‘The Chi’: Yolanda Ross and Birgundi Baker Discuss How Keisha’s Storyline Raises Awareness
Like Insecure, Showtime’s The Chi is addressing the severe issue of missing girls, especially in Black communities. While Insecure used satire to spread the news, The Chi tackled it head-on as one of the main characters, Keisha, suddenly disappeared from a bus stop in Season 3. In a Roundtable Discussion, the cast of The Chi spoke about how the show raises awareness with Keisha’s storyline.
Keisha went missing on ‘The Chi’
Season 3 opened with Nina marrying Dre, who bumped heads with her oldest daughter, Keisha. Getting ready to start college on a track scholarship, Keisha confessed to ex-fling Emmett that she wanted to stay in the Southside Chicago.
She and her younger brother Kevin had the house to themselves when their moms went on their honeymoon. While Kevin hung out with his friends and girls, Keisha tried to meet up with her boyfriend, Nuck.
As she waited for the bus, the teenager made eye contact with a now-homeless Ronnie only seconds before disappearing from the stop without a trace. It turns out that a local jogger named Omari has her captive in his apartment.
Seemingly obsessed with her track career, he has countless uniforms for her to wear and watches her 24/7 on several cameras spread around the place. She eventually escaped during a county-wide blackout, but he caught up with her and dragged the screaming track star back into captivity.
Keisha’s family running into dead ends searching for her
Even though Kevin tried to cover for his missing sister, he eventually admitted he hadn’t seen her in a couple of days. Nina and Dre went to her school asking for answers, to no avail, before turning to the police.
The officer who took their statement implied Keisha probably ran away, so the mothers and Emmett began handing out flyers to everyone in the vicinity of where their daughter disappeared.
Nina ran into Tracy, a woman who ran a support group for mothers who lost their kids, and she offered to help. During a meeting, the other members were hesitant to help them because Keisha had a raunchy Finsta account.
However, many of them still came out to a vigil, where Nina talked about her missing daughter, regardless. Ronnie also attended and saw a man who ran from him, who he later interrogated with the help of Dre. He pointed them to the body of a young girl, but she wasn’t their daughter.
Kevin also tried to help by asking Trig and Imari to look for her at Nuck’s trap house. They also came up empty-handed, which almost made the young teenager lose hope.
Yolanda Ross and Birgundi Baker discuss the importance of Keisha’s storyline
In a Showtime roundtable discussion, the drama series’ main cast sat down to talk about the awareness that Keisha’s storyline has brought the community.
Birgundi Baker, who portrays Keisha, explained she believes it’s their “jobs” as artists to bring attention to issues happening in the real world. Additionally, she pointed out how The Chi explores the missing storyline thoroughly, noting she’s never seen a “black family on TV” experience so much together.
Alex R. Hibbert, who portrays Kevin, brought up how the show “spreads awareness” through Keisha’s disappearance because viewers will dive deeper into her character and see her humanity rather than the raunchy pictures judge her.
It allows the audience to see Keisha as a young girl that could be anyone. Yolanda Ross, who plays Jada, agreed, noting that “awareness is the biggest thing.”
Not only does she believe the storyline “offer a glimpse” into what many Blacks go through in the Southside, but it also helps people realize they aren’t alone as Nina and Dre found out.
The Chi airs Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on Showtime.