By Taroue Brooks
An interview with D. John Jackson, Founder, Owner and Principal of 5J Entertainment who is the co-creator and executive producer of the documentary.
Tell us about 5J Entertainment.
5J Entertainment is committed to educating, informing, entertaining and promoting positive images through various forms of media. We believe in exploring the little-known stories and unknown narratives that are unheard, unknown and in some cases distorted or misunderstood. Our goal is to provide a higher understanding of the culture and factors that create those narratives.
5J Entertainment is a visionary company working to bring encouragement and inspiration to audiences through storytelling, utilizing history, facts, data and vivid imagery. We are dedicated to transformative ideas and embracing innovation to tap into the hearts, minds and souls of individuals to provide greater understanding and acceptance while bringing people together. Ultimately, we want to be the North Star and play a role to show the path forward through our work.
Tell us about the your upcoming project “What About Me?”
What About Me is a riveting look into the experience of African American Men and their history in America. Black men and boys have endured extreme racism and prejudice in every aspect of their lives from, economics, jobs, politics and even social existence to this very day. Yet, we are still succeeding. However, the struggle continues and our stories, emotions and traumas need to be explored, heard and discussed.
It is extremely important for us to tell the stories and control our narratives of many rarely seen and untold stories of black men and boys. This documentary looks to inspire, connect and encourage black men to remain strong and seek out each other to bond and unleash their ideas, creativity and wonderful talents. Oftentimes in America, we see a narrative from our media of young Black males that is all too unflattering. Their hopes, dreams and aspirations have been muted…Until now.
What About Me is a catalyst for African American men today to share their stories and conversations while preparing a roadmap and trailblazing a path for those young men following in our footsteps. Our men and boys are looking for leadership, mentors and strategies to help them navigate the many challenges they will face in their lives as African Americans.
What do you want people to walk away with after experiencing the documentary?
I want them to be awakened and enlightened to the experiences of our men while deriving a sense of pride, hope, excitement and a call to action. They should see this documentary as a resource and a beacon that we can trust to become a part of our Legacy. I’d like for everyone to want to spread the word as the spirit and intent of the documentary becomes contagious. Ultimately, I hope they see What About Me as a pivotal moment in our country surrounding the conversation regarding Black Men.
Tell us about the Facebook Live conversations.
The Facebook Live conversations were incredible. They were the perfect precursor discussions to unveil and promote the What About Me Documentary. The conversations validated the premise that when Black Men come together and discuss their feelings, emotions, traumas, aspirations and dreams in a transparent way, amazing things happen.
What type of racism have you experienced?
I have experienced racism on multiple levels from the blatant to the micro-agressions that many face today. In a previous leadership role some years ago, I had a white direct report ask my boss right in front of me if he had to follow my instructions. I’ve had women clutch their purses on the elevator in office buildings even though I was in a suit and tie and they didn’t know I was one of the top executives. Many years ago in a Sales capacity I had a gentlemen ask me “why don’t your people pronounce the “k” on the word ask. I notice you pronounce the “k”, so where are you from”. I’ve had many examples that cover the full spectrum.
Where do you see 5J Entertainment in the next five years?
I see 5J Entertainment becoming a major enabler of storytelling in all forms of media platforms, film, books, documentaries, television, streaming etc. about people and our culture. 5J Entertainment will become a pillar to our community.
D. John Jackson is the Founder, Owner and Principal of 5J Entertainment which will be releasing the ground breaking documentary entitled, “What About Me”. Jackson is the co-creator and executive producer of the documentary. He is a proven strategist and futurist with a wide-ranging background and comprehensive global experience including being a distinguished lecturer and motivational speaker on a broad range of topics from leadership, history, science, engineering and emerging technologies to global economics and teamwork while also being a corporate executive of a Fortune 100 company.