Jill Scott has teamed up with Verizon to celebrate Black History Month this February. She's one of nine pioneers and innovators who are featured in the wireless company's special campaign, which spotlights the achievements of African-Americans across business, film, music, sports and more.
In one video clip, Jill tells the story of how her singing career took off. It all started with an assignment from her eighth-grade English teacher, Jill says. She presented her work to her classmates, and says, "Somehow or another, reading in front of people gave me another level of confidence. There was no music. There was nothing to protect me. There's words. I'm naked and vulnerable. It made me want to sing."
One day, at a poetry reading, Jill decided to sing. The room was silent, she said, "Then it erupted" in applause.
She also describes her childhood, explaining that she grew up in "the hood" -- an area of Philadelphia known as "The Bottom." She saw the beauty of her neighborhood though. "I've learned as a human being, look at the amazing simplicity of living. That's where you find your joy. It's the good inside the ugly. It's the juice inside the fruit."
The Verizon campaign also features director Robert Townsend and famed chef Jeff Henderson, among others.
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