A solemn day for my tribe today. Marek Jacobs, one of the young brothers who brought me into Alpha at the University of Kansas, passed away after a fight with stomach cancer.
I can’t tell you the specific first time I met Brother Jacobs, but I imagine it was something along the lines of the picture you see above. He was one of the brothers who was DJ’ing the Burge parties when I was a freshman, and I was one of the young brothers who would post up every Saturday night in front of or right behind the DJ table. When I crossed the burning sands, I was one of the brothers who he passed the torch of the KU radio show, ‘The Hip Hop Hype’, to. The very first documentary I did in Lawrence, which I can’t tell you the title anymore, but the subject was young black men adjusting to living/going to a school on a predominantly white campus; Marek was there.
When word got to me he was in a hospice, I sent a card to him, just to reiterate my appreciation for him. He didn’t live to see it, but I hope he’s at peace now. One of my last, best memories of him was after one of my shorts showed up on BET, and Sanaa Lathan read my biography afterward. He loved that. He saw something I did on TV. He saw a movie star name check KU on TV. He saw a return on his investment in me. That makes me happy.
Tomorrow is promised to none of us. Appreciate your people while they’re here. And appreciate your own gifts.