All American’s Kareem J. Grimes Discusses the Growth of Preach and Having John Singleton as a Mentor

The CW’s All American depicts a professional high school football player’s journey from Crenshaw to Beverly Hills and the social class struggle the move brings. The hit TV show is currently in its fourth season and continues to captivate its audience each week.

In the high school drama, Kareem J. Grimes plays Cordell “Preach” Simms, a gang member who over the seasons changes his life around. In a recent interview, Kareem talks about the growth of his character and what a show like All American means to television.

“I don't think we've seen this type of development of a character, especially a Black character on TV like this because Preach is such a complex character. In the first two, maybe three seasons, you see this guy is just a hardcore gang member and the whole nine. Then season three comes, and he finds out that he has a child,” Grimes said. In elaborating about how becoming a single father has changed Preach’s character arc, Grimes shares, “I'm really cleaning up his act, and taking on that father figure role, becoming a #GirlDad and also getting the opportunity to become a tutor.” As was shown over the last few seasons of All American, Preach has been able to connect with the young Black men in South Crenshaw as a tutor because they are able to relate to him.