February 11, 2019

We Built This: William Jackson Harper Is Opening New Doors For Dark-Skinned Men In Hollywood

By Taryn Finley

When is the last time you saw a dark-skinned black man onscreen have as many layers as a neurotic, indecisive, handsome, nerdy ethics professor who has frequent panic attacks and is also the love interest?

No, not the caricature that is Steve Urkel. Chidi Anagonye of “The Good Place.” William Jackson Harper, the actor behind the Nigerian-Senegalese character, is helping to usher in a more multilayered and whole character that we rarely get a chance to embrace. Harper, who got his start in theater, is a breakout on the NBC show.