TV shows can hold a great influence on viewers with its cast, stories, and their platform on a recognized network. In the past, there have been very few representations of color as well as misrepresentation of cultural identity. Currently, shows have gotten better with displaying diversity whether it be with casting or storylines, as well as discussing the polarizing issues in our society.
The CW’s Black Lightning is one of the many shows that is addressing these matters. “All representation matters in the spirit of, we need to see everybody,” producer Mara Brock Akil told reporters earlier this year. “We need to also see the groups of people, or the types of people, who are often left out of the narrative. I think that’s why we say, Black representation matters, or LGBTQ because these groups have been left out. Or characters who are paralyzed. It starts to grow in the fiction. They constantly get left out of the narrative, and we need to bring everybody in the narrative.”
“But also doing it honestly,” showrunner Salim Akil stressed as he is adamant on bringing about justice for all people in a real way. “I’m not trying to be Kumbaya. The shit that I want to say, I want it to be real. I want people to have real representation. It’s like me having a conversation with a Native American about slavery, that Native American is gonna look at me like, ‘What the f— are you talkin’ about?’ Yes, no, that was horrible! But, my people don’t even exist hardly anymore. So, it’s all in degrees, and I think it’s time that we start talking about this.”
Black Lightning is based on a DC comic book superhero. It is not ironic that this series is trying to save humanity in reality too.
The show airs on Tuesdays at 9/8c.