"We are conditioned to compete one another; if I’m being specific, going out for a Broadway show and there’s only one Black role in the show—now you up against 12 of other your friends and only one of you is going to get it. It starts at the root where these things shouldn’t be happening. There shouldn’t be only one role for one of us. A lot of times getting this job is the difference between of me being able to pay mortgage in New York City for the next year or me having to move back home or move in with a friend and sleep on somebody’s couch because I can’t afford to pay my bills because this is my livelihood. So then you kick into survival mode of, 'I need to win, I need to do this, I need to be the best,' instead of sitting back and being like, 'This is my journey." But people aren’t [always] afforded that luxury."
We chat with Ain’t Too Proud star Jawan M. Jackson about how his support system encouraged him to pursue music, what his journey to New York City was like, and why he is committed to giving back.
Recommendation: Gregory Porter’s All Rise album
Shout out: Sterling K. Brown