You know her from CW’S “Black Lightning” in her portrayal of Mrs. Fowdy, Garfield High School’s vice-principal. Skye Marshall has become one of the most loved characters from the Black Lightning TV show. But, the question is why?
And the answer I give you is simple—because she is truly the definition of a superhero. She’s easy to relate to and what every school administrator should strive to be. You don’t have to wear a cape or have super powers to be a superhero. Knowledge is everything.
Marshall Is No Stranger To Online Harassment
Marshall is no stranger to the world of online trolling and harassment. In fact, when I spoke with her, she told me that she’s had her own experience dealing with it. Back in 2016, Marshall starred in a Toni Braxton film called “Unbreak My Heart,” as one of the Braxton sisters. Everyone told her not to read the comments after an airing of an episode or movie, but as optimistic as Marshall was, she read them anyway. “There were probably over 100 people who called me ugly,” said the actress. “They called me ugly. And, I thought I was cute!”
Accepting The #CYBERBYTE Challenge
Marshall represents what every individual should strive to be—optimistic, tough, and self-loving. That’s why I invited the Black Lightning star to join my #CYBERBYTE challenge and share her tips to fans on how to respond to instances of cyberbullying and online harassment. Marshall graciously accepted the challenge and shared her tips for fans in a video.
Tip #1 –Don’t Take It Personally
First and foremost, DON’T WALLOW. We have all heard the saying –“hurt people, hurt people.” I’ve had some people say extremely hurtful things to me, and I had to learn how to take a step back and say:
“Who hurt you? What happened? Do you want to talk? Do you need a hug?”
It’s received, and sometimes its not. But, its something you want to become habitual with.
Tip #2 –Take Advantage of the BLOCK Button
Second, do not break your technology. If anyone gives you any harassment, trolling, or cruelty…BLOCK, BLOCK, BLOCK. Utilize that block button on social media.
Nobody deserves your time, energy, or your tears.
Tip #3 –Report To Appropriate Authorities
Lastly, don’t respond to violence with violence. Report any instances of trolling or harassment to the appropriate authorities. I know you’ve seen it on Facebook and Instagram, so click the “Report Abuse” buttons, because these people need to be aware of the cruel abuse happening on their platform.
And if you’re in school when it happens, tell your teachers. Tell the authority. I’ve done it. And you can do it too.
“I may be on a superhero show, but we all have super powers, and that power is confidence and love. And love yourself.”
Drew Rossow is a contributing editor to Grit Daily. He is a criminal defense/internet attorney, writer, and adjunct law professor in Dayton, Ohio. Born and raised in Dallas, Texas. A Millennial, Rossow provides perspectives on social media crimes, privacy risks, Millennials, and business. Rossow consults for ABC, FOX, and NBC on the latest news in technology law.