"That's some white folks mess".
This is Jefferson Pierce's, a.k.a Black Lightning (Cress Williams), reaction after his daughter, Jennifer (China Anne McClain), reveals that she is planning to have sex for the first time. She boldly goes a step further of sharing the details of who, what, where, when, why and how. Pierce is reluctant about the sudden news at first, but is persuaded by his ex-wife, Lynn (Christine Adams).
By "white folks mess", Pierce is speaking on the fact that normally white families are open to the idea of their children having sex and talking about it casually. But, in a Black household? Bringing up the word sex alone is a "Do Not Enter" zone. Once you cross that line there's no returning from the hell you just walked into.
It's common for Black parents to instill in their children to not have sex. "You're too young". "That's grown folks business". These common sayings that we all know too well are just a breeding ground of turning sex into a topic that is often avoided because it causes discomfort for both sides.
Avoiding the sex talk then leads to teens having sex without learning the essential precautions that come along with having it. Pregnancy and catching STDs could be avoided if parents would just start the conversation and turn what they drastically dread into an imperative lesson.
Yes, you're afraid of what may happen to your little girl/boy. But, the assurance you create for your child that they can talk to you without feeling ashamed will allow him or her to feel comfortable asking you questions. And, they will be more likely to make smart decisions. I love how the Pierce parents create an environment for Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer where they feel open to speak their mind and be themselves.
While watching the dining room scene with my friend she said, "That's not realistic". Initially I automatically agreed, especially coming from a Nigerian household where it wouldn't dare cross my mind to bring up the idea of 'me' and 'sex' in the same sentence. But, it's unfortunate that Black households have created a false notion of pre-sex talk being abnormal when in reality it should be the norm.
The scene even includes Anissa mentioning to her sister the option of using birth control. Subtly mentioning things like that are so effective for young Black girls to see on television and even for me as a 21-year-old Black woman.
Although I have already passed the naive stage of adolescence, the scene made me wish my family members would have had a discussion with me, whether or not I actually decided to have sex. Just knowing that you have support from your loved ones in your personal decision making helps in releasing some of life's pressures.
I would like to see more shows and movies with predominately Black casts showing that talking about sex shouldn't lead to such a huge fuss. And, the fact that a child shouldn't feel shunned if they want to have it or just have thoughts about it.
I'm becoming more invested in Black Lightning with each episode, it's getting really good! Make sure to tune in on Tuesdays on The CW at 9 p.m.