a.Creative inspires, goes against the grain, influences culture…
a.Creative challenges ideas, exudes passion, breaks the rules…
a.Creative loves, has vision and provides perspective...
Jermaine Hughes is an artist, a writer, a community activist, a model, and a speaker. He is an educator on finances and motivates people to reach their dreams and goals.
“I grew up in East Oakland. An 80’s baby. At first glance, I didn't like Oakland because it was so violent and unclean. As I grew, I learned that my city wasn't to blame for all of its problems. I learned that my city and my people needed help, not ridicule.
In high school, I learned about my people and my calling. At Upward Bound - UC Berkeley, during Saturday schools I was inspired to be a leader and not just a follower of the trends.
Months after starting to read more I changed how I dressed and was introduced to spoken word poetry at Berkeley High School. Once I started performing I was praised for my skills. I began to perform as often as I could and write on any and everything available.
From that point on I devoted myself to trying to change the world. I organized on street corners and college campuses. I went on mission trips to Central America and Africa. I led a ministry to combat human trafficking. I made videos to help people with their health. I also hosted workshops on personal finances.
My goal was always to help people and now I am trying to put all of my experience and skills together to help others including myself.”
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE “WOKE NOT BROKE”?
“What inspired me was the many discussions that I had with people during the Black Lives Matter protests where people accused the protestors of not taking responsibility for their own lives. It was also inspired by motivational speakers who never took time to acknowledge the presence of obstacles that stood in the way of people's success. I was inspired to fill in this gap by both acknowledging the presence of obstacles and motivating others to succeed despite said obstacles.”
WHEN DID YOU FIRST START WRITING POETRY?
DESCRIBE THE PURPOSE OF
WOKE NOT BROKE?
“The purpose of Woke Not Broke is to disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. It is intended to encourage those of us who want to improve our communities to improve our own lots. It is also meant to encourage and inspire those who take great care of themselves to help the community more. While it first speaks of coming out of poverty, it is meant to apply to all the ways that people come out of being broke. Being that being broke isn't just financial, it is meant to also urge people to change their thoughts, beliefs, habits and circles.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE MOST DIFFICULT THING TO ACCOMPLISH
“Overcoming self-doubt and self-limiting beliefs.”
DESCRIBE OAKLAND IN 3 WORDS?
“Dysfunctional, Disruptive, Undisputed”
FAVORITE OAKLAND DESTINATION?
FAVORITE OAKLAND RESTAURANT?
WHAT'S ON YOUR PLAYLIST?
FAVORITE QUOTE OR FAVORITE LINE FROM A SONG OR POETRY?
“Financial Freedom our only hope. F@ck living rich and dying broke. -Jay-Z”
WHAT OTHER PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON?
“I want to make a mixtape, create a workbook and become a certified speaker with Eric Thomas.”
WHAT CREATIVE WOULD YOU LIKE TO COLLABORATE WITH? WHY?
“I want to say Kendrick Lamar because he's so creative and poetic. As a West coast rapper he is surprisingly lyrical and refreshingly deep.”
SHOUT OUT OR ACKNOWLEDGE ANOTHER CREATIVE?
“Ace Eugene Johnson - @iamvisionary
Javier Reyes - @improvjav
Chinaka Hodge - @chinakahodge
Reyna Amaya - @reynaacomedy
Ise Lyfe - @iselyfe
The Attik - @dodatamen @sandman.e
Bamuthi Joseph - @bamuthi360”
ADVICE FOR OTHER CREATIVES?
“Create a space for you to stay creative. Pursue a great circle of influence.”