Jenny’s come a long way from her block in the Bronx - maybe too long?
Singer and actor Jennifer Lopez, who once told fans not to be “fooled by the rocks that I got,” found herself in the middle of a controversy recently: Can she still be Jenny from the block if she can't even come home to film an advertisement?
After she sealed an endorsement deal with Italian carmaker Fiat, one of her commercials featured her in the Bronx, where she grew up. The commercial shows Lopez driving through streets lined with bodegas, beauty shops, bucket drummers and dancing children. The song, “Until It Beats No More,” from her new album “Love?” plays in the background.
“This place inspires me to be tougher, to stay sharper, to think faster,” Lopez says in a voiceover. “They may be just streets to you, but to me, they’re a playground.”
But the woman in the car wasn't Lopez.
"I changed my heart years ago," Bryon Widner said.
Widner was former skinhead and neo-nazi, covered in racist tattoos and filled with hate. He had a change of heart, though, and sought to remove the tattoos - a way to show on the outside how he'd changed inside.
He is now starting a new life with his wife and children, although his family is still sometimes harassed, and many wonder whether he could really change.
"The only way to defeat hate is through love," Widner said.
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What defines you? Maybe it’s the shade of your skin, the place you grew up, the accent in your words, the make up of your family, the gender you were born with, the intimate relationships you chose to have or your generation? As the American identity changes we will be there to report it. In America is a venue for creative and timely sharing of news that explores who we are. Reach us at email@example.com.
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