‘Power Book III: Raising Kanan’: Inside the Thomas Family Backstory

Power Book III: Raising Kanan follows the coming-of-age story of Kanan Stark (Mekai Curtis). Kanan is raised by his drug queenpin mother, Raquel “Raq” Thomas (Patina Miller), who runs her drug empire with her brothers Marvin (London Brown) and Lou Lou (Malcolm Mays).

As much as we’re learning about Kanan’s origin story, here’s what we know about Raq, Marvin, and Lou’s family background.

London Brown as Marvin Thomas, Patina Miller as Raq Thomas and Malcolm Mays as Lou Thomas standing in a truck yard in 'Power Book III: Raising Kanan
London Brown as Marvin Thomas, Patina Miller as Raq Thomas and Malcolm Mays as Lou Thomas in ‘Power Book III: Raising Kanan’ | Starz

Here’s what we know about Marvin, Raq and Lou Lou’s parents

Power Book III: Raising Kanan fans will recall meeting Raq, Marvin, and Lou’s mother Joyce in the season 1 finale. She is a churchgoer who lives in Brooklyn, and Raq pays her rent. Raq contemplated sending Kanan to live with his grandmother to keep him safe. However, she eventually decides not to.

We haven’t met the Thomas siblings’ father, but we know that he was a horn player who loved music. The family unit seemed to be intact until just before Marvin went to high school. In the Season 2 premiere, Raq’s aunt Deborah says that Joyce had planned to move the family to Virginia, but something changed their plans.
We also know that Marvin raised Raq and Lou when their parents were “on their sh–.” We’re going to assume that this means they became addicted to drugs.

Raq got pregnant with Kanan when she was 16

Marvin began selling drugs to help support his siblings as a teen. As Raq entered her teen years, she garnered the attention of drug kingpin Def Con Stark, who Kanan has always believed is his father. However, the pair never had a romantic relationship. Instead, Def Con paid Raq to keep up appearances since he was actually gay.

During this time, Raq fell for a slightly older man, who turned out to be an undercover cop named Malcolm Howard (Omar Epps). She got pregnant, and Def Con went to jail and died shortly thereafter. No one knew about the relationship between Raq and Howard or the fact that she was his informant. As a result, she was able to pass Kanan off as Def Con’s son.


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Marvin was sent to jail, and Raq took over his drug business

During this time, Marvin was still selling. However, he became addicted to his own product and was sent upstate to jail. Raq had been around her brother, Def Con, and a former boyfriend named High Post long enough to understand the drug game.

Therefore when Marvin was incarcerated and High Post was killed, she took over things and began her own outfit with Lou Lou as her second in command. There is still so much we don’t know about the Thomas family, including if Raq had anything to do with Marvin being sentenced to jail or if the siblings had anything to do with sending Jukebox’s mother, Kenya (LeToya Luckett) away. Still, we’re certain that all will be revealed soon.

Kanan already has an inkling that Detective Howard is really his father, but he’ll likely know more once he reads the contents in the envelope that the detective gave him.