“Our Kind of People” is based on a book by the same name by the author Lawrence Otis Graham, a book with the subtitle “Inside America’s Black Upper Class.” The characters involved in the series don’t appear to be drawn from the book, but the environment of Oak Bluffs with its rigid social mores and heavily stratified pecking order is clearly based on the world detailed in Graham’s novel.
Deadline reports that the series will follow single mother Angela (Yaya DaCosta), the owner of a haircare line for Black women, as she moves to Oak Bluffs with the intention of reclaiming her family’s name. But the discovery of a dark secret about her mother threatens to turn her world — and all of Oak Bluffs — on its head. The level of dynastic wealth present in Oak Bluffs means Angela’s success as an entrepreneur is just a drop in the bucket to Leah (Nadine Ellis) and the old guard.
The teaser trailer includes a voiceover from Angela saying “Little do they know, I’m one of them,” which makes it seem as though perhaps her mother’s secret was an affair with Teddy. It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that Angela and Leah will also come into conflict with one another as the former’s arrival disrupts the well-grooved paths the latter has come to expect from her life.
Considering Lee Daniels’ involvement, it’s easy to see “Our Kind of People” as a spiritual successor to his series “Empire,” which also concerned itself largely with the trials and tribulations of wealthy Black Americans, though this new series will take place in a very different setting and social realm than the New York music industry fans of the Lyon family came to know in that show.