March Men In Motion | Jahron Black

The header is a photo of Jahron an attractive African American man with dreadlocks and wearing sunglasses. A nighttime cityscape is in the background

Men In Motion

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Growing up, being visually impaired has definitely been a challenge for me. A lot of people have always overlooked me, always told me that I couldn’t do things because of my vision. And so for me, my main battle in life was always overcoming these obstacles.

~Jahron Black

Editor’s Note:

Encountering barriers is an all too common occurrence when you are blind or low vision. Like many of us in the blind/low vision community, today’s Man In Motion, Jahron Black, adapts and overcomes barriers on a daily basis. As a hip-hop artist and athlete Jahron demonstrates to those coming up behind him what can be accomplished through persistence and adaptation.

It’s no secret that disability representation within the entertainment industry is seriously lacking. Jahron inspires hope for those who might be thinking about becoming a performance artist. Bold Blind Beauty is happy to play a small role in promoting the work of people like Jahron. As he so wisely puts it in this piece “Forming these relationships are very important because we help each other rise up through the ranks.

Beyond Sight Magazine Cover

Beyond Sight Magazine Cover features the same photo of Jahron as in the header. The text reads: “Jahron Black | Helping one another rise up through the ranks | Men In Motion introducing incredible young people who are doing extraordinary things.
Beyond Sight Magazine Cover

Men In Motion YouTube Video

March Men In Motion | Jahron Black

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Transcription

Getting To Know Jahron Black

Hello, everyone, my name is Jahron Black. I’m an engineer, songwriter, hip-hop artist from New York City. My stage name is JDollazMusic J-D-o-l-l-a-z-M-u-s-i-c. I’m legally blind.

I tell most people that I’m visually impaired, I’m in between the worlds of being totally sighted and totally blind. I have optic nerve hypoplasia, that’s my eye condition. And basically what it means is that the blood flow that goes between my eyes and my brain is smaller than the average like the vessels are smaller than average and so I get less vision. I also have only peripheral vision, no central vision, and my eyes are cross-eyed.

Growing up, being visually impaired has definitely been a challenge for me. A lot of people have always overlooked me, always told me that I couldn’t do things because of my vision. And so for me, my main battle in life was always overcoming these obstacles. I’m always just trying to make a difference in my community of people who had different types of disabilities.

Bitten By The Music Bug

In this photo, Jahron is sitting wearing a black leather jacket with a white shirt and his signature sunglasses.
Jahron

I was always in love with music from a young age. My cousins used to babysit me and put me in front of the speakers because they didn’t think that, you know, I could do anything else. But you know, that music really resonated within me, and it bred life into me.

So I started out wanting to be a DJ and so my uncle and my father got me some turntables when I was young. And I would just be in my room djing, and I’d have crates full of records, and different things of that nature. So that was an amazing experience in itself. And then I got an electronic drum machine, and I used to be on that thing, trying to make beats and different things. And so, like, I’ve always had a love, you know, for music.

Another challenge that I’ve faced, trying to make a name for myself, in this music industry, is shooting music videos. And I know, that may not seem like, you know, something, that’s a huge thing, but I’ve suffered from being very stiff. When I first started out, making my videos, I wouldn’t say I was camera shy, but I just didn’t know how to move on camera to relay, the feeling of whatever was happening in the song.

I didn’t know how to, have that bounce to make people be like, “yo, this is a dope video, this is hot, he’s actually you know, moving and doing something really dope.” So it took me a few videos to definitely get that down, and I think it’s something that I’m still working on. But I’m becoming way more comfortable in my space of, you know, this is my stage in front of the camera whenever I’m performing.

Recording Studios & Accessibility

And so I recorded in a lot of different studios and oddly enough, a lot of the things that I learned in school, went to school for audio engineering, so a lot of the things that I learned in school, you know, what a lot of the same things that I’ve encountered in like big studios. A lot of these studios are not accessible, these studios are not blind-friendly, right?

You know, for me, it’s like, I try to go to studios that I’m familiar with. And so I kind of always learn the layout, and I learn what different knobs do what, just by almost by trial and error. But you know, I have somebody telling me—”all right, this is the knob to give your microphone more gain, and this is the knob to make the overall volume louder.” I’ve had a lot of amazing times and met a lot of different amazing people, just by going to the studios, around New York City, and networking with different people.

And you have some people who are very supportive of the fact that I’m visually impaired and I have a disability because they realize that it doesn’t hinder me from doing anything else that I love to do. I’m proud of that in itself. And I wouldn’t change that I’ll trade that for anything in the world.

I remember when I first went to the studio, maybe like 2008/2007 it was like I went to somebody’s home studio and one of the neighborhoods. And it was like one of the best things to me at the time, because I was so young. I’m only 26 now, so I don’t know, maybe I was like 12 or 10 years old 12 maybe 13.

I just thought it was one of the most amazing experiences to me. And you know, they had a microphone hanging off of a closet and stuff like that. And to me I was like, this is it. Like I just knew that I was gonna make it I knew that I was gonna be somebody and so I’ve been at this journey for a long time.

A Little Advice

So I will tell anybody that wants to pursue anything that they want to do. Just never give up on it never quit because you never know when your big break is gonna come. And just, connect with people, whether it’s people who are in the same communities as you, or expand even outside of your communities, and don’t be scared to speak up. You know, don’t let your visual impairment stop you from doing what it is that you want to do with your life.

I’m also a blind athlete I play a sport called goalball. Goalball has allowed me to travel to places like Brazil, Canada, even just domestically all around the country. I’ve probably been to almost all 50 states on countless airplane trips, you know.

So just meeting so many different people, I met one of the CEOs of the UFC Fighting League. I met them coming back from Las Vegas. They wouldn’t have spoken to me if I didn’t have my cane and they were willing to give up their seat to let me sit in first class and different things like that. And I just thought that was amazing, that they would actually acknowledge me and want to talk to me and treated me like a regular person. Because I am a regular person, you know, I just, my eyes don’t work as good as theirs, you know.

I want to thank Bold Blind Beauty for the opportunity to come on their blog, and share my story. I look forward to hearing any feedback, comments, and connecting with anybody that’s interested in doing music, or just being a part of the entertainment industry in general. Forming these relationships are very important because we help each other rise up through the ranks. I’m looking forward to hearing from you guys. Thank you so much for taking the time to listen.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Connecting With Jahron:

Image Descriptions:

  • The header is a photo of Jahron an attractive African American man with dreadlocks and wearing sunglasses. A nighttime cityscape is in the background.
  • Beyond Sight Magazine Cover features the same photo of Jahron as in the header. The text reads: “Jahron Black | Helping one another rise up through the ranks | Men In Motion introducing incredible young people who are doing extraordinary things.
  • YouTube video image contains a photo of Jahron in a yellow hoodie with his hand to his chin as if he is in deep thought.
  • In this photo, Jahron is sitting wearing a black leather jacket with a white shirt and his signature sunglasses.

2 Comments

  1. Thank you Katelon! I’m especially fond of Jahron because he is the first hip-hop artist we’ve featured here on BBB.

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