OK, “About Us” is really just lil ole “me.” I am a native of Washington, DC and attended The Mecca (Howard University). I started Hotghettomess.com as a law student at Georgetown in 2004. Thanks to the support of viewers all over the world, it has grown into one of the most viewed African-American sites in the world. In 2005, I produced a DVD based on the website entitled “Hotghettomess.com: The DVD” which was a finalist in the 2006 Hollywood Black Film Festival. I felt that the message of the site would translate well to the small screen and having had a television production background, I was able to write, direct and produce the DVD during my 3rd year of law school.
Upon graduating from law school in 2005 I was the recipient of the Frederick Abramson Public Service Fellowship Award in 2005 and I then worked at the Legal Aid Society of DC providing representation to low-income residents of DC.
In 2007, I Executive Produced and wrote Black Entertainment Television’s “We Got To Do Better.” A series based on the Hotghettomess DVD and website, hosted by Charlie Murphy. The show was a great learning experience and a highly successful venture. After initially being highly protested and condemned, the show went on to achieve ratings success. Sponsors who were scared off by the intial controversy returned in droves. Three of its six episodes were the highest rated shows of the day with the season finale boasting over one million viewers. A great feat for a 10:30p time slot.
In addition to the website, I am now doing lots of speaking to students across the country about the website, “We Got To Do Better”, and internet activism generally. I have spoken at Virginia Tech, Texas Southern, Howard University, Duke Ellington School of the Performing Arts and many others. I am also working on other TV projects, a book project and have appeared as a political pundit on NPR’s “Tell Me More with Michele Martin.” I have a new blog called “Conversate Is Not a Word” ( www.conversate-is-not-a-word.blogspot.com ) where I tell you whats really on my mind, so check it out when you get a chance. I even created a line of t-shirts that brings the hotghettomess.com and the We Got to Do Better philosophy to life through clothing.
Thanks for visiting the site,
“I find it exhilarating to travel around the country and speak to diverse audiences. It is often assumed that young urban men and women are unable to analyze and and are incapable of appreciating satire or conducting intelligent analyses of what they are seeing…I wanted you guys to know that I have been on a speaking tour speaking to Af-Am students at HBCU’s and predominantly white universities and THEY GET IT.
I speak on topics of internet activism, hotghettomess.com and my experiences doing “We Got To Do Better” and the students totally get it. They express disbelief at the level of opposition to WGTDB. They understand the motivation behind the website and the show. They get the message and they admitted they learning a lot from the factoids on the show. It is such vindication to hear from their own mouths that our young people are not mindless lambs being led to the slaughter. They dont need everything dumbed down. They are bright, introspective, engaged and just yearning to be challenged by the media. “
— Jam Donaldson
“Jam’s honesty about the positive and negative feedback she received from the website clearly proves that we need to continue conversations about race and culture in America. Personally, I felt enlightened by her speech. Jam gave us a variety of perspectives to help us to analyze our behaviors to better represent ourselves as African Americans to society. “
—Lauren Davis (Director of Speakers, Black Student Alliance, Virginia Tech)
If you are interested in having me come speak to your organization, event or school, please send me an email at jam@ hotghettomess.com. Check out www.jamdonaldson.com for more info on booking speaking engagements.