Mayor Ras J. Baraka, Newark Municipal Council Members, John James, along with the Mayors Chief of Staff Amiri Baraka Jr., presented to actor Michael B. Jordan with a proclamation and a Key to the City at the Newark’s Cityplex, at 360 Springfield Avenue, yesterday. Baraka asked the audience “Is Art High in the house? A big roar from the audience proclaimed a loud Yes. We give you the key to the city to let you know wherever you go in this world, you are always welcome back to the city of Newark your home. Whatever you need from us. We are there. You have fans in the city Newark. We love you.”
Mr. Jordan responded to the Mayor, “This manright here has seen me grow up, since I was twelves years old. He has been there to the point we he was holding open gym doors for me, so that I can get extra workout in the summer, I almost transferred to Central, no offense I am an Art High man”. He then spoke personally to the audience, “It just speaks to the volume of our community, and what it takes to raise a child in Newark New Jersey. As I look around, I see so many people that watch me grow up. Watch me fail, watch me stumble, watch me make mistakes, and watch me succeed, it means so much to have the support of you guys. Thank you”.
Born in Santa Ana, California, Jordan grew up in the City of Newark, graduating from Arts High School where his mother Donna still works. He landed his first major acting role playing Wallace in HBO’s acclaimed series “The Wire.” From there, he became the youngest series regular on “All My Children,” playing the role of Reggie. He then went on to star as Vince, the troubled yet talented high school quarterback on “Friday Night Lights” (NBC). He also had a major recurring role on “Parenthood” (NBC).
Mr. Jordan then transitioned into film, appearing in the George Lucas-produced movie “Red Tails,” about the legendary Tuskegee airmen, and then as one of the leads in “Chronicle,” a film about three teenage boys who develop superpowers. His starring turn as Oscar Grant in the film “Fruitvale Station” in 2013, directed by Ryan Coogler, won him rave reviews. In 2015, he then starred as Johnny Storm (the Human Torch) in “Fantastic Four” (20th Century Fox).
Mr. Jordan has been nominated for numerous NAACP Image Awards and other honors, and won five awards for his work in “Fruitvale Station,” including “Breakthrough Actor” from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures.
This Homecoming is very personnel for me, this is my first time that I’ve had the opportunity to come back to my home town. I believe it is important to leave where you are from and get new experiences. And learn you and seek new opportunities that you didn’t even think existed. And you educated yourself and you comeback, and you share those experiences with those that hadn’t gotten the opportunity to step outside these walls and step outside the city. This might be able to inspire them to follow their dreams that they didn’t know they had. This why it was important for me to comeback at the right time with the right project. I believe Creed is that project.
In “Creed,” Mr. Jordan plays Adonis Johnson, the son of Apollo Creed, Rocky Balboa’s best friend and greatest rival from the early “Rocky” movies, and Sylvester Stallone reprises his legendary role for the seventh time, training Adonis for a title bout. Mr. Jordan underwent a year of rigorous physical training to prepare for the role, and did not use a body double for his fight scenes opposite real-life boxers Anthony Bellew, Andre Ward, and Gabriel Rosado. It give young people the opportunity to see someone that look’s like them on screen. In a positive light, not being dragged down by stereotypes and stereotypical situation. I think the film is progressive, and everyone will be able to takeaway something from it. So I am proud of this work. And I hope you like it. I love you all. I truly appreciated it.
In attendance to the private screening was his father, uncle, aunts, cousin and grandmother