“I really know the people of Chicago and I see them reported on, but they’re reported on by foreigners — people who don’t know the city, people who don’t know what’s like to live, and work, and play, and to fall in love there.” – Lena Waithe
Showtime’s The Chi is a relevant, timely, and distinctive coming-of-age story that takes place in Chicago’s South Side, following six interrelated characters linked by coincidence but bonded by the need for connection and redemption.
In this 2018 Featured Session at the SXSW Conference, creator, writer and executive producer Lena Waithe is joined by executive producer Common and actors Jacob Latimore and Jason Mitchell for a conversation about the series. The session is moderated by TV Guide‘s Jim Halterman.
“[The show is] a unique way to look at black people … ’cause we are just being. We aren’t tap-dancing, we aren’t trying to get out of the hood, we’re not rapping, we’re not selling drugs.” – Lena Waithe
Several scenes from the The Chi were shown during the session, with discussion focusing on the internal and external battles the show’s characters face. “When I see [the character] Alex, I see myself when I was young. The most important thing about having this sort of youth on TV is that they are breaking open a whole different door for people. I grew up in New Orleans and I have never, ever, ever seen myself on TV, ” said cast member Jason Mitchell.
Learn more about The Chi by watching the full 2018 SXSW Featured Session and watch the first season on Showtime.
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The Chi – Photo by Jon Currie
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