Black Lives, Black Health, Black Wealth, #We Matter is the theme for Black History Month at WKU. As the Cross-Cultural Center for Student Engagement continues to host events, author and creative producer Jason Boyd took the stage as a keynote speaker in February.
He performed in two events on February 21, starting with the Black Male Networking Luncheon and ending with a keynote. His documentary work ” We count “ follows the theme “Black Lives, Black Health, Black Wealth, #We Matter”.
Boyd says that during lunch he was very excited to talk to young black men.
“I had the chance to talk to younger brothers,” Boyd said. “I was able to talk to some of them afterwards and I feel like they are heading in the right direction.”
According to Boyd, he grew up in the Manhattanville projects until he was “old enough to appreciate the differences between good and evil”. He eventually found his way to Bowling Green where he got into trouble and ended up incarcerated for seven years.
As he relives his time in Bowling Green, Boyd remembers all the events that made him who he is today.
“We grow, we learn, we make mistakes and we learn from those mistakes,” Boyd said. “I turned them and that made me a man. I’ve had a tough time, but I love this place,” Boyd said.
In prison, he took the initiative to change his life by taking university courses, visiting several activists and reading books. Overall, he felt like he needed to hold himself accountable for his actions and make a change.
He initially pursued his college education at WKU, but when he got in trouble with the law, the school had to take a step back until he could rebuild to that point.
He went on to earn two degrees with an associate’s degree in business administration from Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College, followed by a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Louisville.
His new documentary work, “We Matter”, encompasses everything that excites him. He wanted to put all his emotions and express his feelings on the matter at the time.
“It’s all organized around us,” Boyd said. “It’s just black history. It features clips from the Breonna Taylor protests, reports from local rappers, and addresses the topics of anti-black racism.
With everything he’s done, Boyd just wants black people to know they matter, despite everything that’s happening to them in society.
“What I’ve learned from everything I’ve been through, you just have to know that people care about you and you matter,” Boyd said.
Journalist Gabrielle Bunton can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @gbunto_.