07 Nov The Blue Collar Poet
–Who is Jamar Hall
(This is one of the hardest questions to be asked!) I am 24 years old, I am flawed, imperfect, and I take chances. Me taking chances is why I am where I am today, in art, and in life. I remember being the scared kid in the back of the room that wouldn’t raise his hands, even when he knew the answer. I started writing poetry when I was 12; even still, I never became out spoken because I thought no one would listen to me.
-How did you get into plumbing?
My 10th grade year in high school I stumbled across plumbing. The only thing I was ever good at was poetry! The biggest thing for me was going to a vocational high school and learning it for free. Plumbing kept me engaged and active, immediately I started paying attention in school more because of it, versus falling asleep in class all of the time. I always knew I wasn’t going to college, and plumbing made that ok. I never felt bad about plumbing, people always tried to make me feel bad about my decision and push me towards college. Overtime, that caused me to learn consistency and how to push forward. I believed in plumbing so much that I didn’t even apply to college!
I recognized early school taught a lot, but nothing about life. I was a D student in every subject but plumbing. Plumbing consisted of geometry and science etc. I make the joke all the time. I’ve yet to use an equation in real life. I remember after high school, I had an all season hustle between shoveling snow and selling water. I ran into someone that asked me what I did, I told him I was a student and a plumber, he told me he had someone that he knew. I called the guy and he hired me. My plumbing career got started because a stranger was willing to help me.
Millennial’s as a whole have to realize older adults are willing to help us; we just have to show up. Coming back the next year, I felt like the nerd for the first time. Everyone wanted to cheat on me! I graduated from the course and then became an Apprentice, after Apprentice, I became a Journeyman and most recently I became a Master Plumber. Having a head start, by starting at 16, I became a master plumber at 24. Most don’t become a documented master plumber until there 30s and 40s.
-Tell us about your music and poetry career
I have been writing since I was 12, I got started because I lost my mother when I was 7. The first few years after that, I would lash out, fight, etc. I didn’t know what to do with my emotions. I didn’t have a dad, coming up, only my mom. I went to therapy and grief session, but they only taught me how to suppress it. One day, I found poetry and I had to get up and read a poem and for the first time I felt like people wanted to hear me, people were engaged. I ran with that, I wanted people to listen; I wanted to not be an outcast. In school, learning about poets, we never learned about poets that look like us! I started performing more and more, thru my teenage years, I was a closet poet, but I got serious my senior year in high school. I joined Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement, a youth poetry team in Philly, me and 4 other friends participated and won first place. I’ve also done tour with Just Mike the Poet and Vision.
After the tour, my art grew, poetry is my foundation, but I also sing and play the guitar. Effort allows me to be able to do all of this easily. I was performing all of the while I was attending school. Since plumbing pays decent, I always had money to invest in myself as needed. Whether it was buying a guitar or a camera or paying any other expense, I have never been or never had a “starving artist mentality” which has been great for me, because it helped me stay true to my art and not have to sacrifice for monetary gain.
-Any advice for young black males?
Believe in what you want and not what others want for you. I know we know what our parents and others who care for us want for us, but it will never make you as the individual happy. Others will never easily see the visions we have because it’s our personal vision. My family didn’t see my vision, but they now applaud me.
Its ok to make mistakes, keep that in mind. As a master plumber, I have what they call “call backs” all the time. Callbacks are exactly what they sound like; we get a call back from a customer whose leak more than likely continued after the initial job was completed.
Be consistent, be ok with saying no, and be ok with being exactly what you want to be. It is ok being a tradesmen, I know millionaire tradesmen with no college background. Realize not going to college is ok as long as you have something to back it up. A lot of people like to say “hey, I work in that building over there on the 11th floor”, I can say hey “I built the building’ that’s the accomplishment to me”.
This article was written by Justin Sims, (IAMMRMENTOR), In hopes of not only inspiring entrepreneurs, but young black males to be the best and the truest version of themselves.
If you like this article and find yourself interested in more positive stories about black millennial age males, please visit WWW.IAMMRMENTOR.CO and follow him on his social media pages IAMMRMENTOR on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Editing By: Ciara Dawson