In 2017 Showtime first aired its heavily acclaimed series titled “The Chi.”
The show primarily revolved around the Southside of Chicago. The season premiere focused on a murder that shook the lives of many people living in that neighborhood.
However, by the third season, a character that barely made any impact in the first two seasons became a key plot. That character was Kiesha Williams, played by Birgundi Baker.
Kiesha In First Two Seasons
When the show first went on air, Kiesha Williams was just a side character, and her appearance did not have much to do with the storyline’s progress.
She was a track star and a typical teenager when it came to her attitude, even a bit promiscuous. However, she was obsessed with boys and kept on getting in and out of relationships to have a thriving dating life.
Her most controversial relationship was when she got involved with her adult track coach. Kiesha also had a secret Finsta account where she regularly posted the most revealing pictures, which didn’t help her reputation. If anything, it made her vulnerable to predators watching her every move.
Another thing that was a part of her character was her determination and outspokenness. Kiesha wasn’t someone who could mince her words which made her come across as more rude than intended.
She shared a very close relationship with her younger brother, and they had a ritual of going to House Of Pancakes each year to celebrate his birthday.
Kiesha’s Harrowing Storyline In Third Season
When the third season of The Chi premiered, viewers were glad to know that Kiesha had been turned into a recurring character.
She had already received a track scholarship but was hesitant to leave the comfort of the town. For a second, it looked like her story would be of a young black girl making it big but then things took a turn for the worse.
It started when her mother and her step-mother went on their honeymoon, leaving her in charge behind. But, unfortunately, the first two seasons had already established Williams wasn’t the type to abide by rules, so it was already a bad start.
As expected, Kiesha took advantage of this and was happy about the fact that she would be able to come and go as, please. On the first night, Kiesha left the house late to meet her boyfriend across town. After catching Ronnie’s eyes, who was revealed to be the killer in the first season, viewers got shocked when they saw her figure disappeared while leaving a scratched phone behind.
Many people were quick to jump to the conclusion that Ronnie had done it as he was sickly looking at her with lust in his eyes, but that theory was soon debunked.
Even when the audience could see his character motives, the showrunners didn’t take the easy route. When Kiesha’s parents returned, they found out the heartbreaking truth of their daughter disappearing, and upon asking around her school, they learned that she hadn’t been around for a few days.
By this time, viewers had already embraced themselves for the bitter reality that Kiesha had been murdered, and the entire season will be dedicated to finding her murderer. But they were provided with some relief when she was shown in a dinghy apartment. Unfortunately, that relief didn’t last long as it became clear that she had been kidnapped by a mentally disturbed person who was infatuated with her. Kiesha did try to escape when the power outage happened but got captured again.
In the season finale, they finally gave her an out.
Ronnie’s intuition and Kiesha’s muffled screaming led him to the apartment where she was held captive. Ronnie sees the kidnapper upon reaching the apartment, whose name was later revealed to be Omari, and realized that this man had already been around. After killing her captor, Kiesha ran for her life and eventually got free.
What Future Holds For Kiesha
Kiesha may have been free physically, but the trauma she endured has left her broken. She was once confident, determined, and ready to take on everything life has to offer.
But now, she wasn’t able to recognize herself in the mirror. She was barely able to hold eye contact with anyone. In the continuation of the terrible events, it was revealed that Kiesha has become pregnant as a result of being raped by Omari.
She took the unexpected decision of keeping the child, which left many viewers shocked. The producers are very much planning on pursuing her story as in the after-effects of being abducted. They will now explore the psychological impact this whole ordeal had on her.
Raising Awareness about Abduction of Young Black Girls
When Burgundy got to know her character development, she thought it came at the perfect timing. The police characters on the show were leaving, and they needed a plot where police were not as heavily involved.
In addition, this storyline highlighted the subject that many Americans would still not be comfortable talking about: the safety of young Black Girls.
Baker said even while quickly scrolling through her Insta. She can see the announcement of at least two, three black girls being missing. When they discussed the issue in an interview, she pointed out 75,000 black girls are missing at this very moment, but no one would hear about them on the news.
The show’s producers had also pointed out that the world came to a halt when news of the abduction of young white girls like JonBenet Ramsey broke out. Still, the police don’t even bother to show any interest when it’s an African-American girl.
The show has also highlighted how victim-blaming becomes huge when it comes to reporting the kidnapping of girls like Kiesha, who are considered “easy.”
People in their neighborhood and police characters wasted no time in throwing these girls’ reputations at their parent’s faces and even use it as a way to justify the terrible thing that happened to them.
With this story, at least a long-overdue debate has been sparked.