by Courtney Cleveland
Krystal Jackson is a senior music major with a studio art minor and a concentration in vocal performance. A native of Jackson, Miss., she enjoys hanging out with friends, reading, making art and designing clothes. She also enjoys going to museums, trying new foods and having dance parties. Krystal also has her own band called “Krystal Gem and the Moonstones.”
The Purple and White: What made you come to Millsaps?
Krystal Jackson: I wanted to leave (Jackson) so bad… I was ready to go. But Millsaps was like, “Here’s some money, and you should come see our campus,” and I was like, “Ah, I’ll give it a try.” I really enjoyed it and the people here were really nice. All the professors were personable and they didn’t lord their intelligence over people. They piqued my interest and my intellect so I was like, “You know, I could really see myself here.”
P&W: What’s your favorite part of campus?
KJ: Dr. Bey’s office and Dr. Davis’ office. There are things in their office that make me feel comfortable. There’re pieces of art or pieces of artifacts from other cultures that make me feel like I’m not so colored against a white background. And they’re cozy spaces—very warm colors and they always have good tea and coffee. (Also) the private studios on the third floor of the AC in the art department…those are always cool; there’s no wrong way to express yourself through art. So I feel like when I’m up there, I don’t have to have any restrictions on who I am or how I express myself.
P&W: How do you think people will remember you on campus?
KJ: I think they’ll remember me as an awesome singer and an outspoken artist. I think they’ll remember me as someone who gave raw, honest unfiltered opinions about the things I was passionate about… Or if they don’t remember (me personally, they’ll remember me as)… that cute black girl.
P&W: If you could give advice to your freshman self, what would you say?
Girl, let it go. Let it go. I still have a lot of anger and I still have a lot of unprocessed emotions and mental work to do, but I think my freshman self was so overwhelmed with the weight of the world and some of that I just needed to let go. I would’ve told myself to be more open-minded, be guarded, be wise, but don’t be so guarded that you completely shut people out. I would’ve told myself to go to my heritage lecture every morning… I would’ve told myself to stay in class.
P&W: Do you remember the last book you read?
KJ: The last book I read was Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison. It is so good. Toni Morrison is one of my favorite authors. The protagonist’s is about a young, black man named “Milkman” and the reason his name is Milkman is because he was breast-fed until he was, like, seven…I wasn’t breast-fed until I was seven, but I heavily related to Milkman. It’s a great, great book, and y’all should read it.
P&W: What is your strongest personal quality?
KJ: My limitless ability to be creative. I think that when it comes to music and art I have no boundaries. I’m always trying to go against the grain or push the boundaries that someone else created. Because why not? That is my greatest personal characteristic—that I’m always willing to push boundaries through the arts.
What’s something embarrassing/funny that your family would say about you?
KJ: It’s third grade… Man, I looked like Violet off of Willy Wonka. My legs looked like croissant rolls. My mom and grandma apparently made a bet on if I was going to lose weight or not… Granny was like, “Nah she not,” but my momma was like “Yes, she is. That’s my baby, and I believe in her.” They put me in this skort and escorted me out the door and said, “Have a good day at school Krystal,” and… they tell this story all the time—they told it to my first boyfriend. My rapper name is ThighRa$hes because of this… My legs were doing this. They were rubbing together, dog. My butt was eating that skort. A week after that, I had eczema between my thighs because, y’know I was big. The end. My grandma won the bet. My mom had to give her $10. And now my rapper name is ThighRa$hes.
P&W: Describe yourself in three words.
KJ: Outgoing. Magical. Ridiculous.
The Purple and White thanks Krystal for answering these questions! If you or someone you know would like to be the next “Meet the Millsapian”, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.