I had the privilege of speaking with Riley S. Wilson writer/creator/director of Little Apple, a sci-fi/drama series with a 9-year-old heroine taking a stand against gentrification, racism and complicity--all while developing special abilities. It's a contemporary coming of age story about a young Harlem girl finding her voice in a society that often silences women and people of color.
With every creative, there is a personal space within that triggers the art we all get to read, listen to, or watch. That personal experience of Riley’s was a culmination of instances with the tipping point being video footage of a young woman violently removed from her classroom desk in his home town of South Carolina.
Having a younger sister himself, his compassion for the young girl was the genesis of Little Apple; pushing Riley to write from a space of powerlessness.
The first season features 6 episodes exploring themes of: gentrification, the erasure of Native Peoples, Black feminism, micro aggressions, Black Girl Magic and more.
Little Apple is bold, funny, smart, and truly enlightening. It’s a must-see for both its content and its delivery. Lisa Cortes (Precious), executive producer, said it speaks to the “Little Apple” in her.
One of the major points of our interview covered identity in a world of racism. There are no rules…was his response to what advice would you give to a young person of color in today’s society. And that answer was so perfect because when we adhere to society’s rules of who we ought to be, we ultimately get trapped in the matrix, forfeiting our truth and freedom to simply be.
Who is Little Apple?
A claircognizant (all-knowing) little Black girl living in Harlem and ridding the world of ignorance, one person at a time. With Harlem in flux, so is Little Apple as she and her family grapples with her new abilities, new confidence and sheer impatience for a new school year.
Little Apple brought Wilson full circle. I asked Riley how he’d like his audience to walk away feeling… “I want them to feel empowered” was his response. By the time guests viewed the first three episodes during the screening, Riley had already accomplished this desire, with many stating that very feeling of courage and empowerment.
Little Apple is bold, funny, smart, and truly enlightening. It’s a must-see for both its content and its delivery. Lisa Cortes (Precious), executive producer, said it speaks to the “Little Apple” in her. It spoke to the “Little Apple” in me too.
Be sure to visit: www.littleappletheseries.com for the podcast, comic book and more.
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