“Living Loud” is an apt title for one of Signing Savvy’s most recent blog posts regarding the life and career of Charles “CJ” Jones. The comedian and actor has had to overcome numerous struggles throughout his life to get to where he is today. This started with his family and education at a young age. Though his parents were deaf, all six of Jones’s siblings had full hearing capabilities. Jones himself was born with full hearing as well, but lost almost all of it at the age of seven due to spinal meningitis. Nonetheless, Jones didn’t allow this to hold him back from achieving his goals. He fought his way into a highly-acclaimed school for the deaf in Missouri, which was taught in ASL, and followed this up by attending a technical university for the deaf in New York. This is what kick-started Jones’s career and reputation as a heart-warming comedic genius. Since then, he has starred in television series and movies, and toured around the world doing comedy – the only black deaf comedian in history to do this.
This isn’t the only record Jones holds; the comedian starred in the 2017 hit movie Baby Driver, making him the first deaf black actor in an international blockbuster. Jones’s vast success speaks for itself, and the obstacles he has overcome throughout his lifetime are incredibly inspirational. Even more inspirational than this, however, is the perspective he holds on it all. Jones says his life revolves around “who I am, not what I am”. He is proud of and humbled by his success, and says he is grateful to have had ASL as his form of connecting and communicating to the world. He believes what he has accomplished is possible for any individual with any hardships: “I can prove that anything is possible. It has nothing to do with being deaf or black or any disability and color, it has to do with passion to do greater things in life!”