By Dani Nick

Philadelphia (CW Philly) — This week, Entertainment Weekly had the opportunity to speak with Nafessa Williams about her role on Black Lightning.

Williams stars as Anissa Pierce, the daughter of Jefferson Pierce. Anissa is a lesbian who eventually discovers that she has superhero powers, too. This combination, a black lesbian superhero, makes for a complex role, one that we don’t see often in the media. Williams is grateful to have this powerful platform for those who feel underrepresented.

Considering her unique role, EW asked if Williams feels added pressure to perform.

“I won’t say that I feel any pressure. I believe love is love. I’m just really grateful to tell the story for young lesbians — and black lesbians in particular — who don’t really see themselves on TV. My hope is that when you watch Anissa, a young lesbian is inspired to walk boldly as who she is and to love herself and to love herself exactly how she looks,” Williams explained. 

Williams also thinks the Pierce family, as a whole, can serve as inspiration to viewers.

“Also my parents on this show, they’re very supportive of my sexual preference, and maybe this can serve as an inspiration to parents at home watching who are dealing with a child who is gay or lesbian and not knowing how to communicate or be as a open. I hope that our family on the show is an inspiration for some families just to be open and accept your children and love them. The Pierce family does a great job of doing that,” Williams said. 

To read the full interview, click here.

Tune in to The CW Tuesdays at 9 p.m. for all new episodes of Black Lightning.

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