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All New & Returning Characters


  • The Chi’s dynamic cast evolves with returning characters playing significant roles in the gripping season 5 plot.
  • Emmett, Kevin, Jake, Papa, and Jada navigate love, growth, and survival in this coming-of-age drama set in Chicago.
  • From star Emmett Washington to the menacing Otis “Douda” Perry, each character showcases raw talent and complex storylines.

The Chi season 5 cast members include many characters from previous seasons, comprising a talented and prolific cast. Created by Lena Waithe, the Showtime series premiered in January 2018 and is a coming-of-age drama that follows a group of individuals in the south side of Chicago who grow, love, and try to survive in a community that sees people and families intersect in unexpected ways. The show’s fifth season premiered in June 2022 and, 10 episodes later, ended in September 2022. A sixth season of the series arrived in 2023, and The Chi was renewed for season 7.

The main characters in The Chi have changed across seasons, and though there are no new major ones in season 5, old characters play bigger roles this time around. Season 5 sees the series star Emmett Washington (Jacob Latimore) growing closer to the mother of his child and attempting to forge a new path in life. The show features a relatively young cast of actors playing the roles of people forced to grow up too quickly in the neighborhoods of Chicago. While not every actor has the most recognizable talent, most, if not all, have appeared in something noteworthy.

The Chi Cast & Characters



Jacob Latimore

Emmett Washington

Alex Hibbert

Kevin Williams

Michael Epps

Jake Taylor

Shamon Brown

Stanley “Papa” Jackson

Yolonda Ross

Jada Washington

Birgundi Baker

Kiesha Williams

Luke James

Victor “Trig” Taylor

Curtiss Cook

Otis “Douda” Perry

Rolando Boyce


Jahking Guillory

Charles Fredericck “Coogie” Johnson

Tyla Abercrumbie

Nina Williams

Steven Williams

Quentin “Q” Dickinson

Hannaha Hall


Miriam A. Hyman



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From Reggie to Brandon, here are the top 10 fan-favorite characters from Lena Waithe’s The Chi.

Jacob Latimore As Emmett Washington

Birthdate: August 10, 1996

Actor: Jacob Latimore plays Emmett Washington in The Chi cast. He is a TV and film actor who began his career in 2009 with a small role as an unnamed kid in One Tree Hill. Since then, his most notable roles beyond Emmett have been in film. He appeared in The Maze Runner as Jeff, Detroit as Fred Temple, Texas Chainsaw Massacre as Dante Spivey, and House Party as Kevin. He is also a musician and has three albums, with his debut, Connection, hitting 42nd on the Billboard Indie Charts.

Movie/TV Title


The Maze Runner


Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Dante Spivey

House Party


Character: Emmett Washington is a sneaker-head teen and a major charmer. This leads to an unplanned child with a woman who doesn’t consider him a great example of a father figure, and season 5 sees Emmett trying to prove himself. He is one of the protagonists in The Chi, and his main character arc sees his own strong mother demanding he do the best he can to provide for his child.

Alex Hibbert As Kevin Williams

Birthdate: July 4, 2004

Alex Hibbert as Kevin Williams wearing a tuxedo, looking serious in a hallway in The Chi.

Actor: The Chi is Hibbert’s first television role, but he began acting in movies in 2016, notably the coming-of-age movie Moonlight as the youngest version of Chiron, a character also played by Ashton Sanders and Trevante Rhodes. Post-Moonlight (which won the Oscar for Best Picture), Hibbert played one of the young Oakland children at the beginning of Black Panther when T’Chaka killed his brother N’Jobu, and later appeared in The Graduates as Ben and Good Burger 2 as Ed 2.

Movie/TV Title


Black Panther

Young Oakland Kid



Good Burger 2

Ed 2

Character: Alex Hibbert plays Kevin Williams in The Chi. Kevin is a young man with a loving family who just wants to be a kid, but the drugs and violence of his neighborhood constantly threaten to bring him down. This all starts when Kevin is just playing and having fun until he sees the murder of Brandon Johnson’s brother in cold blood. Sadly, he looks harshly at life, saying he wants to draw, play basketball, or play video games “if I grow up.”

