It’s Black History Month, and the stars of All American: Homecoming are kicking things off in style with a brand-new, exclusive photoshoot as they drop gems about Black history, their show and much more.
The series’ stars, Geffri Maya, Peyton Alex Smith, Kelly Jenrette, Cory Hardrict, Sylvester Powell, Camille Hyde, Mitchell Edwards, Netta Walker and Rhoyle Ivy King all recently sat down for in-depth conversations with Shadow and Act in conjunction with the shoot, which was shot by Mike King and had both Maya and King as creative directors.
Get in the conversations below in which they talk about what Black history means to them, making history as the first original series to air on The CW to have a cast comprised of all-Black series regulars, what they hope the show’s legacy is and more.
The below conversations have been condensed and edited for clarity:
How did this idea for the photoshoot come about and what inspired it?
Geffri Maya: This was an idea that we were circulating just last year. I came to everyone with the idea of just like, you know, at the end of the day, in terms of celebrating Black culture and celebrating ourselves, no one is going to be at the forefront more than those who understand, those who experience and those who literally are in a position to say, “I’m taking control over my story, my narrative or what have you. Whether it’s a photo shoot, whether it’s a script, whether it’s a visual, no one is gonna do it better than the ones who are living it. We wanted to just kind of come together and kind of create something that, one, we could do together to kind of like build our relationships with one another, to support one another artistically and support each other’s visions that they see for themselves, while also celebrating how important of a show this show is, not just for the network, but the scope of Black and brown people of color of any gender — just people who exist and who see themselves and what it is that we’re doing. But [this is] especially for Black kids that are watching this show going, ‘I would love to see myself on a platform like this. I would love to be a part of a series like this.’ Truthfully, the best way to go about it, in my opinion, is through art, because we’re all able to support one another, from how we looked to how we wanted to view ourselves to how we wanted to be celebrated. We just thought it was a great moment to connect and encourage each other as Black artists in this industry. It was just a fun idea: just pitch something to our network, and they supported us fully for doing something like this, but it was from [our] scope.
This is also a moment to just celebrate Black culture with a publication like yours. Shadow and Act is major, especially for TV and film, and you guys have made it your agenda to highlight the industry — yes — but you guys never failed to celebrate Black people and Black culture and what Black people are trying to do for the betterment of our community, the betterment of our children and our generation, so we are excited that you all are at the forefront with us.
Rhoyle Ivy King: It all started probably over a year ago as an idea that Geffri had brought to the cast, but we were in the middle of filming [and] getting ready to premiere and we didn’t have much time for it. So then it got reintroduced by Geffri and I back in the summer. I think the main importance of it was that we really wanted our audience to see that this wasn’t something that we were just putting on for the camera and that we weren’t just acting the roles and pretending to be family and close. It was something that was happening behind the scenes and on weekends and our free time and during the hiatus. So we wanted at least a moment to capture our relationships with each other and the family that Nkechi created — and how not only are we a group of Black creatives, we’re a group of kind, family-oriented people. I think it really all came down to making sure that everyone could see how authentic what you’re getting on screen really is.
What does Black history mean to you and what do you think Black history means in 2023?
Rhoyle Ivy King: When I think about Black History Month, it causes me to take a moment to honor all of the creatives and artists that came before me, and that came before this cast.
If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be able to create this art so freely and tell our stories in this way. And so, for me, that would probably be the first thing. The second thing that I often think about is, even though the term itself, Black history, suggests something that is past tense, I feel like it also takes into account that it’s still currently happening. Even with what we’re talking about with this show, it’s something that even though we’re saying we are making history on this network, it’s present because we’re present and the show is in the future and it’s continuing to happen. So I think it also makes me think about how Black history isn’t over. It’s not something that, that is compressed into yesterday. … It’s today and it’s tomorrow, and it’s in the next coming months. One of my favorite things to think about is that our cast, our audience, all of us have the opportunity to, if we continue in our excellence, contribute to what will one day be Black history.
Sylvester Powell: A big part of it is, of course, the celebration of Blackness and knowing the history. For me, I like to look up history before it starts in American history books. I like to know about it beforehand, track it all the way to now, really do the research and study and know more about where I come from and the people that played a hand in me being where I am today and having the freedoms that I have today.
