The panel included executive producers Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil and cast members Cress Williams, Nafessa Williams, China Anne McClain, and Christine Adams.
Salim Akil explained, “It’s time [for Black Lightning.] Jefferson Pierce is the epitome of what black men are: He loves his wife, his children, and the community. This family is the Obamas of the superhero world. This show will have an authentic black voice. This character will add something to the conversation. We’ve always been character-based and we’ll continue to be character-based. It’s about when and how he uses his powers and why. We want people to get to know this family. Their powers, like their race, is only part of who they are. There’s definitely a problem with police brutality and we will get into that. There’s also a problem with us killing each other and we’ll talk about that too.”
Mara Brock Akil explained further, “By having Thunder and Lightning help in the community, we get to shade in the humanity of the community. We all have a choice to use our power for good or for bad. What’s happening in our world today can inspire change.”
Cress Williams is thrilled to portray Pierce. He shared, “I’ve played a lot of bad guys. I’m changing teams. I’m officially on the side of light. Jefferson is going into the community. We effect change positively from his family out to the community. He’s trying to save the world one person at a time.”
Newly announced additions to the cast include James Remar in the role of Gamby and Damon Gupta as Inspector Henderson.