Editor’s Note: To celebrate Black History Month, Kern Sol News is highlighting notable Black leaders in Kern County who are working to create positive change in their community.
Jovon Dangerfield is an authentic artist and activist, focused on bringing the community together to set a better future for the youth.
Dangerfield is the Executive Director for TYME 4 Change (Transitional Youth Mobilizing for Change), host of “The Danger Zone” on forge 103.9, and founder of Kingdom Activists.
“We should be doing and thinking about giving something to our kids and our kid’s kids to have something to commemorate us not commemorating the past all of the time,” said Dangerfield. “That drives me to say let’s create some future, let’s create some history now… I’m more interested in creating a legacy that can be commemorated at some point for the type of work we are putting in now.”
With his heart focused on the community, Dangerfield found a way to integrate his music and his activism. Along with working with organizations like the Baker Street Initiative he wanted to create music that could be taken anywhere.
“I noticed that there was a lot of music that people of my demographic and my talent were creating but it wasn’t admissible to any spaces other than mixtapes and albums,” said Dangerfield about merging music and activism. “Can’t take this music into the schools because of the content, can’t take it to anyplace for activism, can’t take it to the jails because of the content.”
Dangerfield took this and created music that could be taken anywhere and he traveled the country performing in prisons, youth facilities, and other places that mixed activism and entertainment.
Continuing with his need to take action, he was a part of starting a store during the pandemic called Kams Kloset he explained took high-end clothes into the hood and gave them away for free. He also does consultations with churches and businesses.
Working with the churches is important to him because he wants to see more of the church being more involved with the community with the intent to serve. He explained that they work with businesses that have an “activism twist” like Rollerama East which he has partnered with.
“Businesses like that really do play a big part in how well our community does in terms of recreation, in terms of having things to do, in terms of stimulating business in rougher sides of the city and do how to reimagine what it looks like to get people involved,” said Dangerfield.
He explained that this is another way activism and entertainment mix together and that is part of what he’s trying to do with TYME 4 Change. By having events with a cause for the community and bringing out artists. He explained that this is the process of innovating, collaborating, and mobilizing.
“We innovate the ideas, we find collaborators, and we then mobilize together outside of our entities,” said Dangerfield.
He uses this to help younger artists as well, understanding that there are a lot of young creatives who are from the hood or that had harder backgrounds, so he wants to get them involved with something positive and helps them go forward.
Dangerfield understands this from experience, he explained that he used to be more involved in the streets and wanted to be a thug before making a complete 180 in his life.
“I’ve been there and I can tell you there ain’t no future in it. It makes it a lot different when somebody sees it. So, I want to engage with those youth, get them developed, help them grow, and find out who they are,” said Dangerfield.
On the Danger Zone, Dangerfield incorporates not only musicians but also other prominent people working in the community with the hopes of getting people who may not typically be interested in the community more involved.
“My goal is to galvanize the city around platforms that produce change,” said Dangerfield. “This is the call. The call isn’t to find the audience that already exists and I think that’s the problem with people. They find the audience that already exists and things to market to them but that only serves you for today.”
Dangerfield stated that it is important to expand because it becomes a microcosm and people become a minority within a minority.
“We’re a fragmented community. We don’t even have the full 7% that we boast… Then on top of that, you guys want to be fragmented within that so now you’re like a minority of a minority of a minority. So, we can’t mobilize to get anything accomplished. Our words don’t carry any weight. When we say we’re gonna protest something 10 people come. When we say we’re gonna make a move 20 people come,” said Dangerfield.
Dangerfield wants people to know they don’t have to Ph.D. or a master’s to have these conversations, so he tries to meet everyone on their levels.
He does this a lot through TYME 4 Change because he wants to encourage youth to be able to organize and find non-conventional ways to have conversations that have been going on for years. He also wants youth to know that they can come as they are.
“Develop youth and tell them that you can come exactly how you are. I’m not throwing you in no suit. I’m not trying to make you look like no baptist pastor. I’m not trying to control your language, I’m not trying to do any of that,” said Dangerfield explaining his goals with TYME 4 Change.
Dangerfield hopes to find the gift that is in each young person because he feels what makes someone a good leader is recognizing the gift in others.
This passion to work with others is seen in him by others as well. Bianca Haynes explained that Dangerfield has a personality that reaches everyone.
“He could be in the room with politicians and elite leaders and he can be in the slums in crack houses with prostitutes and drug dealers and be comfortable in either setting and have a heart forgiving to either group” said Haynes. “There’s nothing that blurs that for him at all. Everyone’s equal and worthy of all love and adoration in his eyes.”
To other young Black men that are trying to find their way in life and may be hesitant about stepping into different spaces he advises them on his “three P’s” passion, purpose, and pursuit.
“Your passion, what are you passionate about? You can hate the cops and think that it’s just because you hate them but really it’s because you have a knack for standing up against unjust authority systems,” said Dangerfield. “So finding the purpose in your passion. After you find enough about what you’re passionate about, it drips, bleeds, and trickles into your purpose. Because enough passion will move you to do something and that’s indicative of your purpose. Those things should be really closely related a lot of the time.”