Michael Epps As Jake Taylor

Birthdate: September 29, 2005

Michael Epps as Jake Taylor looking over his shoulder in The Chi.

Actor: Michael Epps plays Jake. Epps began acting in 2018 with The Chi. He also appeared in one episode of Chicago Fire as a character named Taye, a child mentored by Cruz who ends up in the middle of a mess when the FBI shows up and charges into the firehouse, taking control while kicking the young man out and making him feel like he doesn’t belong. His only other two roles came in Chicago Med as Aaron Curtis for another one-episode stint and in the movie Primary Position as Jarren.

Movie/TV Title


Chicago Fire


Chicago Med

Aaron Curtis

Primary Position


Character: Jake Taylor is one of Kevin and Papa’s best friends and a good kid overall. His mother was an addict, and his father was incarcerated. Unlike his older brother Reg (a leader of the 63rd Street Mob), Jake has managed to stay out of trouble. Season 5 sees Jake and his girlfriend navigate being in a serious, committed relationship. He also has help from his other brother, Trig, who reconnected with him after Reg died.

Shamon Brown Jr. As Stanley “Papa” Jackson

Birthdate: July 17, 2004

Shamon Brown as Stanley Papa Jackson standing in front of a microphone in The Chi.

Actor: Shamon Brown Jr. has starred in The Chi as Stanley “Papa” Jackson since season 2. Brown Jr. only had one other acting credit to go along with his performance in The Chi; he voices Michelangelo in the highly lauded Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem. Brown will return to the franchise with the upcoming TV series Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Movie/TV Title


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem


Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles


Character: Papa is Kevin and Jake’s other friend, rounding out the trio of buddies. Unlike his other young buds, Papa has a lot of self-confidence and uses it to pursue women and his career goals, though he finds himself as the only one not in a relationship in season 5. Papa’s father is a pastor, and Papa has a strong belief system, which he credits to his religion. He originally began to pursue a relationship with Maisha in the series but is now trying to take on more responsibility for himself.

Yolonda Ross As Jada Washington

Birthdate: July 31, 1974

Yolonda Ross as Jada Washington frowning in The Chi.

Actor: Yolanda Ross plays Jada Washington in The Chi. She has had plenty of one-episode roles in shows like 24, The Unit, and Law & Order, but it wasn’t until Treme in 2011 that she received her first recurring role as Dana Lyndsey. Her other notable TV credits include The Get Down as Ms. Green and Terror Lake Drive as Shana. Ross’ breakout came with her first movie role, Treasure in Stranger Inside, which won her a Breakthrough Actor Award from the Gotham Independent Film Awards.

Movie/TV Title



Dana Lyndsey

How to Get Away with Murder


Stranger Inside


Character: Yolanda Ross plays Jada Washington in The Chi, Emmett’s tough but loving working-class mother who has just beaten her cancer at the start of season 5. She is a caregiver and a nurse tired of watching Emmett do nothing and pushing him to become a better man and father. She is also a sexual abuse survivor who moved on to social work as an adult so she could help other women like herself.

Birgundi Baker As Kiesha Williams

Birthdate: March 6, 1992

Birgundi Baker as Kiesha Williams waring a white jacket and smiling in The Chi.

Actor: Birgundi Baker has only been acting since 2016 but has been hard at work since then, appearing in numerous movies and TV shows. Her most notable TV roles come in Black Lightning as Anaya, Empire as Teen Carol, and Chicago Med as Kiki. Williams’ movie performances include Eboni in Block Party and Carmen in Tuscaloosa. She also appeared in the 2023 movie Praise This, an original Peacock movie about an Atlanta choir in a national competition.

Movie/TV Title


Black Lightning


Station 19

Yemi Miller



Character: Birgundi Baker plays Kiesha Williams in The Chi. Kiesha is Kevin’s older sister and a former high school track star. In season 5, she finally gets back the baby she gave up for adoption and begins her new life, trying to balance her own needs and taking care of a child. Her life has not been easy on The Chi, as Omari Dresden (Cedric Mays) kidnaps her in the third season and she is held captive until Ronnie Davis (Ntare Mwine) saves her.

Luke James As Victor “Trig” Taylor

July 13, 1984

Luke James as Victor Trig Taylor looking worried in The Chi.

