This Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we published "BLKBND," on the Rise of the Urban Creative, framed by the self-crafted BLK male identity, and the BND of historical brotherhood. See the full editorial here.
Then we asked each BLKBND share a piece of himself.
Who are you?
I am Jamal Henderson. I was born in Washington D.C., raised in Bridgeport, WV. I come from a single parent household where it was just my mother and I for a majority of my life. My father and mother were never married but I'd still see him during summer visits and other small occasions where he'd come to see me play sports or for graduations. I have 2 sisters but 1 lived with my dad and the other is 7 years older than me so most of the time it was just my mom and I.
What words do you live by?
I honestly don't know if I live by any words... just my feelings really.
Describe yourself, today, in 3 words.
Intuitive, Compassionate, Ambitious.
Describe the man you aspire to be, 3 words.
Entrepreneurial, Generous, Patient.
What do you fear?
What are you proud of?
I'm proud of my growth and my ability to adapt to the situations and circumstances that have been placed before me.
What are you searching for?
A spiritual balance and my overall purpose in life.
How will you find it?
Through continuing to grow my faith and connecting with other individuals and learning from them.
Who do you want to become? What do you want to accomplish?
I want to become the best and truest version of myself, which will honestly constantly be changing. What I want to accomplish: becoming an international model, elite actor, as well as establishing my engineering technology business, which I'm currently working on.
What have you created in yourself, for yourself, and of yourself, to put forth in pursuit of your creative goals?
I wouldn't necessarily say that I created anything in myself, but more so: discovering an overall passion for business. After realizing that passion, I began to create different opportunities for myself based on past experiences in engineering, as well as through the opportunities shown to me in modeling and acting.
What's a pivotal moment or opportunity—whether existential or circumstantial—that's brought you to where you are today, as a man and a creative?
I'd have to say the pivotal opportunity had to have been when I signed with my agency, NEXT, in LA before graduating from college at Tennessee State University. Without that happening. I probably would be in Dallas at a traditional 9-5 job in a structural engineering firm, and not at all focused on developing my own business let alone pursuing a career in acting and modeling.
As a BLK male, how have you crafted the persona that you present to the world?
My persona is one that tends to constantly evolve and adapt. I am pisces so I am very adaptable to many different environments so I am very mellow, easy going, and sociable while always thinking about different aspects of the future.
Speak to your style philosophy. What does it mean to you?
Like my personality, my style tends to change given the season and most importantly my feelings. I wear clothes based on how I feel in them as opposed to any given labels. I have my core items that I will always be a fan of such as boots, coats, suits, and all sorts of hats. Then I build on those items based on what I feel at the time I look into my closet.
The BLK BND is an agent of life. What code of behavior and knowledge does he/do you use to navigate the world as an agent of the black male identity?
Respect and honesty are kind of my staples of behavior. I treat everyone with sincerity, as I'd want people to treat me.
BLK BND also signifies a brotherhood, the bond between men who understand where they come from, and the mindful positioning of self to create success for themselves. How does that come into play in your life? What signifies success to you?
The amount of lives that I can impact in a positive manner as a result of the opportunities I am given throughout my life keeps me grounded and looking forward to each day. I've had so many people reach out to me over the last 2 years about how much they admire me and I hadn't known I'd even affected anyone in that way. Success to me is not in how much money I earn, but what I do with that money and time to be an impact on others.