Snowfall is a gritty drama set dead center in the early ages of the crack epidemic. John Singleton’s critically acclaimed gem illuminates the 1980’s decadence that unfolded amongst the federal government and a host of savvy but flawed characters in South Central, Los Angeles. Back for its fourth season, the show isn’t slowing on the drama, violence, or storytelling.

Although the FX hit follows Damson Idris continuing his powerhouse performance as Kingpin Franklin Saint, Black women are indeed the bloodline of the popular show. Michael Hyatt as Cissy Saint, Franklin’s cautious but astute mother, and Angela Lewis as Auntie Louie, Franklin’s no-nonsense step-aunt and business partner, provide a stark contrast to the men’s money-motivated decisions. Their respective characters also unveil an often forgotten sect in the crack-epidemic, the female power-players who ruled alongside men to build drug empires and cartels. 

Asked about the opportunity to restore the damage that drugs had on Black women’s perception, Lewis highlighted the illusion of power and wealth her character seeks. “I think that hindsight is 2020,” she tells ESSENCE, reflecting on the outcome of the war on drugs during a press conference. “I think it’s important that I, as the actor playing Louis, am always in touch and standing in her immediate goal, her immediate intention.”

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Speaking of channeling Louis’ ruthless pursuits, she continues,  “I don’t think Louis is really worried about how she is affecting anybody but herself and her family, you know, in the moment, and she is really just trying to get power because she’s never had it.” 

Adding to the conversation, Hyatt stressed the importance of not judging her character. “None of us here are in a position to really comment on the lives we’re living in the moment outside of our own personal journey. It’s up to, like Angela said, hindsight, and the audience is learning from the story that John began to tell, that’s why we’re telling the story, not only to teach but to heal.”

Season Four of Snowfall airs on FX on Wednesdays at 10 pm and is streaming on HULU.