Mitchell Edwards: For me, I believe the importance of Black history really kind of speaks to the resilience of our people. and just how much we’ve overcome and how much we’ve pushed through. And I think that that’s something to build upon still in the future. I’d love for the issues to be gone, but that energy of pushing through. Because no matter what, whether it’s overcoming oppression or just trying to get through a process, you’re gonna encounter adversity — just being able to have that mindset of ‘I can get through.’ I think being able to have that history and knowing that our people got through not just social issues, but also personal ones.
I think it’s inspiring in that sense. And in 2023, I think it should continue to represent that sort of inspiration. It’s frustrating that we’re still dealing with a lot of the same issues, but I think if we look at how far we’ve come and take that into account, we can think about how far we can get with our time here on Earth, cause the next generation is going to have their own things to work through. So, I think we can just kind of take it as inspiration to continue to build and not just feel like we’re losing the fight.
Geffri Maya: I was recently a guest for the premiere of The 1619 Project, and personally, for me, I was raised in a household where my mother did not fail ever to give me an idea of who I am and where I come from as a Black woman in America. Our lineage is the Black diaspora, it’s so vast and there’s so much about myself that I still do not know and still wish to know and to learn and to connect to.
And going to a premiere about the history and the foundation of slavery — as difficult of a concept and truth and a part of our history that it is for a series — it is a part of our history, it is necessary, and we as a people have to be educated on who we are outside of slavery and all these things, but who we’ve been, which are kings, queens, doctors, lawyers. … I can’t stress it enough how resilient Black people are. Black history to me, when I see movies and videos and clips of just the monstrosity of slavery and what it has done to our people, and just racism and systemic racism and political injustice — I see the resilience, I still see my people laughing back, I still see people dancing and getting married and having children and still praising God, and going to church. When I look at that, I thank them for their triumphs and I pray for their souls and for their tragedy, because it was all for us. It was for us. Even though there are still hills and valleys to climb — let’s be very, very clear, I am not ignorant to that and I never make it a point to stay ignorant to that — there are so many things that have to be done. But for me to wake up every day and have an opportunity, even a sliver more than the people before me, that is me thanking them. That is me showing my gratitude. That is me dedicating my life to what I believe Black history is. It’s so much more than just a month, and that’s no disrespect to the month that we do get to be celebrated [laughs], but I celebrate 365. My Blackness is not going anywhere.
Kelly Jenrette: What Black history means to me is that we stand on the shoulders of those who had to suffer in a way that we didn’t so that we can have the things that they couldn’t. And so, always wanting to remember the history, for me, I don’t even have to go back that far. My grandmother picked cotton. So it is understanding that we have a rich history of suffering, but also many victories, and we are able to stand on their shoulders. In 2023, it is an even bigger celebration to see how far we’ve come. While we have a long way to go, I think that we have to take a moment to celebrate where we are right now. In 2023, Black history is just a time to really celebrate, to pause, look back over our lives, as the old folks used to say, [laughs] and then rejoice and celebrate for where we are.
Netta Walker: To me, Black history means family. I always equate it with stories and hearing my grandparents talk about being freedom fighters. I just think about the lineage. It’s just so important because we’ve had so much of it erased. So anything that we can find and remember and cherish, that’s what I consider Black history. I think that we’re actively making history in 2023. Yes. I think that right now, more than ever, historically we have such a positive take on what history’s going to be looking like in reference to where we are today. The last 50 years obviously have been a battle uphill, but for the first time, in at least the United States, we actually can represent ourselves in media, by ourselves, and tell our own actual stories versus what people used to do, which was trying to tell Black stories from a white gaze. And for the first time in history, we can really tell those stories in this media and in this capacity with our own hands. People like Nkechi are making history. That’s what I think in both terms of today [and the past — it’s legacy.
Cory Hardrict: Black History Month represents just excellence. Our historical figures, from like Martin Luther King to Rosa Parks — just people who didn’t take no for an answer and just did the right thing for all humankind — and it wasn’t just like this was just all about what was Black, it was just about what was right. So that’s what it means to me. I look at our ancestors and everything that they’ve done and I can apply that to 2023, and I can try to emulate that success and make this world a better place.
