For over three decades, Mara Brock Akil has been a prominent voice in television and film for Black audiences, with a focus on Black women. Akil created such hits as the UPN comedy series Girlfriends and the first drama series for BET Being Mary Jane. In 2018, Akil produced Black Lightning, the CW television series based on the DC Comics character of the same name. She also created the well received Love Is for the Oprah Winfrey Network.
The award-winning screenwriter and television producer has launched her production company, story27, under her multi-year deal with streaming giant, Netflix. As a part of the expansion, Akil has hired Susie Fitzgerald as president of development and production. On why she hired Fitzgerald, Akil told Variety,
“At story27, thoughtful and entertaining projects centering the humanity of the marginalized is the priority and that starts with identifying the best and most unique storytellers,” Akil said.
The Netflix partnership will allow Akil to create scripted content and other creative projects. A few projects are already underway for story27 including Forever. Inspired by the young adult novel by Judy Blume, Forever follows two Black high school students in Los Angeles as they navigate first love. Akil is also tackling issues such as the origin and evolution of racist ideas in the hybrid documentary feature adaptation of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s work of the same name, Stamped from the Beginning.