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MANdatory Awareness: Jahliel Thurman

“Success is failure after failure, without the loss of enthusiasm!” That is a quote by Winston Churchill that rising star Jahliel Thurman lives by.

Jahliel Thurman, a Chicago native, was born on April 7, 1992, to Yolanda and Malcohm Thurman.  At a young age, it was evident that Mr. Thurman was destined for success! With both parents pushing him towards academic excellence, while introducing him to new and different cultures; it’s safe to say they were grooming a unique individual.

Throughout his life, Jahliel has always succeeded. Not only in the classroom but also with his extracurricular activities. After graduating from high school with honors, he was granted a full academic scholarship to Virginia State University. During his undergraduate tenure, Jahliel served as President of the Student Government Association and President of the Nu Psi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated. He took on great responsibility while also balancing his other leadership positions within other academic organizations. Just like a footprint, Jahliel has left his permanent mark on the campus of Virginia State University.

On May 11, 2014, Jahliel was blessed to receive his Bachelors of Arts degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in Television and Broadcasting. With his love for HBCUs combined with a desire to broadcast the positivity amongst those institutions, Yard Talk 101 was born.

Yard Talk 101 strives to serve as the platform to exhibit the talents, programs, community projects, helpful resources, as well as other successes of fellow HBCU students and alumnus. With the future of Yard Talk 101 looking extremely promising, Jahliel is constantly working with other brands to help elevate the HBCU community and show them in the positive light they were all meant to be represented in. Today, Yard Talk 101 can be found on Aspire TV’s digital platform.

Jahliel is determined to not let anything stand in his way while on this journey saying, ” When we are going through rough times, remember we are not the only ones who have been down this path; someone before you had to overcome those adversities, so why to can’t we?”   


AllisonJanel: How would you describe your Swagger? What makes Jahliel? Jahliel?

Jahliel: Confident, but chill and laid back. My hunger, and desire for more out of life. Losing was not an option for me. I’ve watched my family and older friends make decisions that I promised I would not. My goal is to motivate the generation after me.

AllisonJanel: Did you always want the attend an HBCU?

Jahliel: Yes, I was just unsure of which one. My father told me in high school that he wanted me to go to an HBCU.

AllisonJanel: What inspired you to study Mass Communications with a concentration in Television and Broadcasting?

Jahliel: I’ve always wanted to be in entertainment, since I was a kid. When I learned that there was a major for interdisciplinary course study, I knew it was for me.

AllisonJanel: Did you intern or work at any organization before you started Yard Talk 101?

JahIiel: I interned at Channel 8 while in college, it was a requirement to graduate.

AllisonJanel: Please tell us more about Yard Talk 101?

Jahliel: Yard Talk 101 is a digital marketing company that increases online visibility, social impact, and awareness of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The company was founded in 2015 in hopes of providing positive exposure for HBCUs through broadcast media. I wanted to take the authentic lifestyle and showcase to the world the positives of HBCUs and what they have to offer.

AllisonJanel: What have been some of the challenges you’ve faced in media?

Jahliel: Hearing no and having patience. Hearing no is always tough, however I try to encourage people to keep going. Media is not for the weak so you have to really stay focused and persevere. Having patience is essential on the journey, because nothing will happen overnight, it is all about timing and going through the process.

AllisonJanel: What projects have you worked on?

Jahliel: Some of the projects I have worked on are: Ford HBCU Community Challenge, National Battle of the Bands, Honda Battle of the Bands, digital content for AspireTV, and executive producer and host of HBCU 101 which airs on AspireTV to name a few.

AllisonJanel: How has the COVID19 pandemic affected your business?

Jahliel: It has had its affects, however during the quarantine I have been able to have more business calls and meetings. This has been great because I am able to start setting things up so when we are in a position to get things back to normal I am prepared to continue to move forward.

AllisonJanel: How do you practice self-care?

Jahliel: I’m an advocate for self-care. I like to run it’s good for mental and physical health. I take myself to dinner to relax and plan the week. I also take myself to get a manicure and pedicure. I’m a believer in doing what makes you happy to keep you in a peaceful state.

AllisonJanel: Do you have any upcoming events or projects that you care to share?

Jahliel: Yes I do. May 26th we are releasing The HBCU Experience: The Virginia State University Edition which is a book that has the stories of VSU pioneers. Season 2 of HBCU 101 will be airing September 6th, and I have some other major things in the works.


Connect with Jahliel below:

Business Website:,

Instagram:  @jahlielthurman @yardtalk101 @hbcu101

Facebook:   Jahliel Thurman, Yard Talk 101



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