Camille Hyde: What Black History Month represents for me is that it’s a time to reflect as a group of people that have gone through so much, and have overcome so much, and have been able to transcend through generations, and just continue to really vouch for our people and give the next generation more opportunities than the one before. For me, it’s the time where we can go back and learn more about our history. For instance, my mom bought me and Geffri the book The 1619 Project, and we were lucky enough to go to the screening. It was so nice to be able to learn about our people and our history. I think Black History Month is obviously, you know, the shortest month of the year, but it’s 28 days of being able to learn more about our history, because there’s so much that the American education system doesn’t teach in schools, so that kind of falls back onto families to provide information and that knowledge to their kids. But I think that’s also tying into what Black History Month means for the African American community. It’s a time for education and educating people of the next generation on their history and why they should be proud, and what their ancestors did for them and generations before, and how much they sacrificed. They sacrificed so much for us to be able to have the opportunities we do now. So I think it’s learning about that and also paying tribute to the generations that fought so hard for us to be able to have the opportunities that we have today.
By being the first original series on The CW with an all-Black cast, what does it mean to make history with the show and all of the other feats that it has accomplished?
Peyton Alex Smith: It’s honestly surreal. It feels like that movement that happened with Black Panther. Like, executives and people were able to see that our stories make money. And so, like, now we’re able to see that we haven’t seen anything like what we’re doing since [the shows] that we grew up on. And even if it’s not perfect, it’s us. And so that’s what makes everything that I do so important to me. People are like, ‘Oh, why do you care about this, why are you putting so much effort into this? And it’s ’cause I’m like, ‘There’s gonna be a kid who was adopted and wants to go to an HBCU and play baseball.’ First of all, us doing this show and like me playing baseball and Geffri playing tennis — these are sports that we’re not supposed to be great at. And to show greatness in those and to show their lives, it’s like saying these kids are in college, but [it’s showing] what African Americans are going through.
The love I’ve gotten is still so surreal to me. Like if I step outside right now, people come up to me. I had a rapper come up to me the other day, a rapper that I, like, listen to going to set. They came up to me and [knew me from the show]. And I was like, ‘What? Like, I listen to you every day.’ I was like, ‘You watch this?’ It blew my mind. I didn’t realize how many people we were reaching. So it felt good to know that I was reaching people’s hearts. It was a visceral interaction.
Netta Walker: It’s crazy. I was just talking to Sam [Logan] and Michael [Evans Behling] the other day because Warner Bros. posted a compilation photo on their Instagram of a yearbook layout. And, like, all of the people that were on it were like from Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars — like all of these iconic teen shows that I grew up watching, and then there’s Jordan Baker [from All American] on there.
And I was like, ‘Michael, do you realize the impact that we have?’ And this show has been going on thankfully because of them, so thankful for the OG team — but like to be able to create a world where young Black kids will be able to watch their soap. Like being like, ‘I gotta watch my show. My show is on and they look like me and I’m getting the same drama and tea that I would’ve gotten if I would’ve watched Gossip Girl,’ except it’s not all white. We don’t have to have the stories being told through the white lens anymore. We can include Black [lens], which is why All American was such a big deal. Everyone was so taken aback by the stories that they were telling via Black folk from LA, and that’s what’s so exciting about being able to tell the story from Atlanta because it’s a dose of culture, specifically in the South as well. You don’t get to see Southern culture on network television like this, especially on, like, networks like The CW. This is huge. I feel like I could talk to my little 10-year-old self and she would be excited, which is why I feel just honored all the time to get to do this. Cause I know that if I got to watch this instead of watching Pretty Little Liars, I would’ve been like, ‘Whoa, I can do this. I can see myself on this screen. These stories are more relatable because they look like me.’ It’s just an honor. I feel overwhelmed by it all the time.
Mitchell Edwards: It’s a great responsibility. I think on one end, there’s a public responsibility of what we put out into the world — that being the script, that being the work, the acting and everything like that, but also in the process of making it. It’s a huge responsibility to make sure that we’re cultivating an environment that’s supportive, that’s loving, that’s welcoming to guest actors and guest directors and things like that, just so that we can continue to rewrite that script [of our stereotypes].
I think one of the beautiful things about our set and the environment that we’ve created is that it’s a family-based, loving environment that pretty much supports everybody moving forward. Whether it be members of the hair department feeling like, ‘Hey, we wanna try this hairstyle, how do y’all feel?’ — and we’re with it. Or makeup artists asking if they can try certain things. and we’re supportive of it. It’s a loving environment that encourages collaboration, which I think is the core of this industry.
