Archive for January, 2018

TV Review: ‘Black Lightning’, Produced by Hollywood’s Power Couple, Salim and Mara Brock Akil

Are you a fan of superhero tv shows? If you answered yes, you are in good company. I am a huge fan of  The Flash and Arrow.  This past Tuesday I have added a   new superhero show to my list. The much anticipated  Black Lightning, produced and directed by Hollywood’s power couple Salim and Mara Brock Akil airing  on CW.

Black Lightning is not your typical superhero show,  because the main character is a middle-aged black male. In the season opener titled  ‘The Resurrection,’ we see the superhero defending his two daughters from impending danger.  How often do we see black fathers portrayed in a positive light? Well, in Black Lightning we observe a caring and devoted father who goes to extremes to protect his daughters.  Superhero Jefferson  Pierce played by Cress Williams is not only an authoritative figure in his community, he is well liked, and respected by everyone. He is a positive role model. He works tirelessly as a high school principal making sure every child under his care succeeds.

Black Lightning is unique in that it addresses victimization of black people.  During the episode   Jefferson was unjustly profiled by a white cop; however, Jefferson did not react negatively. He repressed his rage and remained level-headed. One can safely conclude that it is never easy to remain calm when you are being unfairly treated because of the color of your skin. Black Lightning gives the viewer some sharp takes on how race affects our perception of- and access to -justice. Superhero Jefferson’s reaction to his mistreatment by the white cop represents a great example for young black males to emulate.   In today’s society many people of color may encounter the same situation as the character in the show, but keeping your cool will help you stay alive.

Black Lightning addresses current social issues in a  novel way. It does not get better than this. The producers created a masterpiece that entertains while providing valuable insights on how to deal with the current climate of racial issues, gang culture, and other injustices.

I have always admired the Akils for their previous works and the way they can portray real-life situations on screen that is so relatable. Black Lightning is sure to be a hit just like Girlfriends, The Game, and Being Mary Jane. I like the vibe I am getting after watching Black Lightning several times since it aired. The adage: “It takes a village to raise a child” saturated my thinking as I watched the interactions between principal Jefferson with the student body. Whether this was intentional or just part of the writer’s subconscious view of the world, I’m not sure; either way, I find the subtle father image vibe between principal Jefferson and the student body to be quite endearing.

I am beyond elated that the Akils have once again produced another great tv series.  I highly recommend that you add Black Lightning to your must-watch list. The storyline will draw you in.

Interview: Aaron Groben , Author of “My Good Thing”

In my opinion all relationships are an opportunity for individuals to grow and learn about a person with different background and perspective from them. I also believe even though Richard and Mildred Loving made it possible for partners of different racial backgrounds to no longer hide their relationships for fear of legal persecution, we still have stereotypes, and misconceptions that play a major role in how we talk about interracial dating and marriage.

As a Haitian-American woman married to a German man, I know from firsthand experiences how people have preconceived ideas that are not based on logic and truths. The United States has a long way to go in terms of racial discourse, but after reading Aaron’s book, My Good Thing, I was hugely encouraged by his honesty and his genuine love for black women. Aaron has a very unique perspective that is definitely refreshing. The interview below will warm your heart. I encourage you to pick up a copy of My Good Thing. Thank you Aaron for granting me this interview.

Can you tell the readers about yourself?

I am a Christian, a full time Actor / Model, and author of My Good Thing. One night at a Bible Study, during worship, God called me to write. I was unsure if this was the Voice of God so I asked Him to make it clear if this was Him calling me. A man in the row in front of my group turned around and said, “There’s an old African Proverb that says until the lion learns to write, the story will always be told from the hunter’s perspective. We’re the lions.”

I committed to the Lord’s calling for this project in that moment (it’s not only a book but there’s a screenplay as well). After study, another man came to me in the lobby telling me things about writing I did not ask about but which allowed My Good Thing to not only be a script but also the book you’re now aware of. God speaking so clearly is a beautiful thing.

In your book My Good Thing you wrote about an African American girl that you developed strong feelings for, what did your parents and friends think about you falling for her?

My Good Thing is a fictional story but with that said, many of the events that happen are based on real events from my life. And like my character, Arthur, I too exclusively date black women. My parents are actively praying for and cannot wait to meet my Queen. My friends are excited for me to journey through life with the bride of my dreams as well.

What made you decide to write My Good Thing, what do you hope to accomplish by writing the book?

The passion behind the project is to change the conversation. We want the representation of black women in media to be lovely, pure, confident, and amazing (true to life!) instead of more often seeing them sexualized, objectified, or as stereotypes. This is the story of a black woman young girls can aspire to and not only change the conversation but change the trajectory of their ways of viewing themselves. Black women, you are lovely, you are pure, you are worth it.

Do you only date African American women exclusively?

Yes, I exclusively date black women. There is a life that only comes with a black woman and it is the life I am called to. We can all agree there is a difference in black women; a different voice, zeal, passion, love, and splendor. Each has her own uniqueness and intricacies but there is a starting point for me in the beauty of a black woman internally and externally. And then I look forward to exploring all of who my future bride is.

You are an actor in Hollywood, do you think with you being very vocal about your preferences for black women made a huge difference with the types of roles you are cast for?

I hope my being vocal makes a huge difference in casting! I can be the man they think of as husband to a black wife or a man who stands for goodness and truth revolving around women of color and good things in general.

Are you currently dating anyone, if so, how are you navigating around issues that may arise from people that might not approve of your relationship?

There will always be people who might not approve of me for whatever reason. I dont worry about what people think of me. I live my life as I am called to live it. And I will love a woman with absolute abandon. I will love her in such a way the world takes notice and she finds herself blessed.

There are a slew of interracial dating sites; do you think it is a good idea to go on these sites in the hopes of finding the ideal mate?

I dont have a problem with dating sites. The Lord can have you meet who He has for you in anyway He wants.

Some people believe that interracial couples that end up getting married will help eradicate racism; do you believe this to be true, why or why not?

We should always be striving to eradicate racism. Whether it will ever truly be eradicated is another question but we must strive for that. Interracial couples can certainly be an example of a good thing. As a leader, I desire my marriage to be an example of many good things that are needed in this world.

Without giving out the ending of  My Good Thing do you plan to write a sequel?

People have certainly been asking.My_Good_Thing_Cover_for_Kindle

Where can one purchase your book?

My Good Thing is available at in Paperback and Kindle versions.