HERE COMES THE
THUNDER BLACK LIGHTNING STAR
Nafessa Williams Foreword by Marcela Villa, Interview by Angela Yungk
hiladelphia native Nafessa Williams is a young actress who is already making a mark on the television and film industry. Her latest role, Anissa from Black Lightning, which airs on The CW, is a unique one. Black Lightning, based off the DC Comics superhero, is approaching the premiere of its third season and we have grown to love the strong and fierce black lesbian daughter of Black Lightening, Anissa, later known as Thunder. Nafessa has taken some leaps of faith of her own to make magic happen in her real life. She was on the pursuit of a legal career and working in the homicide department of the District Attorney’s office when she decided it was not the path for her. She dove head in and began paving her way into her acting career, appearing in the film, Streets, alongside another Philadelphia native and renowned rapper, Meek Mill, which was released in 2012. Fast forward to 2018, and she is representing beautifully for the LGBT community with strength and poise as Anissa. Aside from being the first lesbian superhero to be portrayed on television, Anissa’s character in the show is empowering to those who watch, and even more so for Nafessa who portrays her. Anissa fights for social justice in the show, using her powers to bring change and peace, and being an empowering representation of women as a whole, women of color, and particularly those part of the LGBT community. We can all look up to a strong woman superhero on television, but it’s even better when she is able to bring diversity and allow for the inclusion of those we don’t usually see on screen. Anissa is a big role for Nafessa, and an even bigger role for society, motivating and inspiring for all who watch. Nafessa has taken steps towards some of her real life passions to fight for social justice in her every day life, visiting the homeless of Los Angeles in Skid Row and praying with them as well as giving out clothes to them. Nafessa spoke with Art Hive Magazine about her pursuit to her creative dream and what led her there, as well as all things Anissa, what this role means to her, and how it has influenced her life and the television industry.