Searcy: Hey! Just introduce yourself. Who you are? What is your name?
Jarvis: Hello phone, I’m Jarvis Turner, nice to meet you. Is this thing on?
S: It is on!
J: Hello again [laughter]
S: What do you do?
J: I am a full-time Jarvis, part-time footwear designer, and a student for now- ‘cause i’m forced to be...so.. yeah.
S: So, have you ever heard of the term carefree black boy?
J: Well yeah, today.
S: But previously, no?
S: Okay so, I explained it to you...what it means to me, and when you think of the term do you think you relate to it?
J: Uhh yes, yes. I think so.. I mean, as far as being carefree...I don’t think I wake up with pressure to meet certain stipulations and therefore I can breathe and I feel like when you don’t have restraints on anything it comes out the way it's supposed to. Like, its super organic... um real, how about that?
S: Yeah, I consider you to be real! What do you think you do to qualify yourself as a carefree black boy?
J: I just keep it full time Jarvis and I take what I want and I use what I want. Like my mom says “you eat the meat and spit out the bones” and I guess I take that and apply it to everything in my life… and I don’t look to anyone else for answers and if I do I apply this [philosophy] to those as well. Those are nice glasses by the way.
S: Thank you!
J: I usually go for a cat eye but I really like the framing at the top.
S: I was a little hesitant to get them but now I like them!
J: How long have you had them?
S: Like a couple months my other ones just broke.
J: Sorry this has turned into my interview [laughter]
S: So tell me some stereotypes placed on black men?
J: I guess that we’re um… really aggressive. Really mean and dumb. Like before I open my mouth I’m expected to be not as well-spoken at times. Narrow minded. Not concerned with many things and I guess not as traveled mentally. Not as educated or woke.. how about that? My third eye is probably closed. I’m expected to do all these Jumanji-like things. Be really fast. Lift a brick house. But I don’t give them that. I always say we have the upper hand in this case because I worked the front desk and the thing about it is, when I open my mouth I know you’re expecting a certain thing; and if I open my mouth and give you something totally different from what you’re expecting that’s even better for me. It just puts me in a top-tier situation and once they… i’m not gonna say it…
S: Not gonna say what? White people? [laughter]
J: [laughter] Once they figure out that you’re not the typical black "thing" it’s… “he’s okay… he’s a cool negro.”
S: [laughter] Yeah. “Oh he’s different!”
J: [laughter] “He reminds me of my black friend from back home, Jamal!”
S: White people are so wild man! So what is the most important message you want to put out into the world?
J: I just want to make sure everyone knows that everyone wants to "be someone else." So by the time that you figure out that one thing that you think is cool, then that makes you the coolest thing on this Earth. Simple as that.
S: Is this why it's important for you to be carefree?
J: [talking to self] Why is it important for you to be carefree Jarvis? I just feel like if you’re not, a bunch of your life just passes by and you figure out that you really haven’t lived. Or you’ve lived according to someone else's life and that’s not being alive at all.
S: Why do you think I chose to interview you?
J: Well I’m brown [laughs]
S: That you are [laughter]
J: Ummm let’s see. I don’t know maybe you found… I didn’t even realize that you paid any attention. I know we had that encounter on the Adidas shoot and that was it. That’s why I was like oh, okay cool. Hopefully you could’ve felt that I’m free. Hopefully so…I feel free. It feels good. I was telling a friend the other day... and I have so many friends who are like “Oh I keep it real, I was real,” and to that I say it starts with self. A lot of people think being real is like being rude or forward to someone else but at the same time if I reverse and turn the mirror around and you have to swallow the pill you couldn’t, because you didn’t take care of yourself. So to me being real with yourself is what’s being real. It’s not always like harming somebody or just being boisterous with what you have to say. I keep it real with me so when it comes to me it’s natural, that’s the best thing to be.
S: To kind of go off topic I feel like being black general you’re kind of always reminded that you’re black from your parent’s telling you “be careful you’re black you can’t do certain things, you can’t act a certain way, you have to present yourself this way” and then of course from society and people throwing micro aggressions around.
J: It’s the weirdest juxtaposition coming from where I came from; it’s solely black, and then coming into a community like scad. I remember a time before I was free where I could be me at home, but when I leave I have to crack this shell or get this layer off and then I can be free around my white friends. When I got back home I had to decipher what I can take back home with me, and what I had to leave-and then I come back to my friends and I’m all over the place. Once I found my happy medium I realized I’m straight.
S: Yeah I had that point too and I’m like “You are just you…there’s no point to this…what is there to figure out?”
J: Nothing… nothing at all. It was you trying to be like “either pick can be cool” but they wanna be me so any who… [laughter] I didn’t know you were so pro black.
S: Oh yeah, oh yeah.
J: I'm down. I’m down. [laughter] Thank you for having me.
S: Of course, I’m really excited about this project. Thank you!
Copy Editor: Chloe Konnor