On Lena Waithe’s Showtime drama “The Chi,” Yolonda Ross plays a single mother, an often “thankless” role she says doesn’t get enough attention.
“It’s an epidemic, I feel, in our country. In a lot of countries,” Ross said in an interview with TheWrap. “Women have to take care of themselves — which are usually the last to get any care — the home, the kids of the kids.”
Single mothers are often asked to dedicate their lives to others, but Ross says its time for them to get the attention and respect their hard work deserves.
“I feel there just needs to be more for women to have a rapport with other women,” she said. “And just let it be known that we do a lot of stuff on a daily basis that people just do not look at.”
Ross plays Jada on the Showtime drama, a full-time nurse, caregiver and single mother to her reckless, but charming son Emmett (Jacob Latimore). Ross joined “The Chi” when it was picked up to series, stepping in for Aisha Hinds, who played the character in the original pilot.
The actress says she owes her career to the generosity and mentorship of fellow actresses Viola Davis and Alfre Woodard, a favor she feels compelled to pass on to the next generation.
“Helping [others] is such a big thing because the business is set up in such a way where a lot of times people kind of function for self,” Ross said. “You can’t bring everybody up that way. You can’t make those major moves when you’re thinking of self. When you can include others and help others do their own thing — not take from you, but just do their own thing — we can all flourish so much more.”