‘Black Lightning’ features a black superhero, tackles race head on


IMAGE / Wikimedia Commons

Here are a few characters from the show “Black Lightning.”

“Black Lightning” is a DC comics superhero who can shoot lighting from his hands.

Television network “The CW” has given the well-known superhero and his family their own series, featuring many of the comic’s characters and story lines.

Junior Nadia Calvert said that she was glad that television has finally made a show that expresses racial issues and portrays a black lead.

“‘Black Lighting’ is, honestly, the show I’ve been waiting for,” Calvert said. “It shows people the real problems that come from racial profiling, and I’m beyond excited that the show is reaching out to people of color by having a black family as the main cast.”

‘Black Lighting’ is, honestly, the show I’ve been waiting for.”

— Nadia Calvert, junior

But the series focuses on more than just Black Lightning becoming the next superhero. It addresses racial conflicts that are happening in today’s society.

The series depicts the first black superhero family on the network.

Jefferson Pierce, the man who is Black Lighting, is a high school principal and father of two teenage girls in Freeland, a city heavily influenced by violence and gang activity.

Pierce is a well-respected black man in Freeland, being labeled as “Black Jesus” by many of Freeland’s residents because of his concern for his people.

The series starts off showing how racial profiling is a problem in Freeland when Jefferson is pulled over and manhandled by a police officer without proper reason because of his race.

Freeland is run by “The 100,” a large gang that produces an addictive drug called green light to sell to teenagers, causing them to possess superhuman strength and abilities.

Jefferson has retired his night job as Black Lighting, but when his daughters Jennifer and Anissa are kidnapped by the gang, he is forced to use his powers in order to save them without endangering himself or his daughters.

The series shows viewers how residents can be affected by living in low-income cities. “The 100,” which is run by Allah, a young black man who uses his wealth and power to control the city, uses the residents’ desperation for money to trick them into selling drugs for Allah.

Black Lighting airs on “The CW” every Tuesday at 9 p.m.