by Dawn Spring
In post-Civil War America fortunes rose, Victorian morals declined, and the nation moved from the hope of Reconstruction to an exploitative, hedonistic precursor to the Great Gatsby era. Privileged white women indulged in petty department store thievery and narcotics while their African-American peers found their dreams and futures stolen as America replaced slavery with a new system of racial oppression.
Gigi, who began life enslaved on a Georgia plantation, and Violet, a privileged New England heiress, forged a deep bond working together on Radical Reconstruction political campaigns. When the white supremacy of the Southern Redeemers shatters America’s hopes for racial harmony, their paths split. Edward, Violet’s almost openly-gay husband, sends her and her beloved valet Robert for a fresh start in New York City where she slips into a world of shoplifting and narcotics. While Gigi guides her friends to safety from white supremacists before becoming New England’s first African-American nursing student.
The series (show bible/episode summaries for 5 seasons available) is closely in keeping with contemporary American social issues of addiction, inequality, systemic racism, and white supremacy. It features a diverse spectrum of characters across race, gender, and sexuality who inhabit the anti-hero spotlight so often reserved for white male leads.
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