Jayla Jackson took the stage at the March On For Voter Rights rally in Atlanta, Georgia Saturday morning poised and ready to work. The 16-year-old Poet and Activist calmly took a breath then delivered one of the most impactful speeches of the entire day. Het passion swept through the sea of people like a rolling wave ready to break. The rally was to bring awareness to the many voter rights suppression laws being enacted all over the country.
Folks of all colors and ages also showed up to honor Dr. Martin Luther King and the 58th anniversary of the March on Washington, but what was mostly on voters minds was the priority to call attention to the injustices of voter rights suppression, something John Lewis fought for till his untimely death. People from his district told stories of their encounters and ensured their neighbors his legacy would continue. Young people didn’t show up in droves, but the ones who did were active and vocal.
Shanice Turner a 29-year-old eager participant in the rally said, “Young people need to vote, this is their community and if we give them access and knowledge we can make them a part of the process.” Like Jayla, she said. “Her words were so impactful. If she is a part of the process we’re in good hands.”
When Jayla was on stage, she embodied the spirit of Dr. King and John Lewis. Her every line meant so much to the people taking them in. Crafty with her words, Jayla connected with the crowd. They screamed and cheered her on as the passion in her diction almost brought her to tears. Jayla Jackson is a special one, below is the video to prove it.
Who Is Jayla Jackson?
Jayla is an alum of the Harvard Debate Council Diversity Project, an Atlanta-based pipeline program that recruits, trains, and matriculates highly motivated black youth into a summer debate residency at Harvard College. The program is a subsidiary of the Harvard Debate Council and aims to promote educational equity by creating opportunities for underserved youth. The program also gives the youth a chance to compete in Havard’s International Date Competition. In July, Jayla and her teammate Emani Stanton won the annual summer debate contest, becoming the first Black female duo to do so. The talented young lady is involved in a Podcast called, “The Scholar Social,” and has poetry on Apple Music and Spotify.
Check out the video below of Jayla Jackson’s speech at the “March On For Voter Rights” rally in Atlanta, Georgia.
You can also follow her on Instagram here: @thejaylajackson