Recently, I’ve been in a period of reflection; as a result, I’ve begun to lead my life with a greater focus on intention. This journey to self-love is not limited to the type of foods I consume or the people I allow in my inner circle. It also consists of the content that I absorb as well. When I zero in on purposeful content that fuels my psyche both mentally and emotionally, the product is [generally] stellar. Boomerang, BET’s new series based on the 1992 film of the same name, is food for my soul.
As a proud millennial who fully embraces his inner-being with flaws and all, I was thrilled to see the creation of a show carefully curated to embody the many complexities of the Black experience. We, as a culture, are not a monolith, and this show encourages us to embrace our uniqueness both individually and collectively. BlackLove.com was able to chat with Tetona Jackson, the lead actress of Boomerang, and let’s just say our conversation was nothing short of magical.
There is only one of you in this world. There’s no need to try and fit into the norm of what you think is right.
BlackLove.com: As the lead actress on one of BET’s popular new shows, you have a large platform. What messages do you want to send to young Black women who look up to you as a source of inspiration?
Tetona Jackson:The most important message I want to convey is to be yourself. For me, growing up as a person of color and mixed-race, I never really knew where I fit in, and I was always trying my hardest to do so. But the older I get, the more I realize it’s okay to be different and unique. It’s actually pretty amazing! There is only one of you in this world. There’s no need to try and fit into the norm of what you think is right. There’s a reason you were born the way you were. Live life to its fullest and be okay with standing out and being different.
BL.com: Do you have any mentors in the entertainment industry to help guide you along your journey?
TJ: I’m going to be honest with you, having Lena (Waithe) on our side, she’s such a strong, powerful woman, and all of us as a collective look up to her. She’s always trying to push the envelope and find ways to make more room for new Black actors or actors of color.
I personally look at our entire group, and I feel we help and look up to each other so much. There are different aspects in every single one of us that we feed off of, learn, and grow from each other.
BL.com: A theme of the original Boomerang film was the concept of love. Whether between Marcus and Angela’s character or [even] Marcus and Jaqueline. It’s noticeably an ongoing theme between Simone and Bryson’s characters. Why do you believe it’s essential to showcase Black love stories on television, especially in this day and age?
TJ:I feel it’s not fully showcased in our world, and there’s a stereotype surrounding the meaning of Black love. Playing Simone was vital because it is shedding light on the ups and downs of trying to figure herself out. She’s not tied down, she’s not in a relationship, but is more intrigued with the thought of doing what Simone wants while trying to navigate her daily life. In terms of Black love tied to another individual, audiences witness genuine relationships such as Simone and Bryson, and it’s good for Black millennials, to see that portrayed on television.
BL.com: A cool aspect of the show is the sisterhood displayed between Simone and her girls. What are your thoughts?
TJ:I think it’s crucial to show the multi-faceted examples of love that isn’t based solely between two lovers. We push those boundaries in both Ari’s character and Tia’s characters. Each one of us is different, but we find a way to come together and have a strong bond. It’s essential to showcase because, in our community, people don’t like to make room. Sometimes it’s always a competition. I love how the series exemplifies Black love in terms of community and support of each other. We can love one another because there’s room for all of us to win.
You’re going to have moments of doubt, break downs, and not believing in yourself. It’s okay to have those moments because we’re all human.
BL.com: Before acting, you were formerly a professional figure skater. Hard work is something you live by, especially as it relates to reaching your goals. What advice would you give to people chasing their dreams in pursuit of achieving their definition of success?
TJ:Don’t give up! In this industry, you’re going to hear a lot of “No’s” and receive a lot of rejection. If you love it enough, stick with it and continue pushing forward. You’re going to have moments of doubt, break downs, and not believing in yourself. It’s okay to have those moments because we’re all human.
However, use that as motivation then come out stronger on the other side. One of the biggest things that I cannot stress enough is not to compare yourself to other people. Your time will come when it is supposed to happen. In the meantime, don’t discredit yourself and don’t become discouraged.