Actress Karen Malina White has enjoyed a career spanning over 20 years. She returns as the voice of ‘Dijonay Jones’ in the revival of the highly-popular Disney animated series “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder. The show follows the adventures and misadventures of newly 14-year-old Penny Proud (Kyla Pratt) and her Proud Family as they navigate modern life in the 2020s with hilarity and heart.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, White studied at the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts and continued her studies at Howard University, where she graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. During her senior year, White won the title of “Miss Howard University” and landed her first role as an actress. In 1989, White starred in LEAN ON ME alongside actor Morgan Freeman and was nominated for the 1990 Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress Supporting Role in a Motion Picture for her performance in the film.
During the 1990s, Karen Malina White made many guest appearances in various television shows. White portrayed Charmaine Brown during Seasons 7 and 8 of “The Cosby Show” and Season 6 of “A Different World.” White also guest-starred as Jewel, Jazz’s wife in two episodes of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and has appeared in “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper,” “Me and the Boys,” “My So-Called Life,” and “Malcolm & Eddie,” to name a few. From 2001 to 2005, she performed the voice of ‘Dijonay Jones’ on the original animated Disney Channel series “The Proud Family” and is now excited to revive her role in the new Disney+ series premiering this month.
White will also appear in Netflix’s upcoming limited series “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” by Ryan Murphy about the American serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer (Evan Peters) told through Dahmer’s point of view. The 10-episode series will focus on at least ten separate times when Dahmer was almost captured by authorities before being allowed to walk free and continue his reign of terror. This limited series seeks to tell the story of this case as much as it portrays the white privilege and police incompetence that led this monster to get away with killing so many for so long. White plays the role of ‘Shirley Hughes,’ the mother of one of Dahmer’s victims whose son also happened to be deaf. White has studied ASL (American Sign Language) in school and was able to utilize her sign language skills for this role.
Karen Malina White spoke with the Chicago Defender on reprising her role in “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder” and her upcoming acting projects.
In addition, Karen Malina White will also star in “Bruh” by Tyler Perry in spring 2022. The show examines dating, careers, and friendship in contemporary society for a group of college friends in their thirties. This group of “Bruhs” will examine the stereotypes of African American men and maintain their brother-like relationships while finding love and fulfilling careers. White plays the role of ‘Hilda,’ the mother-in-law to one of the leading characters of the series.
Karen Malina White is also a practicing Buddhist. She credits Buddhism for keeping her grounded and helping her to successfully navigate her career in the TV/film industry.
“The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder” premieres on Disney+ on February 23, 2022.