Nafessa Williams Bio, Age, Family, Movies and TV Shows

Nafessa Williams Biography

Nafessa Williams is an American actress known for her 2011 role as Nicole Gordon in the Meek Mill film Streets, her 2011 role as Deanna Forbes on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live, and her 2016 role as Dr. Charlotte Piel on the CBS drama Code Black.
Since 2018, Williams plays Anissa Pierce in The CW’s Black Lightning.

Nafessa Williams Age

Williams was born on December 4, 1989, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is 29 years old as of December 2018.

Nafessa Williams Family

Williams was born and raised in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the United States of America. Details about her parents and siblings are not yet disclosed.

Nafessa Williams Education

Williams attended Robert E. Lamberton High School. After high school, she studied criminal justice at West Chester University and interned in the homicide unit of the District Attorney’s Office.Nafessa Williams Photo

Nafessa Williams Career

Williams got her big break in 2010 when she was cast alongside Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill Streets. The film was released in 2012. In March 2011, it was announced that Williams would join the cast of ABC’s One Life to Live in the contract role of Deanna. When Williams auditioned, the character was only supposed to appear in three episodes. However, by the time of her debut, Williams had signed a four-year contract. Only a month into her stint, it was announced that ABC had decided to cancel the television series. Williams was released from her contract early and last appeared in July 2011.
In March 2012, Williams announced that she would be appearing on the CBS soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful. She made her debut on May 8, 2012. However, the role was short lived and Williams only appeared in two episodes. In 2015, she appeared in the Queen Latifah executive produced a feature film, Brotherly Love, alongside Keke Palmer.
In April 2016, Williams was cast in the Showtime continuation of the 1990s ABC drama Twin Peaks. In July 2016, she was cast in the recurring role of Charlotte on the CBS prime time drama, Code Black. In 2017, Williams was cast as Anissa Pierce in the 2018 Mara Brock Akil/Greg Berlanti series Black Lightning.

Nafessa Williams Movies

Nicole Gordon
The Dirty 30
Samantha Kimm
Brotherly Love
The Man in 3B
Restored Me
Monica Berry
Burning Sands
True to the Game
Black and Blue

Nafessa Williams TV Shows

One Life to Live
Deanna Forbes
The Bold and the Beautiful
Margo Ivey
Dumb Girls
Female Co-Ed #1
Survivor’s Remorse
Adina Parker
Real Husbands of Hollywood
Code Black
Dr. Charlotte Piel
Twin Peaks
Black Lightning
Anissa Pierce

Nafessa Williams Instagram

Nafessa Williams Twitter

Nafessa Williams Interview

You’ve said that young black lesbians need to see themselves on TV. Why is media representation so important?
We all need representation. When we watch TV, we want to see ourselves, and we want to become inspired by the characters we’re seeing. We want to be moved and empowered. And more importantly, we just want to know we can connect with them. That’s why I feel like it’s important for young black lesbians to see themselves and be confident in themselves, to walk boldly in their sexuality.
Also, if you watched the last episode, Anissa’s parents are very supportive. She came out as a teenager, and they have supported her 100 percent. So I believe it’s important for parents of those young lesbians to see that as well. If they’re having issues or struggling with accepting their child’s sexuality, then hopefully my TV family can inspire them to love their child and support them, no matter what.
Has that been reflected in your interactions with fans?
It’s been fans telling me they’re really, really happy to see themselves. I’ve gotten tweets like, “I’ve needed this, I’ve needed this. About time.” “Thank you for representing us.” They’re just happy to see themselves. That’s what I’m most honored about to play this character. I’m really passionate, and although I’m not a lesbian, I can relate to being a black woman and feeling like we’ve lacked the representation over the years. I can understand wanting to see yourself, needing to be inspired, connecting to someone who is like you.
What’s it like to play a character who’s already fully out, and has been out since before the first episode? How did you process the character’s background?
I always do a thorough biography of who my character is, and this is all something I create, as well as what’s already been written in the comic book. This character exists exactly the same way in the comic books, so you take what’s there and you do the research. And then, as an actor, as an artist, it is now my job to dig deeper and find out why, and how, and what was it like to come out.
I like to definitely think that Anissa has always known who she was, and I wanted to embody that. There are deeper issues. You go beneath the surface and find out, what was it like for her mentally? What was it like coming out? How old was she? Just digging deeper to find out the history of who she is, because yes, she’s out and bold and proud when the show airs. I really bring who I am to the character. Believe it or not, I am a tomboy. I look really girly but I have a lot of Anissa in me.
[Creator] Salim [Akil] told us in the beginning that he just wanted us to be ourselves and bring the authenticity of who we are to the characters. So I went back to the blaxploitation days and watched those films. I watched Pam Grier, and I studied her. I also studied some other superhero movies, and women in action, to draw inspiration and create my own lane.
Is the show making a metaphor between being a lesbian and being a secret superhero?
Exactly! Yeah, because when you think about it, she’s discovered these powers, and she’s struggling with the idea of what it means. “How do I mention this to anyone? Are they going to believe me, are they going to think I’m a freak?” Those are the same issues gay people go through. Discovering her powers could be the same way as her discovering her sexuality.
Do you think Anissa and her dad will team up at some point?
[Laughs] Right now, we’re on this journey of Anissa discovering her powers. At this point, no one knows, so I do not want to give anything away. This is all going to be really good for you to watch, and watch the story unfold. But I will say this: you can imagine if her mother doesn’t want her father being Black Lightning, what that would mean if she finds out her child also has superpowers. We’re seeing that they’re struggling with it. It’s broken up their family. [The moment] is going to be really, really good.
Is there a different chemistry between Anissa and her first girlfriend vs. her and Grace Choi?
As you can see, the relationship [between Anissa and her first girlfriend] is rocky. And with Grace, they have this instant connection. They have this instant connection that I feel she did not have with her first girlfriend. They have much more in common, they get each other, and it starts off really light. Grace is in the comic book, so it’s pretty cool for fans to see that we’re sticking true to that. With Grace, we hit it off right away. They have that compatibility thing that’s really working.
More and more black creatives are coming out with amazing new work that feels like a reaction to present politics. Do you believe that’s what we’re seeing here?
Yeah, it’s present politics, social issues that we’re just fed up with. On the show, we’re touching on a lot of political and social issues social injustice and police brutality. And I think it’s being told in such a beautiful way, so kudos to our writers and our producers who are putting such a dynamic show for the culture.
And it’s time to do something. It is our time. I’m just excited to be part of a dynamic show that’s pushing the culture. Our show is for the kids in the inner city who need to see their stories being told on TV. I’m from Philly, West Philly, a city that is very similar to Freeland in the show. I was a little brown girl with cornrows, going to a school just like Garfield in our show. I feel so connected to the characters because I know them.

Note: This biography is based on the available information as of 2023, and real-time updates or developments are being updated by our editorial team.