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John Singleton’s 1980s drama Snowfall just added two new interesting cast members–Jill Scott and Lauren London.

Scott will take on the role of Sharon “Cissy” Saint, the mother of Snowfall’s lead, Damson Idris, who’ll play Franklin. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Cissy is a “no-nonsense mother” who “has sacrificed her dreams to give Franklin opportunities she never had.


London, who wrapped a starring role on BET’s The Game, will play Louise Saint, Franklin’s party-loving aunt.

Snowfall will focus on the beginning of the crack epidemic in 1980s Los Angeles, a topic Singleton has been wanting to cover.

“I have always been fascinated with that volatile moment in time before crack changed everything,” he said. “It’s a tense, insane and sexy era that touched every aspect of our culture. I couldn’t have better partners for this journey.”

Stay tuned.

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  • ALM247

    I was excited, and then I saw that the show was about drugs. The show is on FX, so it will be especially gritty.

    I understand that drugs have had a huge impact on our community, but with all of the negative things going on in the world, can we get a positive show about a Black family? Why is it so difficult for Hollywood to produce a show about a married Black female teacher and her husband who works in construction?

    • Noirluv45

      Agreed, ALM. There is so much about us that society has never discovered. Every story about us has a, “We shall overcome” feel to it.

      I remember a show years ago with James Earl Jones, Vanessa Bell Calloway, and Joe Morton called, “Under One Roof.” That was such a wonderful show. It was about a normal Black multi-generational Black family. I was hurt when it was cancelled. I don’t think many of us watch those kinds of shows — at least not enough to keep high ratings.

    • Me

      The problem is there aren’t enough of us to generate high ratings by ourselves. Considering a “high” rated TV show only gets around 15-20 million viewers out of the 300+ million American population, practically half the 40 million black population would have to watch the same shows in order to make up for the white folks who refuse to watch anything but our stereotypes. And since we’re not a monolith, that’s very unlikely to happen no matter how good the show is.

    • PGS

      There are family shows.

      Blackish on ABC, Soul Man on TV Land, and a few others coming down the pipe.

    • Me

      I like Mr. Robinson on NBC too. But that’s a different genre than what Snowfall will be. Any time there’s a black drama, it’s the same story, drug, sex, music, & sports. Never workplace drama, never socialite drama (imagine a show about Jack & Jill behind the scenes), never family drama. Just criminal & promiscuous drama because that’s how America sees us.

    • Me

      Same here. They had me until “crack”. I was wondering where the title Snowfall came from, until that line. And to think, I was hoping it would actually be about black folks living in some northern region doing something outside of the box for a change. No thanks. Empire is more than enough grit for me, so I’ll be sitting this one out.

  • I was only a little child when that era happened. I hear stories all of the time from people about how the crack cocaine era ruined so many lives. The Just Say No campaign was fraudulent on its face and it didn’t work. FX is known for showing more controversial or more adult like shows.

  • I know I get tired of black people whining about television shows and movies. Produced a show like that yourself and shut up. And read a damn book.

    • Me

      You say that as if there aren’t tons of folks already producing those type of shows that aren’t getting shut out of network TV. The only place black folks have to broadcast the types of shows we want to watch is YouTube & that’s only because it’s a free for all on there. There are stories about how black folks pitch ideas to these networks, and the first thing out of the networks mouths is to try and sass up the black female characters, dumb down the black male characters, & give everybody some “street cred.” So don’t come for black folks as if our complaints aren’t valid, and PLEASE don’t come for black folks as if we don’t read. If you’re tired of the whining, then be tired, but we’re gonna keep whining until things change.

    • Why expect the very system that enslaved your people to put positive images of you on television? That is the very definition of insanity. And things are not going to change. Look around.

    • When we own our television stations, then we can put our stories on. Do you really think these rich white men that own these stations give a shit about putting positive images of black people on film and television? If you do, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I would like to sell you.

    • Me

      John Singleton is a rich BLACK man that decided to put this show out. That’s problem number one.

    • Me

      Are you gonna put the first dollar in the collection plate for the “own our own television stations” fund?

    • No problem

    • Me

      TV didn’t enslave us, and history shows that the only way for us to see change is when we demand it. Things are already a lot different than they used to be. It’s up to us to keep pushing until it’s the way we want it to be. Silence helps nobody, especially when mainstream media is the most widespread image of us. Creating our own is not enough when negative perceptions of us is leading to our death around the world. If they’re going to broadcast our image, it’s our responsibility to make them broadcast the right image of us.

    • If you think positive images on film and TV are going to stop white folks from killing us, you are hopelessly naive. They are savages.

