Leading Men: Jamie Foxx Carries the Torch for Social Justice

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In 1987, Singer/songwriter Kashif had a big hit with the song “Love Changes.”Actor turned singer Jamie Foxx covered the song in 2005 and it couldn’t be a better song to describe his transformation in the public spotlight. Born in Terrell, Texas, Jamie was a goofy athlete with a mean jheri curl. Despite being a big fish in his small town, he knew he had to leave Terrell to find happiness in his professional life. However, not only did Jamie’s move from Texas to Hollywood set him on a wonderful trajectory towards stardom, it also put Jamie on a path of personal discovery.

When Jamie Foxx first hit the scene on the hit sketch comedy show “In Living Color,” he was known for being that guy who played the ugly girlfriend named Wanda. During that time, Jamie has said he was selfish and only cared about himself and was void of any responsibility. Things started to change for him when “In Living Color” went off the air and he became the lead on his own sitcom. During the five years he worked on “The Jamie Foxx Show,” Foxx began to open his eyes to things outside of himself and he learned that through his profession. Though he knew he had great comedic timing, he didn’t realize exactly how much the other actors in the scenes helped create the perfect set up for a Jamie Foxx one liner. Working with the cast of his sitcom prepared him for dealing with the biggest role of his life.

When Jamie Foxx began researching for the lead role in “Ray,” he was still on a quest to find himself. The funny thing about Jamie Foxx growing into the actor and activist he is today is it took playing a blind man to finally get Jamie Foxx to open his eyes to the potential he had inside of himself. After winning numerous awards for his portrayal of Ray Charles, Jamie met some of his heroes like Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte who both challenged him to go forth and use his fame to positively change the world. Jamie took up that charge and is now doing his best to speak out against senseless violence. While he isn’t out marching in the streets, Jamie Foxx has his subtle way of bringing awareness to an issue-be it with a t-shirt of Trayvon Martin or giving an impromptu speech at the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, where he said it was his and other celebrities’ responsibility to continue to keep Martin Luther King’s mission of peace and equality from dying.

Jamie Foxx is a leading man because he is a prime example of how you can grow up in the public eye without having to lash out in the process. There are plenty of younger celebrities who could use an example like him.

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