The cast of OWN’s hit drama series Queen Sugar was on hand at the 21st annual American Black Film Festival to premiere the first episode of the upcoming season 2. Before that, the actors spoke to Deadline about what themes will be explored in the sophomore run.
“The biggest theme really across the season is about legacy,” said Dawn-Lyen Gardner, who plays Charley Bordelon West in the series. “We’re talking about how all these characters are moving forward after [their father’s] death. They are choosing to honor his death in their lives, with their own choices. They are looking towards the future now… you see also themes of identity, recreation, and self definition.”
Executive produced by Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey, the new season sees the Bordelon siblings continue the struggle to move forward while building their sugar mill and their father’s legacy, all while navigating their family bonds.
“An important issue in the black community is that we have to stay united, it’s so easy for us to segregate within our own community,” said Kofi Siriboe, who plays Ralph Angel Bordelon, the youngest of the siblings. “The question is, with these siblings and the other people who are surrounding the family, how do they all stay together to build this business but also feel like they are emerging truthfully to themselves. We really see the dynamic of them all working it out.”
In addition to the drama of building a family business, the show will also tackle social issues. “We get into what has been happening with all the police brutality going on and abuse of power and how that can wreck more than the person, it can wreck the family,” offered Nicholas L. Ashe, who plays Micah West. “Queen Sugar has always been timely on any subject.”
The series returns with a two-night premiere June 20-21.