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Digital Subscriptions > Curve > Fall 2018 > Black Lightning

Black Lightning

An interview with Nafessa Williams.

Thunder Strikes


The CW

The war on black Americans is real. The extrajudicial killing of black men and women by police has become disturbingly commonplace. So, too, are the instances of white people calling the police on black people who are doing ordinary things: barbequing at a local picnic ground; sitting in a Starbucks waiting for friends; turning in coupons at a supermarket or drugstore; or, if they are black women students, hanging out on their majority-white college campuses, like Smith, eating lunch or studying in a quiet corner.

Black Lightning is fighting back against all of that—to critical and audience raves.

The CW’s latest superhero drama is part of out gay showrunner Greg Berlanti’s Arrowverse, a compendium of series based on DC Comics. Black Lightning was developed by Salim Akil and combines Afro-futurism with black American life for a vivid, honest, and utterly compelling TV series.

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About Curve

As we greet a new season we also embrace new possibilities of expression. I was thrilled to welcome to our cover the beautiful Nafessa Williams, star of the CW show Black Lightning. 2018 is the year of the black superhero, and Williams is a breakout star, playing TV’s first black lesbian superhero. Season 1 was an overnight success, premiering as the network’s #1 new series. That’s great news for anyone who ever wondered if their authentic self would find representation and acceptance in the mainstream. We also take an in-depth look at the November midterm elections and the potential “Rainbow Wave” of out LGBT candidates. More diverse women than ever before are entering the political field hoping to enact necessary change, and that’s something worth celebrating. Enjoy our story on the Indigo Girls, who are trying something new musically, and meet other women from coast to coast who are pursuing their selfhood in the most delightful and inspiring ways. Hats off to Esther Newton and Casey Legler whose lifelong journeys made me proud to call this community my home.