We had the good fortune of connecting with Jonathan Travis and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jonathan, what do you want people to remember about you?

What I want people to remember about me first and foremost is my sense of humor. There is nothing like making someone laugh or putting a smile on someone’s face, especially when they are going through a difficult time.  

I also want people to remember the passion I have for all humans to be treated fairly. I hope to leave behind words, stories, plays, videos, and money that will continue to contribute to the fight for Black liberation worldwide and/or spark the brain of a few people who will fight for human rights more than me.  I hope my nephew, Jaiden, will pick up where I left off at. I want people to think of Black liberation and social justice when they think of me! As the great man, Fred Hampton, said, “you can kill the revolutionary, but you can’t kill the revolution.”  My goal is to leave the world in a better place than the one I was born into.   

Lastly, I would like remembered as one of the most extraordinary men who graduated from Morehouse College.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?

My unfiltered voice and knowledge about Black history and the Black experience sets me apart from others. At this present time, many people cannot separate “fake news” from factual information. Unfortunately, people nowadays do not like to verify information for themself. Due to the easy access ordinary people have to social media and other media platforms, they are more interested in saying or doing something that will get them the most likes or go viral on social media, regardless of how inaccurate the information may be. 

When I write my plays, blogs, or discuss topics on my vlog, I ensure I research the subject and interview people who are experts on the topic I’m talking about, regardless of how others may feel about what is being written or discussed. I try to write from the heart and be sincere with projects. I do not worry about being accepted by numerous people and do not think about going viral when I focus on my projects.  

I’m slowly learning that people respect your projects more when they can determine your sincerity about what you’re doing. They can tell you’ve practiced your craft or researched what you’re speaking or writing about. Learning that I can combine my passion for social justice, acting, and writing into a play was my most remarkable experience. 

I’m now exploring other ways of educating others in a non-traditional manner. I started a blog site during the pandemic and a YouTube channel. Even though I do not have the large following I initially anticipated, the feedback I received has been positive.  I’m usually told how impressed and amazed people are about my knowledge of the subjects I write about or record, even if they disagree.

Since I’m not a professional actor, blogger, or vlogger, it is challenging to remain consistent with content since I have a demanding professional career.  However, I want the world to know that the saying, “when you find something you love, it’s not work,” is true. Even though I’m not a professional actor, playwright, blogger, etc., my love and respect for my hobbies keeps me going. Nobody can take away your talents and passion.  Don’t feel defeated even though you may see less talented people in spaces you wish to be or know people less knowledgeable than you with more opportunities to educate others. Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing; everything will eventually fall in place.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?

The best part about living in NJ is there are plenty of things to do here, but we are also close to NYC and Philadelphia. If someone was visiting me, we would eat at one of the Portuguese Restaurants in my city, Elizabeth, NJ. The food is plentiful and delicious, and the Sangrias are the best! 

Weather permitting, I would also take them to one of the Jersey Shore Points (Asbury Park, Long Branch, or Point Pleasant). We can relax on the beach, stroll on the boardwalk, eat some more good food (lol), or drive a little further south to Atlantic City so we can gamble and party. If they wanted to go out at night closer to my area, we would go to either Jersey City, Hoboken, Weehawken, or Edgewater, where plenty of restaurants and lounges overlook the beautiful Manhattan skyline and we could also enjoy the breeze from the Hudson River. Last but least, what’s a trip to Jersey without visiting NYC? Manhattan (downtown and uptown-Harlem) and Brooklyn are my favorite parts of NYC to visit. Both places have plenty to see, plenty to do, and plenty of places to eat.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?

So many people deserve credit for where I am at now in life. First and foremost, I would like to dedicate my shout-out to my parents and my two sisters, Nicole and Monique Travis, for their continuous support in everything I do. In addition to my family, a good friend who passed away in 2020, Joseph Naziro, was the first person to truly believe in my first play. He gave me the confidence to believe in my project even when I didn’t. I will forever be grateful for him; his encouraging words will keep me going. Two other friends, DiShawn Gandy and Valdi Belton pushed me to grow as an actor by convincing me to register for acting classes and audition for more challenging roles. The three of us eventually started our own production company to write, produce and direct unfiltered Black stories. My passion for social justice and my love for acting led me to write my first play in 2019, Anytown U.S. of A. I’m now writing my second play, The Revolution Will be Televised.  

However, outside of my immediate friends and family, Morehouse College, Malcolm X, and the book, Miseducation of The Negro shaped my character as an adult. They all gave me the courage to speak about the injustices Black people face daily. The combination of family, supportive friends, and my educational experience at Morehouse College led me to where I am today.

Website: www.BlackinAmerika.com

Instagram: @onemic40

Twitter: @jtrav9

Youtube: bit.ly/RealHueyFreeman

Image Credits
Blair Anthony, Jonathan Travis & DiShawn Gandy

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