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EXCLUSIVE: 'Black Lightning' Cast Opens Up About Being the First Black Superhero Family on the CW

by Jennifer Drysdale 10:40 AM PDT, July 23, 2017
Playing EXCLUSIVE: 'Black Lightning' Cast Opens Up About Being the First Black Superhero Family on the CW

The Black Lightning cast is ready for their big debut!

ET's Leanne Aguilera caught up with the cast of the upcoming show at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday, where they opened up about bringing the first black superhero family on the CW, and teased fans with what they can expect when the series premieres next year.

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"Jefferson Pierce, AKA Black Lightening was a hero... nine years prior, he was a teacher. Since then, he's become principal of Garfield High, has retired for his family, but the family gets into some danger, so he comes out of retirement," star Cress Williams described of his character, setting the stage for the events of season one.

Though black superheros aren't exactly new -- Disney Channel's 2000 movie, Up, Up & Away and Marvel's upcoming Black Panther both showcase black superhero families -- Black Lighting is the first CW superhero series to star a black family.

"Oh God, it’s amazing. It’s inspiring," actress China Anne McClain (Jennifer Pierce) said of being able to represent the black community on screen. "It’s great that we are at that place, you know, in the world to be able to do that and people can accept it, and think that it’s great and relate to it. So, we’re all honored."

"Our goal is just to serve hope that we can make a change within our country and within our communities and that’s what Black Lightning is," actress Nafessa Williams (Anissa Pierce) added. 

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As for what audiences can expect when the show premieres in 2018, showrunner Salim Akil said, "They should know that they're going to have a damn good time."

"As much as it is uniquely a celebration of family, a celebration of black culture, it is a story for all of us, because we do have to figure out what is our own super power, and accept who we are," added writer and co-creator Mara Brock Akil. "It's not always going to be easy to get out there and be a hero, but I think through the example of these characters, people will want to."

The cast left ET's studio with a warning for those who try to mess with Black Lightning and the Pierce family.

"They get fried! Lit up!" Williams joked.

"This show is literally lit!" McClain laughed.

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