You might think The Read, Serial, or Denzel Washington Is The Greatest Actor of All Time Period, are the only podcasts that are worth your time, but that’s just because you haven’t listened to the new podcast, Bronzeville.
The 10-part podcast from the minds of Larenz Tate and Laurence Fishburne among others and follows the Bronzeville neighborhood in Chicago during the 1940s. To this day the community is known as the Black Metropolis, and at its peak, it was full of art and black businesses. (It was like the Harlem Renaissance of Chicago.)
Bronzeville follows the Copeland family, who run Bronzeville. With the Big Boss, Everett Copeland (Wood Harris) behind bars, his brother Jesse Copeland (Omari Hardwick) is left in charge. Jesse looks to Curtis “Eyeball” Randolph (Laurence Fishburne) for guidance as he takes over the family business. Tracee Ellis Ross, Tika Sumpter, Cory Hardrict, and Larenz Tate also star.
Tate who is a Chicago native said that he was inspired to do this podcast because of music legend Quincy Jones, a fellow Chicagoan. Tate said, “He explained to me that his father ran numbers for a very well-off, well-to-do powerful family on the South Side of Chicago.”
Bronzeville was able to thrive because of families like the Copelands who were the economic infrastructure of the community. As Tate explains, “People who ran these numbers or these policies, they called them the Policy Kings, and they were the pillars of the community, and they decided to invest back into the infrastructure or invest back into the community to create an infrastructure where black folks had our own department stores.”
The Love Jones star took his idea to Hollywood to try and get it on the silver screen, but no one was interested. However, Audio HQ wanted to be involved in the project, so a 1940’s radio scripted style show was born.
Check out Bronzeville here.