Actor Jacob Latimore Wants You To Know He's On His Grown Man Sh*t


Jacob Latimore has never owned a pair of Jordans.

In fact, it would be safe to say that he's not really into Jordans at all.

Timberlands, Air Force Ones, and high fashion shoes. That's more his speed.

This fact is surprising given his role as Emmett on The Chi, Showtime's coming-of-age drama directed by Emmy winner Lena Waithe, where he plays a sneaker-obsessed young father who has to learn how to provide for his child amidst the struggles and conflicts that come with living in Chicago's Southside.

In actuality, there are two things that make Jacob Latimore vastly different from his character. He's not that into Jordans nor does he have any children.

Although Jacob Latimore vastly differs from the sneaker head father on TV, there is one trait that is similar between Emmett and Jacob: the fact that they both aren't young kids anymore. And while they both have a lot more growing to do, they are both indeed grown young men.

Jacob Latimore as 'The Chi'Showtime

It's about mid-morning when we speak, Jacob has just gotten back from a store run and is in the middle of filming in Chicago. The Chi is expected to be back in 2019, though there's no word on the official date yet. It feels like it was just yesterday the show's first season ended even though it wrapped up back in March. But fans are awaiting its return, albeit impatiently as seen through various tweets expressing anticipation and melancholy for their beloved characters to be back on screen. Along with his cast mates, namely Jason Mitchell and Barton Fitzpatrick, Jacob actively participates in and enjoys the online interaction from fans of his character and the show as a whole.

According to him, Emmett is the closest character he's played to himself, in that he's a young, somewhat flashy Black man from the neighborhood. And while growth and evolution may be something his character has been somewhat forced into, for the 22-year-old Milwaukee native, it's something Jacob says was destined to happen all along. "I think the more things I go through, the more I'll be able to relate to my audience. I've never tried to force my 'grow up' on people. I've just always tried to be me and not put on a persona for anybody. People will see I'm growing up."

And if they haven't, one listen at Jacob's latest single "Is That What You Wanna Hear?" on his first project Connection, will definitely paint the picture clearer. With tracks such as "The Real," "Love Drug," "Climb," and his personal favorite "Mutual," it's evident that this isn't the young kid, young love version Jacob. No. This is the more mature Jacob whose dealt with drama in life, with relationships and women as well. And it's that type of growth that has proven to be a stepping stone into the next phase in his career, specifically when it comes to his music. "I feel like I made a smooth transition from the kiddie sound to really maturing. I think it's unfair to keep artists in a box and every artist should be true to themselves. Even if it means making other people uncomfortable."

Photo By Carissa Gallo

"Every artist should be true to themselves. Even if it means making other people uncomfortable."

It's this type of awareness that makes it very clear to see why Jacob has garnered a very good level of success and impeccable roster of acting projects under his belt. As much as he is purposeful about the types of projects he takes on, he is just as aware of his personal evolution and the pitfalls that can potentially halt it. Though somewhat humorous in his delivery, he expresses that he's cautious to not get too caught up in the lure and lights of the industry, as he feels it can easily corrupt your mind. "You can lose your essence that way. You have to stay grounded, remember why you're doing what you're doing, and remain humble."

And humility and preparation seem to be the overarching theme in this season for Jacob. It becomes clear that it's important, arguably now more than ever, to keep first things first. To minimize distractions and maintain his focus on the things that really matter. To keep singing, stay in shape, and keep his mind sharp. He knows money and fame don't always equal happiness and he also knows that with money and fame comes a lot of attention, especially when it comes to the ladies.

Admitting to having been in a somewhat long-term relationship "on the low" some years back, he reveals that while he is currently single, his career takes center stage in his life. However, he lets me know that the type of women he likes are the ones who know how to match his same energy. Essentially, sound-minded women that have their own thing going for themselves and who aren't looking for him to make them happy. She needs to have that joy within herself and drive to succeed in order to catch his attention. "I like independent, busy women. Some men may not like that or find that attractive, but I do. I love a woman that has goals and knows what they want to do in life and is working towards that. I want to be an addition to what she already has going [on]."

"I love a woman that has goals and knows what they want to do in life and is working towards that. I want to be an addition to what she already has going on."

And if you find yourself cozied up with him, get ready to talk about something more important than just the weather. "I like to see where her mind is at. I like to talk about her growth from a young girl to the woman she is today, trauma, and how she's learned to deal with it. A lot of people don't want to talk about things like that, but that's very important. You have to know those things."

As we wrap up, there's one question that's still hanging in the background: What's next for Jacob Latimore? With a handful of content expected to come in 2019 that include more TV/movie roles and potentially a new album, the short and simple answer? A LOT.

But the more we talk, the more it becomes evident that whatever this next chapter holds, it's going to be bigger than him. Much like his character Emmett, this next chapter will prove and serve two major lessons: longevity and legacy. Longevity in surviving the slippery slopes of the Southside and in real life, the enticing escapades of the industry. Legacy in the form of a young son fictionally, and legacy in the form of purposeful projects that propel his career.

And while most may think 22 is fairly young to be concerned about such lofty obligations, for Jacob, it's something he's ready to walk out one step at a time.

Just don't expect him to have any Jordans on while doing it.

To keep up with Jacob, follow him on Instagram. The Chi returns next year.

Featured image by Carissa Gallo.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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