Karimah Westbrook Gives Back
Karimah Westbrook not only plays a passionate mother on CW’s All American, but she gives back to South Central Los Angeles’s youth through an amazing organization call A Place Called Home. To learn more about Karimah and A Place Called Home, please read further in Jejune’s exclusive interview below.
Where are you based?
I am based in California.
What inspired you to get into acting?
What inspired me to get into acting is the joy I felt when performing, and how watching different actors made me feel inside while watching them perform.
Can you please tell us a little bit about your experience playing Grace James in All American?
It’s been great playing Grace James. A lot of my understanding of who Grace is grew with each script I received. I can’t think of a higher honor than portraying someone who’s raising kids and the challenges and fears that comes with it. It’s real life for a lot of people.
All American covers race relations in Los Angeles and socio economic issues. Why do you think this is so important?
I think the way All American covers race relations and socio-economic issues is important because the stories reveal that no matter what side of the coin we may find ourselves on, we are more alike than we are different.
Grace James is a very passionate mother. Do you think it is harder for African American youth to find opportunities?
I think there are factors that exist that makes it harder for some African American youth to find opportunities.
Can you please tell us about “A Place Called Home?”
A Place Called Home provides a safe, nurturing environment, with programs in arts, education, and wellness for the youth in South Central Los Angeles. It helps them improve their economic conditions and develop healthy, fulfilling and purposeful lives.
What inspired you to get involved with “A Place Called Home”?
I got involved with APCH because I wanted to give back. Things were going really well in my own person life, and I was looking for meaningful ways that I could contribute to someone else’s life. I remembered some of the struggles I faced as a teen; so, I thought, signing up to work with the youth could be a great start.
You are a painter. Do you get a chance to teach your kids painting?
No, I didn’t get a chance to teach the kids painting. I don’t know if I could. My style is very free flowing and I’ve never taken a class to learn how to do it. I just do it.
Why do you think it is so important to get at risk youth involved in the arts?
I think it’s important to get at risk youth involved in the arts because sometimes it’s hard to articulate how you feel in words. It’s important to release how you feel versus suppressing it; there’s healing in the releasing and acknowledging how you really feel and why. Creating art can be a form of expression without words. Creating art can be a form of releasing.
If someone wanted to get involved with “A Place Called Home” or similar organizations, what advice would you have for them?
Make sure you’re ready. Know the reasons why you want to do it, and remember those reasons, if things get tough. Be prepared to commit and really show up for the kids — they truly look forward to you being there.
What is your motto in life?
We are all one.
To learn more about Karimah Westbrook, please follow her on the following platforms:
Photo credit for cover photo: Nate Taylor