MIMH: Mara Brock Akil

Originally posted on LoveJasPR.com January 15, 2018 for the Mentor in My Head (MIMH) Series. Edited and republished for LoveJasMedia.com.

Mara Brock Akil

Dear Mara,

A mentor in Hollywood is hard to come across, so thank you for being a mentor in my head. I decided to write these interviews as a simple exercise to think about what needs to be asked from someone who wants to “make it in Hollywood” but then I realized how exciting it would be if the question got answered. But first, Thank you for Moesha, Fancy, Joan Clayton, and Mary Jane Paul -- these ladies were often the big sister’s I always wanted and needed to learn from. Now, although I don't 100% agree with how Nuri navigates romantic relationships, I see parts of myself in her vulnerability and work ethic.

When I saw your profile in 2017’s The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Power 100, I knew you had to be my first e-interview. As a black woman in Hollywood, I’m sure there have been a lot of challenges that you had to overcome to receive the honor as a power player in Hollywood. I have a few questions about your journey to the top...

Both “The Game” and “Being Mary Jane” have pretty dynamic women characters driving narrative, where do you and your husband, Salim Akil, draw inspiration when creating these characters and subsequently the show?

What has been the biggest hurdle in working with networks? What does a young writer need to know about creating stories for television?

Were you a comics fan before creating Black Lightning? Was it a passion project that you’ve always thought about or was it inspired by the recent success of Marvel shows?

If you were teaching a graduate course in Entertainment, what would the sylabus look like?