60 minutes – Drama, mini-series,
Date of first broadcast: February 22, 2022
Production companies: Inferno Pictures, Sienna Films
Originating Networks: CBC, BET+
Set in the early 1920s and inspired by real events, The Porter 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. Set primarily in Montreal, Chicago and Detroit as the world rebuilds after the First World War, the series depicts the Black community in St. Antoine, Montréal. Known at the time as the “Harlem of the North,” it follows train porters Junior Massey (Aml Ameen) and Zeke Garrett (nnie Rowe), Junior’s wife Marlene (Mouna Traor), and upstart performer Lucy (Loren Lott), as a tragedy in the community sets them on starkly different paths to a better life. While Junior takes advantage of a broken system to pursue money and power in gambling and bootlegging, Zeke fights the railway to change the system from within by unionizing the Black porters. Marlene questions whether her work as a Black Cross nurse is truly serving her community, while Lucy takes her success into her own hands – whatever the cost. As each pursues their goals, their once unbreakable bonds are stretched to their limits. Will they need to betray each other and their community to make their dreams reality?
The Porter, eight 60-minute episodes, was created by Arnold Pinnock, Bruce Ramsay, Annmarie Morais, Marsha Greene and Aubrey Nealon.