Greenleaf Star Tye White, Opens Up About His Career, Love Life and Future

By London Alexaundria

Photography by Nathan Pearcy

Groomed by Cerrone Hemingway

Styled by Troy Clinton 

In OWN’s popular Southern mega-church drama Greenleaf, Tye White plays Kevin Satterlee, the ex son-in-law of the powerful Bishop James Greenleaf. We caught up with the 33-year-old as he filled us in on his love life and the black lives matter movement.

How would you describe the perfect summer date?

I’ll say, how I got my fiancée, originally was I just took her on a drive. Just rolled down the windows ‘cause I didn’t have a drop top or nothing, so just roll down the windows and put on some good music. And I was like, ‘just come out for a drive with me’ and she was like, ‘what are we gonna do?’ and I said ‘I don’t know, we’ll figure it out.’ So we just drove down the coast when the sun was setting and it was just one of those things where I was just like, ‘yeah I got her’ (laughs).  She’s from London so she doesn’t get that scenic view all the time. Sometimes the simplest things work—you don’t have to go all big and fancy and take them to the most expensive restaurant or helicopter ride over the city and all that, sometimes it’s the more simple things and connecting with a person actually. I can’t remember what CD it was, I had some mix CD playing—

Wait a CD?

CD! I been with this girl for five years. The car wasn’t new. I didn’t even have the [aux] plug in. It was a little janky joint.

Did you make the CD?

I made the CD. She still knows what songs are on there too. It was kinda R&Bish and then it had the random turn up song. That was the moment where I was like, ‘yeah, I like this girl.’

Pants: JCrew Shirt: Black Men Smile Sneakers: Gucci Jacket: Zara

What are some of your favorite summer activities?

I live in LA so I’m gonna say the stereotypical thing, but I go to the beach a lot. Beach, hanging out with people by the pool and working out ‘cause you can’t go into the summer without looking right, so that’s maybe a pre-summer thing. I try to make sure I’m in decent shape so I can at least have my shirt off at some point and not be that fat guy at the pool (laughs).

Overalls: Zara Shirt: A Banner Vision “Black Fist” Sneakers: Balmain

The clothes you are wearing support of the black lives matter movement that has been taking place the last few years due to the killings of young unarmed black men by police. What does the movement mean to you?

I saw something on social media where it really kinda touched my heart and really resonated with me. For instance, Jordan (Jordan Edwards, 15-year-old boy that was shot by police officer in Texas), they had his photo and then they had an explanation saying he was on the honor roll, he was this, he was that. Somebody responded with, ‘why do we have to explain why he didn’t deserve to die? Why do we have to say he was such a good kid?’ Nobody deserves to die, not in that manner, especially by the people that are meant to protect you, allegedly. It just really touched my spirit and I think it’s important that the world looks at it in a grander scheme, why are black men being hunted?

People need to operate from a place of love, learning and understanding different cultures, not just us, but we need to understand their culture. Why do they…I have my ideas of why but…community meetings, town halls. Open up the discussion where people start to learn about one another and that will take the fear out of it. Like you fear what you don’t know. Like I don’t want to go to the bottom of the ocean ‘cause I don’t know what’s down there. I’m probably like, I won’t make it back and I feel like that’s where a lot of that comes from. So you see a little kid and he’s a kid and you’re afraid of him. It’s not me; not a 6’3ft guy, 200 lbs. walking up on you, it’s a kid. You shouldn’t be afraid of him, but I think that just shows where we are in this society. We had a black president, but it didn’t fix everything.


Jeans: Dsquared2 Top: Beautiful in Every Shade Shirt: Zara Sneakers: Converse

Article featured in the July August 2017 Sheen Magazine Shades of Black Issue