How does 'All American: Homecoming' exemplify both Black joy and Black excellence through its storytelling and performances?
Geffri Maya: I loved what Rhoyle was saying about this show was written in the scope and in the eyesight of Black people. These characters were created for Black actors. These stories are about Black experiences. So I think that the beautiful thing about Homecoming is that it was always for us [and] created by us. And that’s so real because our showrunner had this vision, and it’s near and dear to her because she has two Black sons, that she wants to be able to highlight and champion all of this through her art. She always wants her children to be able to see what she’s doing and say, ‘Wow, I’m all up in that,’ whether it’s literally or metaphorically. And I think that as artists, I think that it’s important for us to stay true to that. Doing that means so much more than just being famous or being popular. But you can literally live your life and look back and say, “Wow, I made a difference”— whether it’s a woman in her late 50s coming up to me, celebrating the work that we’re doing, or a child on the verge not knowing if she was gonna go to college or not, but then deciding after she watched Homecoming, “I wanna go to a Black school.”
I feel like that’s the most pivotal part of what we do as artists … the inspiration aspect and the encouragement aspect. I feel like I have a cast of people who also are in that same space of their purpose. We’re gonna make money, and we’re gonna be able to be on TV, and we’re gonna get more projects and opportunities after this — but it’s how you go into it that literally will allow you to get the bulk of the benefits. I think that because we all have it on our minds, this is an assignment, including for Nkechi as well. This was an assignment put on her heart and on her vision to give back to the community, to give back to young Black boys and Black girls who are watching with intent. And we are on assignment right now. That’s really how I take this opportunity. I guess it’s a part of my dream, but I am on assignment, and I’m listening very clearly and very openly to what God is doing and telling me to do, and I’m so grateful to be a part of a show that stands on that type of truth.
Kelly Jenrette: All American: Homecoming exhibits and expresses Black joy in one, just allowing us to show up and be who we are. That brings so much joy in allowing us to see ourselves at our best, and then also see us at our worst and see how we can be supported in both of those worlds. And so, the writing allows us as the actors to kind of explore things that we may not necessarily talk about in our community. We don’t really talk about mental health and seeking help in our community. We don’t talk about anxiety or panic attacks in our community. For me, the Black joy comes from being able to [show a] full 360-view of us as Black people and how we can support each other and not judge one another in those situations and circumstances.
Netta Walker: I feel like there’s so many times we have to watch Black suffering in film and TV. We’ve seen the Oscar noms come out of slave movies and Black folk having to consistently showcase how good they are at showing turmoil. And one of the biggest things that I adore about this show are the conversations about mental health in the Black community. And that’s also something I’ve never felt like I’ve been able to see handled with such care and precision. Whenever we’re discussing the joy that happens on this show — in the same episode, you can have, like, a very joyous dinner, but also have someone going through a really, really hard time — but to see the support from their community. This show has created a conversation that I’ve never actually seen happen before. We’ve just had, obviously, the stigma and history of the conversations around mental health in the Black community, and that’s what I think is so cool about the show, is that we get to discuss those hard topics while also still enjoying ourselves. Like, we still follow characters who are living normal lives and enjoying the little things and their lives and the friendships that they’re cultivating, without having to watch absolute suffering every episode.
There’s merit in both, and there are stories that are still very important that are being told that are also in the vein of feeling those feelings, but I like the fact that this show has created a world where teenagers can watch young people, who happen to be Black, existing in their culture, enjoying their culture, but also working through the problems that we’ve not had the outlet and the sources to work through historically. So it’s just really exciting. I think that that’s something that makes this show really special. The mental health conversations are a really big deal to me.
Camille Hyde: The overall tone of our show is a very joyous one. It comes from a place of wanting to celebrate our people and not necessarily show the struggle all the time. One thing I’ve realized about a lot of the shows and pop culture is that it tends to linger on the struggle and pain, but not a lot on celebration and the joy and the beauty that is our culture. The beauty of our culture sets the tone for pop culture in general, across all art forms — from music to art to dance to fashion — all of that ties back to the Black community.
