African American News and Genealogy

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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Actor pays tribute to his inspiration

By DON KRAUSE Of the Courier-Post As a youngster growing up on the "rough side" of Chicago, Robert Townsend would come to Hannibal to visit relatives and get away from the big city. The visits were a chance for him to be a kid. He remembers his first time riding a horse was in Hannibal, his first time fishing was also here. As he put it, "I learned a lot" in Hannibal. Some of that learning came from his cousin Howard M. Jackson Jr. Ten years older than Townsend, Jackson provided inspiration for a boy who saw his cousin as a role model. "Howard was really, really, really charismatic," said Townsend, who was in town Tuesday to attend Jackson's funeral. "You see this guy and know he's going for the world, and it makes you want to go for the world." Some of that "going for the world" rubbed off, and Townsend became a successful actor, producer, director and businessman - a man who worked with the likes of Eddie Murphy, and discovered talent such as Beyonce and Chris Tucker. Townsend recalls Howard as a person who was on the "cutting edge." Full Story:


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