We are utterly fascinated by Jahkil Jackson, a young ICON who graciously combines brilliance, creativity and versatility with a big, bold and beautiful heart. Our Exclusive Interview with him simply reflects the sunshine he carries, inside out.
Enjoy and Stay Inspired:
What does Art mean to you?
To me art is all about expression! It means being able to express yourself with whatever you are passionate about. It means being comfortable with showcasing yourself. The cool thing about art is there is no right or wrong!
The theme of our magazine’s September Edition is ‘Expression.’ We see Art as one of the perfect forms of expressing oneself, and we see how you effortlessly combine various Arts as a basketball player, model, actor and dancer. How do you do this in terms of time management?
Between school, basketball training & games, my homeless organization, practicing my acting skills and tossing in tap dance in, it can be overwhelming but for the most part, time management has gotten easier over time because I have a huge calendar in my room that details my day hour to hour. Sometimes it can be a challenge though because things can pop up at the last minute that I have to get done and it throws my entire day off!
It’s so beautiful to see a Young King like you lead a cause as massive as ‘Project I am,’ providing relief to the homeless. Please tell us the drive and inspiration behind this project.
I see hopelessness, hunger, anger and pure sadness on a daily basis. The inspiration behind this initiative is seeing homeless people in my everyday life. I have a passion for helping those in need, so my organization is here to lower the homeless numbers in Chicago, across the nation and in the world. I want people to know that homeless people are people too.
Can you give us a glimpse of the Marvel’s Hero project featured on Disney Plus.
This was such an amazing experience. We have this little black boy from the south side of Chicago, a city that has a horrible reputation of violence and death, on the screen as a Marvel Hero. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have this type of opportunity. “Make Way For Jahkil” is my Marvel Project that features my work for the homeless population. I have a comic book where Marvel gave me super speed so that I can impact as many homeless people as possible within a short amount of time. To be in the same space as Black Panther, Spiderman, Captain America, Captain Marvel… Unbelievable.
You have continued to shine on, phase by phase even as an Amazon Best-Seller of “I AM.” All these simply reflect your quote “Don’t wait to be great.” What triggered this quote?
‘Don’t Wait To Be Great’ came about because when I used to speak to schools and at events, kids would always ask me “When do you have time to be a kid?” and “How do you do everything that you do?” and adults would ask “What else will you have left to do, you have done so much.” I felt like young people were being limited. They could not believe that at just 10, 11, 12 years old that I had accomplished all that I had. It was unfathomable for them which I felt was sad. My parents always say kids in our community suffer from lack of exposure. I am here to show a different side of Black boys in Chiacgo. I want kids to understand that they can do whatever they want to do NOW. Why wait until you are adult?
Who are your ‘ICONS’ in the Creative Industry?
I would say 2 people, Lebron James because he is an elite player, amazing and creative business man, philanthropist, family man, shows loyalty to his friends and has a heart for young people, these are all attributes I admire. I also think that my dad is one of my ICONS because he is ALL creative! He is very artistic from producing his own music, to designing fashion (he is a great stylist for me too)
to basketball (he helps me with coming up with creative moves and being creative on the court).
What does success mean to you? Success means being able to receive positivity because you are putting out positive energy. It also means being able to share your blessings with other people. I also feel that success is being able to do something that you love everyday and lastly being able to take care of your family.
Let’s go a little poetic: If poetry is a rainbow and you have a choice of one color in that pallette, what would that be and why?
Blue would be the color I choose. It is my favorite color. It is very vibrant and it can match anything!
What do you do during your free time?
When I’m not on the court or working on my organization, I play video games, make tik toks and face-time with friends