Howard University and Netflix partnered together to host an advanced screening of the new series Marvel’s Luke Cage on Friday, Sept. 30. The presentation featured a special Q&A with Howard alumna Simone Missick as the lead female role of Misty Knight and executive producer Cheo Hodari Coker.

The Q&A session highlighted Coker and Missick’s experiences in their perspective fields as well as their role in Luke Cage. Missick’s journey towards Misty Knight was strenuous yet achievable.

Missick’s journey towards Misty Knight was strenuous yet achievable.

Although acting was a subconscious thought, Missick never really pursued acting during her time at Renaissance High School in Detroit or at Howard. As an English major and Theater Arts minor, she stated:

“It wasn’t really clear how I was going to follow this dream because I hadn’t told my family and they all thought I was going to Howard to be the next Cokie Roberts.”

Missick’s move to Los Angeles became her foundation towards Misty. She starred in various filmography and attended workshops in order to gain experience to help aid her in any opportunity that arose. Yet throughout her time in Los Angeles, Missick found it difficult to be a woman- especially of color in the entertainment industry:

“I felt like I missed the golden era of “Love Jones” and “Love and Basketball” with Nia Long and Sanaa Lathan. Men were not looking at me as someone who they value because of my talent but rather as a sexual object. This is why it’s important for women of color to create their own opportunities together. At the time, no one was looking for black women and if they were, it was the same ones over and over again.”

On her tenth year anniversary of moving to Los Angeles, Missick was offered the role of Misty Knight. She advised students:

“Never, never, never give up. Go about the business of doing whatever it is you want to pursue. Stay working because an opportunity might come up and although it might not be THE opportunity, it can carry you to the next level.”


Missick provided a brief description for the makeup of Misty:

“[Misty] is a combination of Aunt Vivian and Claire Huxtable reflecting a well rounded black woman. She represents a balanced male to the female relationship in the black community by understanding the black man.”

Luke Cage is not solely about a superhero but is also a narrative of African American culture. Missick portrays this through Misty Knight who helps tell a sophisticated hip hop story by allowing Harlem to become a living and breathing character-emerging each fictional character into reality.