And I think our show does a really good job through the hair team, through the wardrobe, getting into Black Greek life and also Black sports and how Black people have been able to be in the top upper echelon of every, almost every sport, from Tiger Woods and golf, obviously LeBron James and those in basketball, to football, to Venus, Serena and Naomi in tennis. So I feel like our show exemplifies how young Black people can grow to be the greats in whatever they choose to be. It’s important for young Black kids to see that if they have a dream, that they have a goal, regardless of if they see a lot of representation of their own people in that thing, they’re very much capable of achieving it and being the great whatever of their day. That’s always achievable. I think seeing the representation on-screen allows Black kids to feel a little bit more confident in maybe trying to accomplish things in any facet of life that before they wouldn’t really necessarily feel comfortable doing because of the lack of representation.
Mitchell Edwards: Joy is a huge part of youth, right? And just by being a young college/teen drama or show in general, you’re displaying that youthful moment in time when you’re in college and you’re trying to find yourself, but you’re also still trying to have fun. I think in that sense, it’s a joyous journey at that point in life for anybody who’s going to college. I think by representing the Black college experience, you can see the joy in the marching band, you can see the joy in the fraternities and Greek life, you see the joy at the parties, or just in the dances or hallway — and you also see the joy in sports.
Then, as far as Black excellence goes, I think you’re seeing these young characters realize that they’re on their own and embracing their independence and trying to find their way. And I think that’s an excellent journey to be on, regardless of how far you get, it’s a matter of the fact that you’re putting yourself in a position to better yourself. We’re in school, so they’re studying and they’re trying to shape their minds to prepare themselves to be better in the world.
Cory Hardrict: It is reminiscent of shows like A Different World, like that ’90s nostalgia of those college shows and that camaraderie. It definitely ties the culture in and it’s necessary because we get to see faces and hear voices that look like us in today’s society because art should imitate real life.
So to have an HBCU show on The CW, being the first original Black cast for a show on The CW network … that’s groundbreaking in itself. I’m glad that everyone is understanding that, you know, our voices need to be heard, and at the same time, we’re making great content and it’s relatable and it’s a human story. It’s not like a story where people are flying around or anything like that, but it’s very relatable and it resonates to the real world and it definitely resonates to culture — and Black culture at that. We’re just trying to be excellent at what we do and be great at it.
What's it been like creating such a strong bond with your co-stars both on and off set?
Peyton Alex Smith: I was on Legacies before, and I was grateful for that experience, and it was a beautiful experience. Then, coming here, and just being around things that I’ve done — I went to an HBCU and I played sports, so when you see Damon, it’s easy [to play him] because that was my life.
It’s beautiful to go through those things and see those things that I might not have dealt with at that time as a human being. And to see it in real-time is therapeutic to me. It’s therapy for me. I’m older now and I’m able to recognize that and deal with that. So the cast has been like therapy to me. It’s been an interesting experience and the things that the writers are writing are things that actually happened to me at that time. And it’s like I’m figuring out my life and myself. When I talk about it, it almost makes me want to cry, you know? Cause I’m like wow, who knew? God put me in this position to be on this show, and to be around people like this and for people to be writing stuff that I went through. So I’m like, wow, I have to be honest to this story so that maybe a kid who’s watching this sees, and if I can resonate with one person, that’s the only reason I act. If I can resonate with one person, then I’ve done my job.
Rhoyle Ivy King: I think probably the most honest answer is talking and hearing all of our stories about how we got here. One of the things we talked about as we were discussing the whole idea that we were, you know, this network’s first original series with a Black cast, was that it took us years and years of perseverance, auditioning for roles that weren’t necessarily meant for us. And it took years and years of us going through that to finally come together and do something that’s so much bigger than any one of us individually. It’s really been this spinning thought that, as a group, everything that we do together — whether it’s on screen, off screen, sitting in our trailers — the energy that we create and we try to give to any of our guest cast and guest directors is that we’re doing something and establishing something so much bigger than us. And it all starts with our creators and showrunner. I think honestly if it weren’t for her good spirit, she wouldn’t have put such an incredible group of people together.
