Jackie Brockington – a woman who’s holding it down – launched the Fourth Annual Black History Month feature produced by Linda Epps and Lawrence Green. They are promoters keeping Black history alive.
The monthlong presentation at the Ormond Beach Regional Library allowed participants to present history, culture, and art. Green’s artwork also was part of a window display.
“When we (her husband) saw Jackie Brockington, we were elated because she was (and is) an African-American woman, who was elegant on TV, who was graceful, who was right on point,” said Gerri WrightGibson, former president of the Daytona Beach Symphony Guild, while introducing Brockington for her talk, “Doing Our Part.’’
Brockington is a journalist, a 30-year broadcasting specialist, beginning in Brooklyn, and on the air in a career in Washington, D.C.; Baltimore, San Diego, and Orlando.
She has been a local, strong force anchoring News 13 from 2001 until retiring in 2017, and for Central Florida’s NBC affiliate, WESH Channel 2, during the 1980s.
Brockington, owner/CEO of LegalShield Associates, is a mother, grandmother, cancer survivor, volunteer with the American Cancer Society and board member of the Art History Museum of Maitland.
She’s also a recipient of President Barack Obama’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.
Bullied in Brooklyn
Brockington presented guidance, navigating the legacy that will be left behind – folks doing their part contributing to African-American history.
Growing up in Brooklyn’s Brownsville projects, Brockington’s stepdad was a presser at a dry cleaner. Her mom, a maid, had a thing about speaking well, and accepting no less, her daughter was bullied by the other kids.
“They thought I was trying to be better than they were – Miss Goody Two-Shoes,’’ she said.
“And yet, we often notice when you have somebody that’s maybe not doing what you do, they want to bring you down to their level… to feel good about themselves,” she added. “And so, what did Michelle Obama say? ‘When they go low, we go high!’”
She recalled a Mother Gaston helping the neighborhood kids, offering African-American studies at her apartment in the projects, and where Brockington’s taste was cultivated for Black studies.
Her mother taught her to think outside 345 Livonia Avenue, in a big world, in which her mother provided her to see her first Broadway play, to go to a sleep-away camp, and to have the social graces afforded the well-to-do families that her mother worked for.
“I don’t want to hear about your circumstances. I don’t want to hear that you lived in the ghetto, or that your family was on welfare…and the streets were easier,” she says to the students she speaks before in the schools.
Foray into TV
Brockington went to Brooklyn College, and had no intention of going into journalism. She wanted to write a book and become an author.
During the time in Green Bay, Wisconsin, when she was married to an NFL football player, it became life-changing when she was elected to air a TV show, following the previous year’s shows spotlighting the players.
“I was like ‘what?’” she recalled.
The show was taped with her doing it differently by zeroing in on the
A professor of meteorology and climatology was hired to train her on her job delivering the weather in the Midwest.
And then, the “Take a Break with Jackie” show broadcasted, and subsequently, her entertainment show followed, interviewing vocalists The Ink Spots, among the other guests.
Brockington was summoned to broadcast news in Washington, D. C., and, thereafter, for her other assignments.
‘The fight is real’
She provides vigilance elucidating topics, unlike her former broadcast days when her emotions could not be expressed.
It’s 2019, and we’re still having Black face issues.
“That’s why it is very important to know who represents you in your area,” she said. “They all have local offices. Pay them a visit.
“Invite them to come and speak at your various organizations,” she continued. “Let them know you are concerned.
“Hold them accountable. They work for us,” she added. “If they want your vote, they are going to come.
“If they come and there’s only two or three persons in the audience,” she said, “then, they don’t care, and can do what they want…Reach out, volunteer, become a mentor.”
It’s amazing to this television personality how we have to fight for things that are ours.
“Keep our history true, and passed on,” she ascribes. “We’ve come so far in many areas: Movies, music, politics, education. But, you know, our fight is far from over,” she said.
“But the fight is real. So let’s not faint, falter, or fall down,” Brockington further stated. “But, if we do, please get up and show up!”
She’s not her hair
In her years in television, women of color are finally wearing their own hair.
“Do you know what a fight that was,” she said. “It was a fight!”
During the years of talking with her boss on the hair issue, Brockington said, “Do you think if I take my wig off people won’t realize that I’m still Black. She (her boss) acted like it was going to be an uproar and something horrible was going to happen.
“I was going to quit because it was the principle – not that I’m rich. This is my hair!’’ she exclaimed.
But, lo and behold, no uprising ensued when Brockington finally wore her own hair.
Moreover, she mentioned that during a broadcast in years past at the Zora Neale Hurston Festival, rather than show the various artisans, a group of Black people eating fried chicken was put on the air.
“I was mortified,” she said. “I was screaming and saying, “What the hell!’’
“And, I said, there are artisans that come from all over the United States with their wares, who are very accomplished. And, I said, they have all sorts of food, from Greek to barbecue – everything – and you chose to show people eating chicken!”
The response was: “Sometimes, Jackie, that’s the only people around.”
“Then you paraphrase it,” Brockington answered, “and write what they said.”
As Brockington’s approval ratings have been good, so was she in launching the Fourth Annual Black History Month event.
As always, remember our prayers for the sick, afflicted, the prodigal son, or daughter, and the bereaved.
Birthday wishes to Berkeley Chandler, Feb. 21; Shauntice Shepherd, Feb. 25; Renata McCarthy, Feb. 26; and Douglas Brown, Feb. 27. Happy anniversary to Dr. and Mrs. Irving Robinson, Feb. 28.