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Top Ten Graduate: Ashley Jackson, C'2020

May 2020

Spelman Class of 2020 Ashley JacksonSumma Cum Laude
Major: Independent

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

What’s Next?
Jackson plans to return to Los Angeles where she will continue her journey as an actress and screenwriter while applying to graduate schools. Her mission is to curate a career and body of creative material that will inspire the next generation of “thinkers” to create narratives that are authentic to their truths.


A Message for the Class of 2020
"When I reflect on the 'Class of 2020,' I think about our persistence, resilience, beauty and purpose. More than 400 different minds, styles, paths and yet  the universe aligned our destinies to tread through these uncharted territories, together. Our class is not legendary for simply experiencing immense hardship, we are legendary because of how we have committed to overcoming and excelling in spite of such trials. I am so proud to be your Sister. 'We are [truly] our ancestor’s wildest dreams'."

Jackson is a multi-talented artist. The independent major developed a curriculum that provided a foundation for her desire to become a major voice in the film industry. During her tenure at Spelman, she focused on African American narratives in cinema and television with an emphasis in screenwriting, under the advisement of Julie Dash and Elyce Strong-Mann.

Despite the pressures of being a working actress, Jackson managed to maintain a spot on the Dean’s list each year. She is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and has presented papers at academic conferences, and published her research in the second volume of the Black Power Encyclopedia: From "Black is Beautiful" to Urban Uprisings.

Recently, Jackson starred in Netflix’s “Beats,” a coming-of-age drama set in the South Side Chicago. Her second feature film, “Blast Beat,” debuted at Sundance Film Festival in 2020. After graduation the budding screenwriter will work toward creating a production company that develops genuine, relevant, and honest narratives.

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