bronzeville’ is produced by Laurence Fishburne and Larenz Tate. The series can be seen as a recap for numerous black families around the south side of Chicago throughout the 1940s. According to Tate, “The community was self-sufficient all-African American from running numbers.”
“It was an underground game of chance and it was the economic engine of those communities. The policy kings were the pillars of the community. The American life period was influenced by this community,” said Fishburne.
“Part of the reason why we are doing this together, there are two pieces that I did that the numbers play heavily into. I knew about that history, but I was completely unaware of what was going on in the Southside of Chicago.”
The main character, Jimmy Tillman, is the protagonist who experiments with the Bronzeville for the first time in all its glamor and mystery that allows the audience. Most of them probably never saw Chicago in the 1940s to get a supplementary perspective.
The dialogue portrays what life was like for many black people living when they went to college work on an assembly line, or even those who make a nonlegal income.
I recently interviewed London Brown, who played Ace Snyder in the series and asked him about the vibe around the star-studded cast.
“What was unique about Bronzeville that it was an audio series. Being that it was an audio series, I was in there with Larenz Tate, Laurence Fishburne, and Tika Sumpter. We were in there going through things through the headphones, and we had to be present. So, it was cool working on that project because because I had been a fan of Larenz Tate. I kept up with his career and Laurence Fishburne as well,” said Brown.
“Laurence Fishburne directed it and he gave me my notes. I also had to chop it up with Larenz Tate and I met him on a previous project that they called me for. When he and his brother called me for this Bronzeville audio series, I jump in during season two, but they already a large track record. And they already had fans of the show. So, when they called me to play this character it was something different and I wanted to build with the Tate brothers, Laurence Fishburne, and the rest of the cast. Every time you take a project, it’s for different reasons and I try to not let it be money. Though money does help, but if it is something different, and it fits my range. Your relationships are more valuable than money and in that case it was a relationship type of thing. So it was cool that I was able to join their audio series.”