Black Lightning Actress Chantal Thuy: The F.A.D. Interview

Hers isn’t a household name yet, but actress Chantal Thuy’s growing body of artistic work will undoubtedly win her many more fans soon. Among her various projects, she has a recurring role on The CW’s Black Lightning, DC Comics’ first ever TV show centered on an African American superhero. 

Chantal plays bartender, bookstore staffer, and comic book geek Grace Choi, a bisexual Asian American woman who has a budding romance with one of the title character’s two daughters, a medical student named Anissa Pierce (played by Nafessa Williams). Grace’s special powers have yet to manifest on the show, but her back story is laid out in the DC Comics source material; she’s half-Amazonian, giving her a common ancestry with Wonder Woman. Thus, in the comics, she possesses superhuman strength, endurance, and self-healing. Hopefully, we’ll see her powers at work on the TV version of Black Lightning this season!

Grace and Anissa Bookstore
Grace (right, played by Chantal) and Anissa (left, played by Nafessa Williams) meet for the first time. Grace holds an issue of The Outsiders comic book, an allusion to the DC Comics superhero group that includes both Grace and Anissa.  (Image: The CW)

But Chantal doesn’t just portray an extraordinary character. She’s an extraordinary person, which I’ve found as we’ve interacted over the last year. In this Feminist Asian Dad interview, Chantal discusses bisexual and Asian American identities, her family’s refugee experience, what she does for fun, and much more. It’s a truly heartfelt conversation which I know you’ll enjoy! (And it’s been gently edited for length and clarity.)

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Evangelexit Interview

TW/CW: Discussion of Donald Trump and violence.

To My Muslim Friends

To my Muslim friends, I am so, so sorry. I see that 81 percent of white evangelicals, both from the working and professional classes, from the old Rust Belt to the deepest parts of the old Confederacy, voted for Donald Trump. I see that 15 percent (according to a pre-election survey) of non-white evangelicals were likely to do the same, helping to make him the most powerful person on the planet. He demonized you, turned people’s fears against you, and incited radical Christian terrorists to harass, beat, and even kill your friends and family members.

The Muslim Community Miraj Center in Bayonne, New Jersey, on Oct. 14, 2016. Spray painted on the wall are the words “Donald Trump,” “Fuck Allah,” and “Fuck Arabs.” Photo: Huffington Post. Click the photo to read more.

And many people from my faith community, the evangelical community, barely mumbled a word of protest, much less acknowledged that they even noticed what was happening.

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