Sylvester Powell: It’s amazing. These are relationships that I feel like can last a lifetime. And you have different people that you can trust, different people that you can bounce ideas [off of]. You know, I might come to work today and I might not be feeling the best. I might be going through some personal stuff, but I know that I got people around me who love me and that’s willing to uplift me and vice versa for everything else. The next person standing next to me might not be having the best day. We all go through different life issues and things like that, but we all know that we’re all here together and we gonna uplift each other. I really feel spoiled to be surrounded by the people that I’m surrounded by every single day when I’m at work and not at work. I know right now I can call any one of them and I have whatever I need, [whether it is] a conversation or my car’s stuck on the side of the road, I know that I can call one of them and we got a solution.
Though the show is just in season 2 and hopefully we get many more, what do you hope the its legacy will be at the end of the day?
Rhoyle Ivy King: I feel like Homecoming, the way that it really expresses its joy and black excellence, is one of those things where if you feel called and you feel like there is something that keeps you up at night, that keeps you motivated, that you can watch these characters experience that same thing and go up and down, but at the end of the day, they always find that path of light and they always find within each other to speak positivity in each other and encourage one another to continue to go after that dream, no matter how hard, the obstacle and the hurdle they have to get over is– that’s the show’s impact on its audience. We were talking the other day in between scenes, and we were kind of baffled at the idea that just like A Different World, this generation will one day say, “I grew up watching All American: Homecoming” and “This was the show that kind of encouraged me to go to an HBCU, It encouraged me to pursue this art form, or this major or to believe in myself.” And I think the legacy of the show is that at any point, the audience can call on a moment to encourage them to take the next step forward. I also think that the legacy of the show is that when it does come down to our creator and showrunner, that in the same spirit of an HBCU was for us, by us, this show is that exact same thing for us as actors. We didn’t have to change anyone’s mind to get this role. It wasn’t that we were the wild card. This show was genuinely created for us and by us. And that I think the legacy will be that more shows have this same message to it and that more shows are created in the same light– that it was created for Black artists to have an opportunity to tell our stories authentically and to tell them genuinely, and to put ourselves into it and know that we’re telling a story that we all probably needed to see when we were the age of our main audience.
Cory Hardrict: I hope the legacy just leaves an everlasting impact on all races, all creeds, all colors, all shapes, forms or fashions. This is a universal show told through the Black lens, and that’s what it’s about. Everybody can be related. We all have a heart, everyone bleeds the same. That is what I want this show to leave. You’re bridging all the gaps, but it’s definitely told through the Black experience, so that’s just amazing to see that The CW is in support of this show. Hopefully, we can keep this going for many years and continue to make great art. Everything is about impacting culture, and I believe we are doing that. Shout out to our wonderful writers and showrunner for giving us the voice to use our platform in this magnitude. So that’s what I hope.
Camille Hyde: I would be happy if Black kids who watch this just walk away from it knowing and having integrity in coming from such a beautiful and diverse culture that has been able to pave the way for greatness in so many things. And being a Black kid watching our show, I hope they see the beauty in the people and I hope they see the individuality in each character and the integrity of each character and they can take a piece of each character with them into their regular lives. So when they encounter anything in life that could be an obstacle or makes them feel insecure being diverse in a world that sometimes does not allow for diversity to be accepted, I hope they think of the characters in our show and hope it gives them more confidence moving into any area of their life.
Mitchell Edwards: One of the missions of the show is to inspire Black education. I think by reflecting the HBCU experience and showing the human experience of it, not just the party side, not just the Greek life and the marching bands, but also the struggles and the stripe that comes with it– I think those struggles are intimidating mostly to Black people, because of the strife we are used to. I think by depicting the journey of the ups and downs of college, it makes people feel like it’s more relatable, it’s something that they could potentially do, and hopefully, young Black kids feel more inspired to go to college. I think first and foremost, that’s what I hope the legacy is. And while there, whether they choose to follow the path of Simone and play tennis or Damon and play big baseball, which is rare for us, or if they follow some of the more common paths like Cam and play football or pledge a fraternity, whatever it may be, I’m hoping that they can see themselves in all of these different mediums at a university and themselves reflected and understand that they too can do it and go to school.
'All American Homecoming' airs Monday nights on The CW
Full photoshoot credits:
Creative Directors: Geffri Maya & Rhoyle Ivy King
Photography: Mike Boyd
Videography: Rhoyle Ivy King & Amber Amos
Post Production: Ryle Watson
Grip & Electric: Anthony Suy
Lighting & Digital Tech: Josh Christales
Qiana ChaseStyled by:
Assisted By, Jesse Mandel