Black Lightning Season 1: Salim Akil on the CW's First African-American Superhero Show
The CW is doing their presentation at the Television Critics Associations winter press tour today and among the guests was Salim Akil, one of the co-creators and producers on the new CW series Black Lightning. Akil is producing with the godfather of superhero television, Greg Berlanti, as well as Mara Brock Akil and Sarah Schechter.
During the Q&A, one of the critics said the new series, "does not feel like a show written by a bunch of white people trying to sound like black characters." They went on to ask, "was there someone in the room serving as "BS meter?"
Akil responded with, "The BS meter is we have a predominantly African American writing staff. That's a good thing… They're not all African American, but, we have people who have either lived this life or know someone who has. And the BS meter also is our cast. They know what the language feels like in their own community."
Another critic wondered if, with the number of recent projects with black voices on television or in development, had they effectively 'turned the corner'?
Akil gave a very realistic answer, 'It's that 10-year cycle now. We're hot. I don't know if we've turned that corner but I damned well know we've straightened the curve. People are taking responsibility and not asking any more. It's time for black people to not ask any more, and do. If you do that at a level you're pleased with, and its authentic, people will pay attention to it."
Black Lightning debuts on January 16th at 9 PM on the CW.