Listen to understand. James Jackson III on Jessop’s Journal

Nation & World News

James Jackson the Third. The name just sounds lyrical. I met James at the NAACP MLK Awards earlier this year before all this COVID stuff.

At that same awards luncheon, I met a woman with a beautiful voice named Mack. I ended up having Mack come on Jessop’s Journal (hint: click here for her interview) and then have Mack and The Messenger perform on Jessop’s Jukebox (double hint: click here for that music special). Anyway, I digress. Back to James.

James is the Founder and President of The Black Chamber of Commerce. Come to find out that they’ve been around for over a decade helping uplift black businesses and also help Utah companies to add more diversity. In fact, the Black Chamber of Commerce and Podium have joined forces to introduce a new online directory at Utah Black Pages.

It was interesting to find our more about James growing up in Utah and finding out more about his father James Jackson Jr. who maintains cells towers throughout Utah. I have to admit my collaborator/videographer Ed and I were singing “Wichita Lineman” while we he was editing this story.

The story of “the original” James Jackson coming from Oklahoma to Utah in the 1950’s was intriguing. Did you know that segregation wasn’t just in the South? It was also in the West, including Utah.

It is clear that the patriarch of the family had a big impact of James number three. The loving way that James talked about his Grandfather and “Nana” and the connection they shared with their church was inspiring.

The church is where James became enamored with public speaking. He is a man that is passionate about life and lives by the Bible verses he first spoke about in church at the age of twelve. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

We talked about what I call, “a lot of noise from the left and a lot of noise from the right.” His reply makes you stop and think.

“We need to get in the position to where we are listening to understand instead of listening to respond. This something I’ve been preaching about for the last month. I’ve been talking to a bunch of companies and organizations and even a few police departments. We’ve been in this back and forth with these loud noises that you talk about right.

If you can imagine, these loud noises are separated by water. There are these bodies of land and we are shouting over water and with this bridge up. So all we’re doing. We are trying to share our message and they are trying to share their message back. We’re just having these walls. These barriers to all we are hitting is the back of that bridge.

What we need to do is listen to understand. The more that we understand the more that bridge starts to come down. And when that bridge comes down, you are going to find this ground that I like to call common ground. Where we can come together, share both of our perspectives still. But find the good out of each of those perspectives and out of those perspectives we can find solutions. So it’s not my vision. It’s not your vision. It’s now the right vision. It’s not the left vision. It’s a new vision that comes out of this so where we bring people together.”

Well said, James Jackson the Third. Well said.

Jessop’s Journal is something special when it comes to broadcast news. I have the honor of being able to do longer in-depth interviews that you don’t normally see with people from all walks of life.

I strongly feel that “stories have power”. Chances are that if you are going through something, that someone else probably has as well. The shared experiences we humans have can help each other. That my friend makes the point that stories “help us understand each other.”

You don’t have to agree with everyone, but in my opinion, if people would take more time getting to knowing more about others and where they are coming from, we just might find out that we have more similarities than differences.

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