Starz’s ‘Power’ is a sprawling crime drama TV franchise. The original show, ‘Power,’ premiered in 2014 and aired for six seasons before concluding in 2020. Three spin-offs have been released since then, and more are slated to come. ‘Power Book III: Raising Kanan’ is the second spin-off to be released and serves as a prequel to the entire franchise. It revolves around the youth of Kanan Stark, one of the primary antagonists (later anti-villain) of the original series, and his transformation from a promising student to a vicious criminal.
One of the important characters in the prequel is Laverne “Jukebox” Thomas (Hailey Kilgore). She is Kanan’s cousin, and having grown up together, they are incredibly close. Knowing what that relationship eventually becomes adds a level of tragedy and a sense of doom to the story. While fleshing out Jukebox as a character, one of the things that the writers included is her abandonment issues regarding her biological mother. Understandably, it adds an extra layer to the complexity of the character. Here is everything you need to know about it. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Who Is Jukebox’s Mom?
Jukebox was raised alongside Kanan in the Thomas household, though she always had a strenuous relationship with her father, Marvin. In the first scene of the prequel, we see even younger versions of Kanan and Jukebox. Set in 1985, the scene depicts Jukebox being held back by bullies while their friends steal Kanan’s money. It establishes the type of relationship Jukebox and Kanan has and the close-knit family they are part of.
Although Jukebox doesn’t really remember her mother, she often hears that she has inherited her musical talents from her. In season 2 episode 2, Jukebox asks Raquel about her mother, and it seems that her maternal aunt answers as earnestly as she can. Raq tells Jukebox that she knew her mother. It was her that gave Jukebox the gift of music. When Jukebox points out that her mother bounced afterward, Raq tries to make her understand that it’s not an easy task to be someone’s mother. Raq’s words seem to get through to Jukebox, though she later comes to regret them.
With the help of Detective Shannon Burke, Jukebox learns her mother’s current whereabouts. Her name is Kenya Pierce (LaToya Luckett). She returned to Harlem three years ago from Los Angeles. After spending some time in deep hesitation and watching Kenya from afar, Jukebox finally musters enough courage to approach her mother.
Why Did Jukebox’s Mother Leave When She was Young?
In season 2 episode 4, Jukebox finally visits Kenya, who is both shocked and happy to see her. Direct as ever, it doesn’t take long for Jukebox to ask her mother why she left her all those years ago, and it seems that Kenya answers it quite truthfully. She explains that after she became pregnant, she panicked. She wasn’t sure about her feelings for Marvin and didn’t know how to deal with motherhood. Shortly after Jukebox’s birth, she fled to Los Angeles because she was scared and because she was a child.
Kenya’s hope was to establish herself in the music business, but that didn’t happen. She got involved with a bad group of people, and before she knew it, ten years had passed. She feared that if she went back now, it would be worse than leaving in the first place. Kenya tells her daughter that she isn’t asking for forgiveness but a chance to be a part of her life. And it appears Jukebox is ready to give her that. Later, we see her picking up church outfits from Marvin’s home, so she can visit the church where Kenya volunteers with the youth group.