Art typically imitates and informs life. In Zuri Adele’s case, imitation and information go in both directions.
On Freeform’s hit show Good Trouble, Adele portrays Malika Williams, a headstrong social justice enthusiast from a scarred childhood. A spinoff of another hit teen and family program, The Fosters, Good Trouble is a snapshot of the intertwined lives and dramas of millennials from different walks of life converging in downtown Los Angeles. Each experiencing their own separate fights for liberation, they find solace in each other as a chosen family.
Malika, a former foster care kid and current activist, modeled after BLM co-founder Patrice Cullors, mirrors Adele’s own personal passions for Black liberation and sharing stories and perspectives that pay respect to the trials and tribulations our people experience today.
“When I read this script for the audition, I was really excited to feel so seen and to use my voice and body to tell this story,” Adele said. “Absolutely this is the only way that I want to be using my gift – a way that makes an impact and a way that feels ancestral. I will be a storyteller, a griot. I carry that responsibility very seriously, to tell the ancestral truth through my voice and body.”
This season, the show covers a LOT of ground and examines multiple perspectives of each issue which Adele finds extremely gratifying.
“I’ve been really excited this season in particular, to highlight the needs of unhoused people, to highlight the everyday lives and needs of people who identify as bisexual and also people who identify as polyamorous and consensually nonmonogamous,” she said. “I have also been really excited to dive deeper into the needs of people who are impacted by incarceration. Just uplifting and uprooting all of the various systems that need to be addressed.”
Naturally, such hot button topics are sometimes a tough pill for certain viewers to swallow, in particular critics of the “new age” of social justice, political correctness, and mainstream recognition of once-fringe lifestyles and identities. But Adele sees the show as a medium to teach.