Actor: Luke James plays Victor “Trig” Taylor in The Chi, a character who first appeared in season 3. James is primarily a musicianwho has been nominated for a Grammy for Best R&B Performance for “I Want You” in 2013. He’s had a strong acting career as well, appearing in the series Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G. as Sean Combs and the film Little as Trevor. He also starred in the TV show Them: The Scare in 2024 as Edmond Gaines.

Movie/TV Title


Black Nativity



Noah Brooks

Them: The Scare

Edmund Gaines

Character: Trig is Jake’s estranged older brother. His complicated past makes it difficult for him to get custody of his brother, so Jake embarks on improving his image in the community to let everyone know he has changed. While a recurring character when The Chi started, Trig became a full-time cast member in season 4. He gains guardianship of his brother Jake after their other brother Reg’s death.

Curtiss Cook As Otis “Douda” Perry

Birthdate: October 2, 1968

Curtiss Cook as Otis Douda Perry walking out of a car looking angry in The Chi.

Actor: Curtiss Cook plays Otis “Douda” Perry in The Chi cast. Cook is probably best known for his recurring role in House of Cards as Terry Womack, but his other TV roles include Bowen in Mayans M.C. and Credenso Curtis in The Sopranos. He also appears in the main cast of Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story remake as Abe, Roxane Roxane as Dave, and Shutter Island as Trey Washington.

Movie/TV Title


House of Cards

Terry Womack

West Side Story


Chicago Med

Lieutenant Reginald Scott

Character: Otis “Douda” Perry is a successful businessman who goes on to become mayor of Chicago. Despite his presentable facade for the public, Douda is a scheming and dangerous individual who performs ruthless acts to gain more power. He leads the 63rd Street Mob and kills Reg, who is Trig and Jake’s brother. Douda could be a one-note villain, but Cook’s powerful performance makes him authentic and raw, and even scarier as a result.


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The Chi’s Supporting Cast & Characters

Rolando Boyce as Darnell The Chi speaking on a headset in The Chi.

Rolando Boyce as Darnell – Rolando Boyce plays Darnell in The Chi, Emmett’s distant father who eventually returns to his son’s life. Boyce has appeared in numerous TV shows in small roles, including Chicago P.D., Scandal, Workaholics, and Justified. In movies, Boyce plays Officer Brian Andrews in Lights Out and Detective Baker in Good Girl Jane. Most recently, he appeared in the Apple TV+ series Dark Matter.

Tyla Abercrumbie as Nina Williams – Nina Williams is Kevin and Keisha’s mother and a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community. She is fiercely protective and makes it her mission to protect her children from the streets. Nina is played by Tyla Abercrumbie, who is best known for her recurring role as Julia in Shrink. On television, Abercrumbie also appeared in smaller performances in shows like Chicago P.D., Utopia, and Empire.

Steven Williams as Quentin “Q” Dickinson – Steven Williams plays Quentin “Q” Dickinson in The Chi. Q is an elderly criminal kingpin who returns to the neighborhood to retake his illegal enterprises, though he behaves with more civility than those he would replace. Williams is a prolific television and movie actor with performances in It as Leroy Hanlon and Birds of Prey as Captain Patrick Erickson. On TV, he stars in 21 Jump Street as Captain Adam Fuller, plays Virgil in The Leftovers, and stars as Russell ‘Linc’ Lincoln in Linc’s.

Hannaha Hall as Tiffany — Hannaha Hall plays Tiffany, the mother of Emmett’s child. Hall has only one other performance in her career, playing a character named Dana in an episode of Chicago Med.

Miriam A. Hyman as Dre – Dre is Nina’s new wife in The Chi and is anxious to get to know her new stepchildren. Dre is played by Miriam A. Hyman, who most notably plays M.E. Emile Cooper in Blue Bloods. Her other roles include one-episode parts in NCIS, Gray’s Anatomy, and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Her film performances include Edith Boncamper in The Laundromat and Patricia Kingsley in The Sun Is Also a Star.

The Chi

The Chi

Alex R. Hibbert , Jacob Latimore , Yolonda Ross

Release Date
January 7, 2018


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