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‘Black Lightning’ Cast, Creators Talk Race and Representation at Comic-Con

The cast and executive producers of “Black Lightning” took the stage at San Diego Comic-Con to thunderous applause on Saturday.

Series co-creator Mara Brock-Akil said that she and her husband and fellow co-creator Salim Akil made a point of making the CW superhero series a celebration of black Americans.

“Celebrating our culture is important to remind us that we are also a part of the fabric of American culture,” she said. “Tracking our history and our path is important.”

Brock-Akil also said that she was excited to show what is really happening in black neighborhoods across the country.

“There’s a lot of everyday people, the heroes who are surviving what happens in these neighborhoods,” she said.

Nafessa Williams, who plays Anissa Pierce and her superhero alter ego Thunder, also spoke about the importance of playing an out black lesbian on a major television show.

“Representation is important,” she said. She went on to say that what she finds most rewarding about the role is when young gay black women tell her that after seeing her character onscreen, they “feel normal and safe to be out as a lesbian.”

“That’s my only job as an actor: to take on jobs that are going to inspire,” she said. “We gotta be who we are unapologetically.”

Black Lightning” Season 2 will premiere on The CW on Oct. 9.

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