Raising Whitley on OWN stars actress and comedienne Kym Whitley in a chaotic, fun look at single motherhood.
When comedienne Kym Whitley signed up to mentor troubled young women, she never expected to walk away a mother herself. After receiving a call from a hospital where they told her, “Your baby is ready,” Whitley’s life changed forever. Her story of raising her baby boy Joshua is documented in the humorous, heartfelt series Raising Whitley, debuting Saturday, April 20 at 10pmET on OWN.
The social worker told Whitley that the birth mother chose her as the guardian for the baby because she wanted the child to have a better life than what she could have given him, and if she didn’t take him he would be put into the system. “I had one hour to determine if I wanted to be a parent,” says Whitley, of her rapid-fire introduction to motherhood.
It was happenstance that Whitley’s parents were in town from Ohio when she got the initial call, and were able to provide guidance in making her decision. While her parents stayed with her for three months after assuming guardianship, Whitley also credits her “Village” of friends, a riotous group who has been by her side as she navigates the complexities of parenting. At times, however, it’s hard to tell who is more mature — Joshua or the adults tasked with raising him.
The season will show Whitley’s chaotic life, as she realizes things like Craigslist isn’t a place to shop for a nanny or that haircuts for babies aren’t always easy. Cameras also chronicle Whitley as she goes on a manhunt with her girlfriends.
Whitley credits OWN and Oprah for giving her a safe place to share her story. “If I’m going to put my son’s life out for the world – where the world will know my son’s story before he knows it — I have to be very careful. The OWN brand gives me permission. It makes me safe. I know my story is going to be told for truth.”
And, truth be told, that story is sure to be an endearing yet comic look into the life of a woman who had no clue what she was getting into.