Take Two!

Published 5:36 pm Friday, January 6, 2023

The acting career of Murfreesboro native Aqeel Taahir Ash-Shakoor is soaring to new heights.

Murfreesboro native Aqeel Taahir Ash-Shakoor will have roles in two upcoming TV police dramas: “FBI” on Jan. 10 and “Law & Order: SVU” on Feb. 9. Contributed Photo

The former deputy with the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office will have roles in two upcoming television shows: the Jan. 10, 2023 episode of “FBI” and an episode of “Law & Order: SVU” on Feb. 9, 2023.

“FBI” is shown on CBS while Law & Order: SVU is on NBC.

Ash-Shakoor, who played the role of Precinct Commander Inspector Borsits during Law & Order: SVU’s season premier back on Sept. 22 of this year, said he was surprised to learn that what he thought was a one-time appearance would turn into more than expected.

“My wife, Tanesha, and I were out on Dec. 7 on our weekly date night when I received a call from Gabrielle Holder-Turner of the New York Gill Talent group’s office,” he said. Gabrielle screamed, ‘Aqeel, you’re coming back to New York.’ She said they officially want me to return as Precinct Commander for Law & Order: SVU Season 24.”

What originally started out as a one-time co-star booking for the show just boosted him to a recurring role on Dick Wolf Entertainment/ Dick Wolf Films’ longest running TV series and television’s longest running television show.

2023

“My wife and I both screamed thank you Jesus,” Ash-Shakoor said about this newest opportunity. “My affirmations have manifested even greater.”

On Dec. 13, Ash-Shakoor was back on the set of Law & Order: SVU filming his a new episode. He was joined by the likes of stars Mariska Hargitay (Captain Olivia Benson), Ice-T (Sergeant Odafin Tutuola), Molly Burnett (Detective Grace Muncy), Octavio Pisano (Detective Joe Velasco), and newcomer Kevin Kane (Detective Bruno).

The Dick Wolf Universe is a special place for actors and remains a top goal of many actors. Ash-Shakoor was featured in five episodes of Chicago Med’s seventh season earlier this year.

“It was just a blessing to reoccur that many times when you were originally just booked for one episode,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Ash-Shakoor’s big screen performances are picking up as well. This fall, he played Frank, a pipeline construction worker, alongside William Mapother, David Arquette, and others in the feature film, “On Sacred Ground.” It’s a story about a journalist and oil company executive finding themselves on opposite sides of the fight during the construction of the contentious Dakota Access Pipeline that runs through the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota. The film is presently circulating throughout the United States and will be premiering in the Midwest in January 2023 before hitting Starz Network in April 2023.

Ash-Shakoor will also portray James Leonard Farmer, Jr. (January 12, 1920 – July 9, 1999), an American civil rights activist and leader in the Civil Rights Movement who pushed for nonviolent protest to dismantle segregation, and served alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. In the 2023 release of “SHIRLEY”, based on the life of Shirley Chisolm, presidential candidate, Ash-Shakoor’s character James Farmer rivals Shirley Chisolm, played by Oscar Award winning actor Regina King. The film is directed by Oscar Award winner John Ridley, known for “12 Years A Slave.”

Earlier this year, Ash-Shakoor portrayed an NC State Police Officer in the HBO Max Limited Series, “The Staircase.

On Aug. 12, the world witnessed him in his recurring co-star role as Pastor Donald Turner in the Amazon Studios/ Netflix spin-off comedy series, “A League of Their Own.” The new comedy series is the spinoff of the original Penny Marshall feature film, “A League of Their Own. The show has been receiving raved reviews and shows no signs of slowing down.

Previously, Ash-Shakoor had roles in “Turn of The Cheek,” a faith-based film aimed at forgiveness. It is written and directed by Janaya Black of Black-Smith Enterprises. His other lead role was in “Cain and Abel” – an upbeat edgy drama produced by Renika McQueen and directed by Kamal Smith.

Prior to these two TV movie roles, Ash-Shakoor landed his first ever modeling job in May 2015 with the well-known Mid-West Fashion show, “Walk Fashion Show.” Since then, he has filmed several commercials on the national level, feature films, and short films.

Born on May 6, 1970 in Murfreesboro to the now late

Melvin Lee Liverman and Evangeline Gatling Moore, who later married Henry Lee Moore, Aqeel attended Murfreesboro High School and was a graduate of the final class there (1988) prior to the consolidation of both Ahoskie and Murfreesboro High Schools. Aqeel played baseball, basketball, and football all four years.

His paternal grandparents are the late Gealone and Clara (Walton) Liverman of Murfreesboro, and his maternal grandparents are the late Willie and Naomi Gatling of Mapleton.

After high school, he joined the United States Marine Corps and continued playing football as a strong safety for three years of his Marine Corps career. He served as a United States Marine Security Guard at the US Embassies of Bonn, Germany; Havana, Cuba (US Interest Section); and the US Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He was honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps as a Gulf War Veteran at the rank of Staff Sergeant.

After relocating his family and himself back in Hertford County in July 2000, Ash-Shakoor begin working as a Deputy for the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office for the next seven years before returning to college to earn his Bachelors of Science Degree in Business Administration from Saint Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, VA and then earning his Masters of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Everest University in Tampa, FL.

He would then go onto work as a Drug Court Probation & Parole Officer in the Norfolk, VA Probation and Parole Office.

In 2010, Aqeel returned to North Carolina, employed by the Bertie County Probation and Parole Office. His first acting role was in 2010 when he played lead as Jesus Christ in a church play titled, “I’ll Rise Again,” at the C.S. Brown Cultural Arts Center located in Winton.

Shortly after relocating to Lansing, MI in 2013, Aqeel and his wife graduated and received their Doctorate Degrees in Ministry from the Chaplaincy International Canadian Association (C.I.C.A.) University & Seminary, Houston, TX. They were appointed Ambassadors At-Large to the United Nations, and planted their church ministry, Walking With Christ Worship Center.

Please follow Aqeel Ash-Shakoor on Instagram @Aqeeltheactor and keep up with his latest ventures on his website: www.aqeelashshakoor.com

 

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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