Actor John Marshall Jones will join CBHN-California Black Health Network for their fundraiser-Inaugural Golf Classic on Wed-4/24 at Lincoln Hills Golf Club. Jones is well known as the international hit TV series “Smart Guy.” Recently he has starred on Glee, Heart of Dixie, and Last Man Standing. He has starred in 4 TV series, Pretty Little Liars, Dexter, Bones, Boston Legal and NCIS. Mr. Jones has had 9 recurring roles and over 100 TV episodes, 20 A-list films and 10 movies of the week. THE HUB had the opportunity to chat with this busy People’s Choice Award nominee who has partnered with California Black Health Network as a celebrity champion and spokesman.
THE HUB: How did you get started in acting?
Jones: I had way too much energy and my mom was finding stuff for me to do. I was a dog, one of the farm animals in our Christmas pageant with baby Jesus in the manger. I was 5 years old and after intermission the kid didn’t want to get back into the cow costume, the lights came on I walked on stage and said “due to circumstances beyond our control, there will be a slight delay.” This was the first experience I remember of really having true success at something and it changed my life.
THE HUB: What advice would you give to aspiring actors?
Jones: Figure out what it is you love and go do that, the money will come along.
THE HUB: What attracts you to the roles you take?
Jones: Mostly I look for a sense of dignity because no matter how far or few between the roles may seem, if the character has dignity I can put myself in it. The challenge in Hollywood is finding African American roles that allow you to remain you and to keep your dignity. I have turned down more roles than I have taken.
THE HUB: In your line of work you have many perks, what would you say is the most unusual perk of your career?
Jones: Having quality time with my wife, because I turn down lots of stuff I have a lot of quality time at home. I make the decision on a daily basis how I spend my time. I do what will help make life better for myself and others.
THE HUB: If you could play any role, what would be your dream part to play?
Jones: There’s a project called “The Guest at Central Park West”, there’s a role in there that’s my dream role. Terrance Barlow is an epileptic, thrill seeking, sociopath with a violent criminal record. He’s best friends with a Nobel Prize winning author.
THE HUB: California Black Health Network was founded in 1978, what inspired you to be the spokesperson for this organization?
Jones: The California Black Health Network represents the health concerns of people with no voice. I want to help them increase the voice of people who continue to not be heard.
THE HUB: Why do you feel there’s such a huge health disparity for Blacks? Why are we so vulnerable?
Jones: We’re vulnerable because it’s part of the planned effect of institutional racism to keep African Americans unhealthy. If you are unhealthy you cannot function in a healthy capacity.
THE HUB: What’s your take on the Affordable Care Act? How will it help the Black community?
Jones: I believe as does the California Black Health Network that the Affordable Care Act is a help and also an economic watershed for African Americans. Our job now is to learn to deal with our health in a proactive rather than reactive way. The Affordable Care law now mandates everyone has to have coverage. Because of that it’s our job to tell our doctors what we need and not wait for them to give us a plan of action. There’s no one else we pay a monthly or yearly stipend to that we wait for. We need to demand services. Many health challenges we face in our community are due to malnutrition: lack of vitamins and minerals. Tell the doctor you need a blood test and ask him what vitamins and minerals you’re deficient in, so he can write a prescription for you to get it from the hospital pharmacy and your coverage pays for it. The act will help by radically changing the health profile of our community, all minorities: Native Americans, Hispanics, people who live in Appalachia, etc. anyone in a food desert. People are more productive if they’re not sick or out, they have more energy and earn more money. With the Act covering them now iIf they get sick they can’t get wiped out because of a hospital bill. The Affordable Care law protects working poor and middle class from being wiped out financially.
People should go to super market management and demand the store is restructured so people don’t have to walk through the store to find healthy choices. We can also use the media. We need to begin to create a demand for healthy alternatives on store shelves in our neighborhoods.
THE HUB: Why do you feel the Black infant mortality rate is so high? Do you see any improvement in the near future?
Jones: I see improvement, a lot of what we’re dealing with is lack of information we have to educate ourselves about what keeps people healthy and development of habits that change infant mortality rates. We are eating genetically modified organisms: food producers have taken things that were healthy and made them bad. They grow insecticide into the produce, bugs eat it and die but they say it won’t affect us. This sometimes produces high levels of infertility in women. 3 of the largest genetically modified crops are corn, wheat and soy. Your body thinks it’s poison and makes antibodies, sometimes causing infertility.
In African American grocery stores avoid everything in a box, buy brown rice, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Stay away from processed foods. Your body can only eliminate a certain portion of this type of food; your body encapsulates it in fat to move it away from your heart, causing diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.
THE HUB: What steps are being taken in regards to prevention and wellness in California?
Jones: Proposition 37 was on the ballot to get large food producers to label genetically processed food. It didn’t pass but it got millions and millions of people voting on it, that means people are now aware. Eventually it will pass; no one is going to feed their kid something they know is genetically altered.
THE HUB: Will you be playing in the golf tournament? What’s your handicap?
Jones: Yes I am calling on all African American golfers to come out to the California Health Network Inaugural Golf Classic Tournament and participate. My handicap is so high they give it a letter.
The CBHN Inaugural Golf Classic Tournament will be held on Wednesdaym, April 24 at Lincoln Hills Golf Club. To register go to: www.birdeasepro.com/cbhngolf.
Join Actor John Marshall Jones, Mayor Kevin Johnson, Assemblymember Holly Mitchell, CBHN, and others as we play golf to raise awareness around Black Infant Health. CBHN is joining with the Center for Community Health and Well Being to save our Black Babies. The statistics in Sacramento County are astounding. And nationally our babies are dying at almost three times the rate of any other ethnicity. Come out to upport our fundraiser as we address questions like: “What can we do to prevent our Black moms from losing their babies?” Share the YOUTube video below and eblast announcement with all of your friends, family and colleagues and let’s make this a huge tournament or a great cause.
This year the California Black Health Network will concentrate on their policy agenda, faith-based health initiative, health reform in California, health disparities, the Affordable Care Act that is effective January 1, 2014, prevention and wellness in California and the staggering Black infant mortality rate of African American babies being 2/3 times more likely to die than any other ethnic group in California and the U.S. In May they will convene to promote Black infant health awareness. For more information call (916) 993-3693 or visit www.cablackhealthnetwork.org.
Written and submitted by Senior Staff Writer, Donna Michelle Ramos