Q&A: Actor Jay Reeves on the Impact of Black Hollywood

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March 24, 2024

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Jay Reeves, known for his roles on CW network show “All American” and Disney’s 2020 football film, “Safety” has been in the film industry since 2016.  In a wide-ranging interview with The Click, the star born from St. Paul, Minnesota shared his thoughts on the impact of Black entertainers, and where he feels the future of Black entertainment is heading.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

The Click: What are your thoughts on the influence of the Black entertainment industry in today’s culture?

Reeves: Black industry leaders absolutely have a responsibility to show how we create storytelling as well as artistry in the music industry. Our craft is what inspires and embraces people to feel all the emotions in life that they relate to within themselves. It’s been evident that our music and culture has influenced individuals around the world, in beauty, clothing, what we see, what we hear. It is constantly around us and it has all started with us!

Do you feel that this impact could have a strong influence on the 2024 election coming up this November?

I absolutely feel that it would help give Black voters a stronger understanding of why it’s crucial to place someone in office who at least wouldn’t harm the future of this country. Some Black voters over the last four terms will honestly have back-and-forth feelings on the matter, but there can only be some forms of positivity and growth that we would be able to reach and gain from this. 

Do you feel the Black entertainment industry is doing a good job as far as leading our communities in positive, educational ways to help evolve the next generation?

As far as the type of storytelling and music we put out today, the industry has definitely changed drastically. Maybe not in the most impactful ways, but how our generation sees and finds talent is very different from black entertainers from even a decade ago hitting the spotlight.”

How and why would Black industry leaders feel an obligation to support President Joe Biden for a second term this fall given the crucial urgency of filling the position for the next term?

I feel most people in the Black community do share the same concerns with what the outcome may be of electing a president with conflicting views in leading this country. Black communities will always support leaders who will have their best interest and understanding of how hard we have worked for equality. Simple. Equality in business, finances, social views, and the list can of course go on. The commonality of what our communities have always wanted has been one thing alone, and the hopes of moving leaders would be to maintain the balance of that.

 Will the Black entertainment industry’s power and influence continue to grow in crucial matters such as politics?

Absolutely. Black people are powerful more than many people give us credit for in how much we have made influences in history. This will forever continue to grow, the only things that will circulate within this as time goes on are the types of leaders we are bringing into this business that impact all.

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