An Evening With Nick Cannon. Celebrating Black History Month. Sponsored by Chase.
Please give Nick Cannon a warm J.P. Morgan welcome as he comes up the stage.
Nick Cannon waves to the crowd, as he makes his way to the stage and joins Jesse Jackson. He sits in a chair across from Jesse Jackson.
How's everybody doing?
Jesse Jackson, Managing Director JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Truly delighted to have you here this evening. We know that this is a passion of yours. In terms of engagement, particularly around Black History Month and more broadly your engagement with JPMorgan Chase, really welcomed and valued.
Thank you very much. It's a pleasure to be here Reverend Jackson.
The audience laughs.
One of the things that we were hoping to do is if you could share some of your personal background with us. What were those influences that helped shape you to put you on the success trajectory that you're on now?
I definitely came up in an unorthodox household. Both of my parents were teenagers in high school when I was born. My dad's back there right now. I went to my dad's high school graduation.
Jesse Jackson and the audience laugh.
Nick Cannon's father stands in the back, scanning the room with a hand-held camera. Jesse Jackson claps.
So for me, I was kind of bounced around quite a bit throughout my childhood from living between my grandmother as well as my mother who was working a few different jobs and working her way through school. My father worked several jobs. Everyone who raised me are strong, hard working individuals who were overcoming obstacles. So they were fine examples for me.
It was rooted in love and rooted in the idea of no matter what obstacles we may face right now, you can always—I always say hurdles were meant to jump over.
We all know you as an actor, rapper. You're also an author of a couple of books.
Right. I see it as a blessing, because to be able to wake up each and every day and be creative and get paid for it is amazing. I honestly feel when it comes to art specifically, that it makes the art so much more potent when it stands for something. So myself as a poet, an artist, a musician, a comedian, an actor, I usually head straight for whatever the most controversial issue is.
To be able to speak your mind as an artist is one of the privileges that we have as Americans. It's true, I always say that. That's why you see me, I'm all patriotic today because I love America.
Camera pans down to show Nick Cannon's stars and stripes socks.
I just want America to love me in the same way.
The audience laughs.
That's great. Great. Thank you for sharing that with us. I know we have some microphones in the audience, so why don't we get a question.
A woman in the audience stands to ask a question.
Hi Nick. Being in the industry, you know it can kind of change you. I want to know how do you stay spiritually sturdy and encouraged?
You've got to keep real people around you. And you've got to stay real, as hip hop as that sounds. Just keep it real. I carry myself—no matter what room I walk into, I've got to make my grandmother proud. When you can make that, when you could keep it there then you always know that you better not embarrass your grandmother.
The audience laughs.
So let's talk about Black History Month specifically. Can you talk to us a little bit about what we need to be thinking about as a community as we move forward?
Honestly, the importance of knowing our culture and knowing our history is truly something that's embedded in me. I feel like this generation constantly needs to hear it. I mean, if you don't know where you come from, you never know where you're going.
The opportunities are so much greater that now we can step out and say, I can do anything. Anything is possible. We can achieve the highest excellence. When you see all these incredible and outstanding individuals, their souls and their energy dwells within each and every one of us.
The more we learn about Frederick Douglasses and the Marcus Garveys and the Charles Drews and all these people that we continue to say, "Wow, these people paved the way for me so now I can take it one step further." Knowing how to embrace your own culture and learning about your own culture.
Being the fact that this is a month that's been designated to focus on a lot of our accomplishments, it gives us that opportunity to stick our chests out a little bit to be proud about what we've done for this great country.
Jesse Jackson begins to applaud.
The Chase logo is displayed.