Meagan Good on How She Handles Fellow Christians Criticizing Her Work: 'It's Between Me and God'

"Not everybody in the church understands it," the Harlem actress says of her career

Meagan Good
Photo: Monica Schipper/Getty

Meagan Good isn't letting the haters get her down.

The actress, 40, stars in Harlem, a new Amazon dramedy following four best friends as they navigate sex, friendships and careers in the iconic New York City neighborhood. When she stopped by :BLACKPRINT, the Black Affinity Group at Meredith Corporation, Good opened up about taking on critics of the show's unflinchingly adult themes.

"For me, it's always just checking in with God," Good, who married preacher and producer DeVon Franklin in 2012, told :BLACKPRINT editorial lead Adrienne Farr when asked about balancing her faith and career decisions. "I know that some of the choices that I make, some of the things that I wear, some of the things I work on, not everybody in the church understands it. And that's okay because, at the end of the day, it's between me and God and how I feel convicted in my spirit or don't feel convicted in my spirit."

In 2019, the screen veteran told D.L. Hughley her attendance at services declined after experiences with "some church folks" that had "not been that positive." She said she'd faced "complete assault" aimed at everything from her sex scenes to her style choices.

Good says she has learned to approach the derision from an empathetic perspective.


"Not everybody's trying to be mean. Sometimes people are just trying to correct because they feel that they should. But my feeling is when you correct, correct in love," she said during her :BLACKPRINT visit. "Don't attack people, don't abuse people, even if it's just with your words. And also, make sure when you're correcting that God told you to do that because sometimes you're doing something that he ain't asked you to do."

"And that's definitely been a process for me because I think we all want people to see our hearts and to love us and to know the intentions of our hearts, and I've had to learn [to] be okay with the fact that you're not for everybody and not everybody's a part of your tribe," she added. "The people that I'm not supposed to be connected to, they may not get me and they may have judgments or opinions. And I've had to learn to be okay with that because what matters — really, the only thing that matters — is what God says about me and who God says that I am."

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It took time for Good — who began working as an extra on shows like Amen at just four years old — to reach a level of self-assuredness that transcends criticism. Even after years in the business, the actress still questioned whether she was on the right path.

"At 19, I said, 'Lord, I don't even know if this is the career I should be in. And I want what you want from me more than what I want from myself,'" the If Not Now, When? director said.

Now, Good is confident her work is in service of her faith. She believes God gave her her talents "to be useful in the world" the way that she's "supposed to be.'"

"As I've grown and gotten older and grown in my relationship with God, one of the things I've realized is that I'm called to sometimes dark spaces because the only way you can light up a space is to go into a dark space and use that light," she explained. "And for me, it's about being transparent, it's about being honest, it's about being raw, it's about living in my authenticity and moving as I feel led."

On Harlem, Good gives one of her most authentic and relatable performances yet.

"This is a character that I haven't [gotten] a chance to play. … The awkwardness, the weirdness, the nerdiness is more me than a lot of characters that I've played," she said of her role as Camille, an ambitious anthropology professor. "There are so many great shows out there that are celebrating sisterhood and Black womanhood and all of that, and I think for me, one of the most exciting things [about Harlem] was in a lot of those shows I hadn't seen necessarily myself or my friend group."

"I think that a lot of women will see themselves in these characters who are trying to discover what they deserve and their self-worth," she added of the series, which is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

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