Black Lightning

Courtesy Kyanna Simone Simpson

Kyanna Simone Simpson shows no signs of stopping. The Decatur native and University of Georgia student's first Netflix series, Chambers, was just released. Her new film Ma, with Octavia Spencer, hits theaters May 31. And Oprah Winfrey told Vanity Fair she'd pick Simpson to portray her in a biopic. 

Simpson's previous credits include The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, in which she acted alongside Winfrey as the younger version of Winfrey's character, Deborah Lacks. She's also appeared as Keisha in the CW's Black Lightning.


The CW

Most of the people on this show work behind the scenes, but that doesn't mean we avoid talking to the stars.

 

Nafessa Williams has only been acting a few years, but she’s already made quite a splash with her role in The CW’s "Black Lightning." Her character, Anissa Pierce, is the first black, lesbian superheroine to appear on a network show.

 

From favorite books to superhero inspirations, we discussed the pop culture that shapes our understanding of self and the world around us.

We spoke to GPB hosts Bill Nigut and Emily Jones about their favorite books from "The Great American Read" series.

We also heard from "Black Lightning" actors Nafessa Williams and Marvin Jones about their roles on the show. The second season is currently filming in Atlanta and airing on The CW.


Nafessa Williams Black Lightning CW TV
Nafessa Williams / Twitter

"Black Lightning" follows a retired superhero who gets pulled back into crime fighting to protect his family and community.

Nafessa Williams plays the daughter of the titular superhero. Her character, Anissa Pierce, is the first black lesbian superhero to appear on a network show.

Kalena Boller, host of GPB's upcoming podcast "The Credits," spoke with Williams about her groundbreaking role.

The City of Atlanta is still dealing with the fallout from a massive cyberattack Thursday. Since a group of hackers locked down the city's computer system with a malware called Ransomware, city employees have been unable to carry out essential business. Atlanta residents can't even pay their bills online. 

Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has condemned the attack. She has yet to confirm if the city will pay the $50,000 ransom hackers have demanded in exchange for the city to regain access to its data. Georgia Public Broadcasting reporter Emily Cureton updated us on the latest developments in the data breach. We also spoke with Milos Prvulovic, a professor in Georgia Tech's School of Computer Science.

Rach / Flickr

Across film, television and comic books, we’re seeing the rise of superheroes of color.

One of the latest examples is the CW series "Black Lightning," which films in Georgia.

Amid all the superhero action, Black Lightning also tackles complex issues like how communities deal with crime and police brutality. 

We talked with Marvin Jones, who plays the show’s lead villain.