So you’ve heard of the cradle to prison pipeline, and I hate to disappoint you, but this is not that type of story.
For Jeral Clyde II, Section 8 was a way of life.
JC is living proof that government assistance is necessary in certain points of life, but it is not meant to be used as a crutch.
Known in the film world as JC.
Black Boys stories start from the cradle to cinematography!
Rachel was a single mother that took every opportunity to expose JC to all the programs the City of Atlanta had to offer.
He is a native of Atlanta that was born in Crawford Long Hospital, grew up in University Homes, a graduate of Carver High School, former Vice President of Alpha Ki Psi Business Fraternity, and the first male in his family to ever obtain a college degree.
While matriculating away at University of West Georgia, JC received a call while leaving the movies with friends.
He missed answering it by one ring, and it turned into a voicemail he will never forget.
Shrilling screams in a male voice that echoed there was terror in the midst, but JC thought it was a prank call.
It started to sink in that the call was no mistake. It was Halloween night and the year was 2010, and he recalls his mother, Rachel Jones calling prior stating she did not want to go to work, but she was filling in as a bartender for a new bar that opened on Donald Lee Hollowell.
Shots rang out that evening with the gun of choice being an AK-47, and it was said it was intended for the owner of the bar, but only Rachel was struck multiple times.
JC rushed back to Atlanta, and by the time he made it to Grady Hospital the doctor’s informed he and his brother that she was not going to make it. Rachel Jones’s murder is still an unsolved case with no one ever willing to come forward.
Before your heart aches and the bitterness in you festers, I urge you to keep reading.
It was Christmas time and the year was 2003. Rachel gifts JC with a camera, and they are residing on the Westside at that time–still in government housing. They are living on Parsons ST.
People in the community begin referring to JC as a young Spike Lee.
In that same year Rachel enrolls JC in a coding course at Oglethorpe University then a STEM workshop at Georgia Tech. This exposure is how he begins teaching himself to video edit using Adobe Premiere Pro.
Fast forward, and after taking a year off to heal from the tragic loss of his mother while working three jobs to finish paying for school, JC is no longer on government assistance of any type. After his mother’s murder he was given the option to have Section 8 housing through his mother’s voucher.
He turned it down and stood on his own two feet. He is grateful for the Atlanta Housing Authority because when dependency was no longer needed he was ready to face the real world.
He graduates from the University of West Georgia with a degree in Marketing, and a trade skill as a video editor. His professor approaches him with an opportunity to work for the movie industry, but he gave him a heads up he will be traveling a lot.
This is how JC embarks on the opportunity to work in the video editorial department for Spiderman: Homecoming, Alvin & the Chipmunks, Magnificent 7, Baby Driver, and multiple other major motion picture projects.
He has shared space and received guidance from some of the world’s most renowned visual effects editors.
He began observing everything that makes a production work and in 2012 produces his first feature film, “A Product of Me” which echoes the message one should be a product of themselves and not their environment. This can be viewed on Amazon Prime.
The shift of the film industry is what brought JC from California back to his home town, Atlanta.
JC has also directed and produced over 70 independent projects for clients in the music, sports, and entertainment industry.
Poeta , his latest film, is headed on a 7-city movie tour that will begin in Atlanta for a midnight showing at Landmark Theatre Midtown followed by a 3/17 screening at Stonecrest Cinema at 6:00PM. The tour will end in LA this August. Media Contact: 404-754-4584
Jason has worked in education for over 15 years as a teacher, blogger and community advocate. He speaks and writes primarily about the need to improve education for Black boys, particularly increasing the number of Black male educators in schools. In addition to blogging here at EdLanta, Jason is also a featured writer at Education Post.