Lena Waithe's The Chi is giving us what we need during the summer quarantine and with each episode, it seems to continue to heat up. Now in its third season, the Showtime original continues to be authentic and relatable to the Black community. One character that many may perceive as the villain is the pizza shop owner, mayoral candidate and drug lord, Otis 'Douda' Perry. Played by the talented Curtiss Cook, Douda is the definition of a strong Black man who knows what he wants and goes full steam ahead to get it.
After last week's episode, our Editor-in-Chief Eric K. Thomas had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Cook about the hit show and his role as the infamous drug lord Douda, Black Lives Matter and the struggles of a single father.
Curtiss believes that The Chi is important to the culture because it is the culture.
The representation. Being able to see a television show and see yourself as Black people, as a young Black man or an old a** Black man. Having that portrayal of yourself be so authentic, be so real, be so honest, be so unapologetically Black. Not skimming around some s***s that we shouldn't be talking about. That whole airing your dirty laundry. I feel like sometimes you have to air the dirty laundry so that it's not hidden anymore so that some people can deal with it.
He believes it's idiotic for people to bring up Black on Black crime as a rebuttal for why people are shouting Black Lives Matter.
I feel like it's idiotic. I don't agree with that statement. I feel like anyone who brings that up as a counter-argument for someone saying "Hey, I matter." Are you trying to say because this happened, I don't matter. What is your counter-argument? What are you really saying? We know those statistics have a lot of holes in them.
On where are this generation's Malcolm X and Marting Luther King Jr., he says, "That person will arise when they are supposed to."
They haven't shown up yet. When its time for them to come, they will come. If that's what we need, they will present themselves. But in the meantime, keep fighting. Young folk, keep yelling the way that your yelling. Rallying the way that you're rallying. Keep organizing the way that you are organizing. Keep speaking up. Keep having your cell phone out recording everything. Keep being in somebody's face. Stop backing down. Continue to do it. That person will arise when they are supposed to.
Check out the full interview below.
Photo Credit: Parrish Lewis