Too short. Too Black. Too Fat. This is what record execs told Sharon Jones while she pursued a record deal. Man, did she prove everyone wrong...including herself!
This pint-size, Augusta, Georgia native never gave up and became the city's most famous resident second ONLY to the Godfather of Soul - James Brown
If Sharon Jones thought fighting the ignorance of the music industry toward her looks and talent was tough, she had no idea how hard the struggle toward battling the Big 'C" would become. Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2013, Jones went under extensive treatment and triumphantly returned to the stage with her beloved band The Dap Kings in 2015 allowing Barbara Kopple to document every last drop.
The one thing you learn about Miss Jones is that giving up and defeat are not part of her vocabulary...and never have been. The same electric energy used to delight audiences around the world was used to fight the most important battle of her life.
As an audience member, I found myself cheering her on through all the chemo treatments, self-doubt and adversity to eating healthy. After all, who doesn't crave to eat something you know is really bad for you?
As a woman of color who is too short, black and zaftig, I empathized with the restrictions the entertainment industry places on our looks. It's as if talent is obsolete and considered as a last resort only to beauty on online popularity.
I also related to the heartbreak she felt with not being able to spend a nice holiday dinner with her band. Many times, in the business, you spend more time with your colleagues than loved ones and family members. The heartbreak of watching her prepare for chemo treatments by allowing a barber to shave her head and watching the pain and anguish wash over her face as this was the moment shit just got real.
Watching her struggle and over coming the odds makes one realize what a gift life is and that we shouldn't waste one single day being unhappy, complaining or wasting time on ANYTHING.
Miss Sharon Jones was a teacher, an inspiration and a chick with a wicked sense of humor. Unfortunately, her battle with pancreatic cancer came to an end on November 18th, but not before grabbing her first ever Grammy nomination. Not bad for someone the industry labeled as too fat, too black and too short. Thanks Adele!
Memorials are being planned for her die-hard fans in Brooklyn, New York and Augusta, GA as we speak.
If you didn't know Sharon Jones, take the time to be introduced to a woman who knew no boundaries and gave life 1000%...With a release date by Starz this past July. Miss Sharon Jones can now be streamed via Amazon.