    • Me

      Savages or not, black folks have the right to police their images regardless of who’s putting them out there. We can’t just sit by and let mainstream history reflect some stereotypical caricature of what we are because that’s what gets taught to our kids in school, that’s what gets shown to foreigners when we want to travel, that’s what affects everything about our lifestyles because our worlds deal with more than just black folks who think like us. We have to demand that our images be accurate & encompass the entire black experience.

    • I don’t concern myself with worrying about what people think of me as a black woman because of some shit they seem on TV. Respectability politics don’t work dear.

    • Me

      It’s not about respectability. That is completely irrelevant in this issue. It’s about people having preconceived notions of you before they’ve even met you because of images broadcasted about you. It’s about black American tourists being mistreated overseas because of what foreigners see on TV. It’s about politicians using TV clips to legislate on black issues. It’s about employers basing hiring decisions on media stereotypes. Don’t be so short sighted as to think that what the media puts out only affects whether or not someone finds us entertaining. It goes way deeper than that. You may not care what somebody thinks about you, but what that somebody thinks about you could cause you to be charged more for the same services that someone else is from that same somebody. What somebody thinks about you could cause you to be denied services on your vacation or business trip. Perception is king and it’s built through images. If we don’t police our images, we’ll continue to get dogged out. If that doesn’t bother you, then you have a happy life ahead of you. The rest of us know better so we speak up.

    • If you think that the police are going stop whipping on black folks asses because of positive black images on TV, you are a fool. The Cosby Show was on during the height of the crack era. The police were still killing black people. Black people won’t even vote.

    • Me

      Actually black people do vote. In the last federal election, black voter turn out was higher than white turn out. You’re the fool if you think that what people see doesn’t translate to how people behave with other people. I’ve met guys from Montana/North Dakota area that had never seen a black person in real life until they moved south. Their entire perception of black people was based on TV and movies. The same goes for a lot of the Indians I work with. If you don’t think perception matters then you don’t really know what the fight against police brutality is all about. The reason they beat us is because of the perception they have of us. And a lot of their perception is based on false images broadcasted by the media… just like your assumption that black people don’t vote.

    • Black people don’t vote in the elections that matter: local elections. The president does not write laws. That is the senate and the House of Representatives. In the 2010 elections, people sat on their asses and the republicans were able to take over both houses. That is why laws like Stand Your Ground was passed in states that has a large black majority. And the police beat our asses because no laws has been passed to make it a crime.

    • It is not up to black people to fix racism. That is on the people who created it: white people.

    • Me

      Stop it with the false accusations. You can easily google stats by race to show that black voters are right on par with other demographics when it comes to local elections (43% black, 45% nationwide). Like I said perception is king, and you’re living proof why it matters by you spreading stereotypes that aren’t even true about black folks.

    • Just keep believing that if only positive images of black people were on tv and film, white people would treat us better.

    • Me

      Obviously the negative images have affected your perception. That’s why you keep making it seem like black folks are doomed to be the dregs of society. We’re not, and we’re not going to sit by and let it happen either. By the way, nobody is asking for “only” positive images. We’re demanding fair representation, which is not what we have when we’re bombarded with nothing but negative images. If you don’t want to do anything about it, then sit there and do nothing. But don’t harp on people who are actually making efforts to make things better by voicing their concerns. It’s nothing but upside for you anyway. If no one hears our cries, then you live in the same world you’ve always been living in. If they do, and things change, then you’re welcome.

    • Black folks are fabulous people. We have a strength that made us survive slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and the crack era. But what we don’t have is self esteem. We still groveling for acceptance from a society that was not created for us in the first place. So as I stated earlier, I do not concern myself with worrying and whining about television and film. I watch documentaries, reruns of the Law and Order series and Discovery ID. I don’t go to the movies. And most importantly, I read books.

    • Me

      You think people with no self esteem would dare to demand better representation of our images? That doesn’t even make sense. If we didn’t have self esteem, we’d be sitting around and letting them get away with it. Looks like you watch nothing concerning black folks anyway, which must be the reason why you care so little about black representation. So why do you care if we’re fighting for better images at all? Black shows aren’t on your radar either way.

    • People with self esteem could care less about what others thought of them. And the show is just not about black people living in L.A. “The one-hour drama will be set in Los Angeles in 1981 against the
      infancy of the crack cocaine epidemic and its impact on the culture. The
      story follows three characters on a violent collision course: Franklin
      Saint, a young street entrepreneur on a quest for power; Gustavo Zapata,
      a Mexican wrestler-turned-gangster in search of his American dream; and
      Logan Miller, a prominent family’s “black sheep” desperate to escape
      his father’s shadow.” A black character, a Mexican character, and a white character.

    • Me

      People with self esteem stand up for themselves. Only the meek accept any kind of treatment as the default.