‘P-Valley’: Katori Hall Knows It’s Vital to Represent the Black Experience

P-Valley is back for season 2, and the show is more dynamic than ever. Based on her play, Katori Hall’s drama series is set in Chucalissa, Mississippi, and chronicles the lives of the strip club owner, Uncle Clifford (Nicco Annan), and the women that work for her at The Pynk.

The second season has not been afraid to address topics that are at the center of the Black community. In fact, Hall knows how important it is to center the Black experience.

Shannon Thornton as Keyshawn aka Miss Mississippi and J. Alphonse Nicholson as Lil Murda chat with each other from a hotel room in 'P-Valley'
Shannon Thornton as Keyshawn aka Miss Mississippi and J. Alphonse Nicholson as Lil Murda in ‘P-Valley’ | Starz

‘P-Valley’ Season 2 focuses on what happens outside of the club

In the first season of the drama series, much of the plot and storylines happened within the club setting. Though The Pynk is still a staple on the show, much of the narratives are about what happens outside of the club.

“It occurs five months after Autumn Night saves The Pynk,” Hall said in a behind-the-scenes video with Starz via YouTube. “Unfortunately, the pandemic has really come in and turned everything topsy turvy. it is a business based on gathering, it is a business based on intimacy. And, the writer’s room was totally inspired by the fact that there were some very inherent struggles in that. And so, it will be very interesting to see how Uncle Clifford and new boss b**** Autumn Night deal with this huge obstacle that’s been put in their way. So, between the casino and corona, they’ve got a lot of s*** to deal with.”

RELATED: ‘P-Valley’: How Long It Takes for Nicco Annan to do Uncle Clifford’s Hair and Makeup

Katori Hall centers the Black experience on ‘P-Valley’

Though the core of P-Valley centers on The Pynk, and the lives of the women who work there, it goes well beyond that. Hall has infused the fight against police brutality, and the violence of anti-Blackness. Black Lives Matter, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and so much more are also infused into her story. Not only is she showcasing the lives of these very specific people living in Mississippi she is also centering the Black experience in general.

“The coronavirus is a virus that I think exposed a more regular violence, which is racism,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “And as a Black writer, it is important that I be responsible with my eyes and with my platform, and all of us — whether you were Black or white, but mostly folks within my community — we were traumatized and have been traumatized by police brutality.”

She added, that it’s been important to her to be specific as possible. “I feel like it’s so important as a creator to be specific about the world you’re reflecting,” she says. “And I think there’s great universality in specificity. The more grounded you are in the truth of a community, I think that’s when someone from the outside can feel like, ‘Oh, this is really real,’ and respect it even more. Oftentimes our particular experiences have not only have not been reflected but it’s been invisible. And that makes you feel and be invisible.”

Will Autumn sell The Pynk?

With a new mayor and the pandemic, things have been rocky at The Pynk. In fact, now that Autumn is the majority owner, it appears that she might sell the business out from under Uncle Clifford. “[Autumn] came in getting her a** smacked on the dance floor and now, she has some ownership in the club,” Hall explained to Elle. “The power dynamics at the club have completely changed and to see Uncle Clifford and Hailey fight over the throne will be stuff of legends.”

In episode 204, “Demethrius” Uncle Clifford heard Autumn negotiating the club’s sale and we think at this point the former dancer will go forward with her plot.

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