London Brown says acting is a platform he uses to champion Black college enrollment. Known for his work on “Power Book III: Raising Kanan” and “Ballers,” he recently served as an ambassador at the National College Resources Foundation (NCRF) 14th Annual Houston Black College Expo.
The NCRF is dedicated to decreasing the high school dropout rate and increasing the number of degrees and certifications achieved by at-risk students.
“Before all the TV stuff that people might know me for, my life was working with young people in afterschool programs as a teacher, and I also worked with the Boys and Girls Clubs,” said Brown.
“This is how I used to pay my bills, but I honestly would have done it for free. My love for helping young people keep their grades up and talking to them about going to college is important to me.”
In addition to being an actor, Brown is a standup comedian. He says during the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike, if he wasn’t touring the comedy circuit, he was working with kids on advancing their dreams and goals.
Brown remembers a time when he did not know he could turn his love of the arts into a career. For this reason, he now believes it is his obligation to help broaden the horizons of Black youth beyond their own expectations.
“When I was growing up, there were four careers – teacher, lawyer, doctor, fireman, and possibly policeman. If you were tall, you had basketball. My whole thing is to help young people find their gifts early so they can jump into it because your life changes when you begin to walk with purpose,” said Brown.
Born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, Brown lived in a neighborhood populated with members of a well-known gang. He says he owes his survival during those turbulent times to the prayers of his mother.
“She prayed, ‘Lord, keep him so busy he won’t have time to get caught up in gangs,’” Brown remembered.
Brown says he kept occupied by engaging in the arts. Early on in his entertainment career, he was a dancer, a choreographer, and aspired to one day become an animator. Brown also says like many young Black men growing up in church, he played instruments like the drums.
“I’m glad the Lord was very benevolent enough to even bestow this thing called art to me. I could have been anything, but I’m glad he decided to give me art,” said Brown.
His first professional acting job was on the Fuse comedy-drama series, “The Hustle.” He then was originally cast for two episodes on the Dwayne Johnson vehicle and HBO series, “Ballers.”
Brown says he must give all praises to God for those two-episodes turning into a five-season run on the show as one of the leads.
“I don’t take any credit for this stuff because it’s just favor, and with favor, we don’t earn favor from God. He just decides to give it,” said Brown.
When asked about balancing those core values with his current role on the crime-drama television series “Power Book III: Raising Kanan,” which centers around a family-run criminal organization, Brown said, “If I’m able to do a show like this, the core thing I’m able to walk away with is how can I use this as influence to affect the people I’m trying to reach?
“I want to continue on to bigger and better projects, so that I’m able to use my influence in a larger way. This has nothing to do with me, I’m just a vessel,” said Brown.