The Oridgenators presented by Ruffles is a six-part IGTV series that spotlights pioneering Black creators from the intersecting worlds of basketball, sneakers, social media, music, and entrepreneurship. Each episode profiles one unique individual who defied societal norms in pursuit of their dreams to inspire and uplift.
Crissa Jackson has never met a challenge she couldn’t conquer. Expressing an interest in basketball early on, her father just dismissed it as a fly-by-night hobby and tried to dissuade her. “He initially was trying to get me to quit to see if I would continue training,” 31-year-old Jackson says of her early years on the court. “So, he would blindfold me, he would tie my hands behind my back, and then I would be like, ‘Okay, dad! What’s next?’”
The energetic athlete and social media influencer says basketball quickly became her life, and soon enough she received a call that would take her love of ball to new heights. “Randomly I got a call from a guy who played on the Harlem Globetrotters,” she recalls. “He was like, ‘The Globetrotters are having tryouts.’”
The rest is Globetrotting history as Jackson became the 13th woman to play for the beloved basketball squad. Yet, during her remote Oridgenators shoot, Jackson revealed it was the attention she received from young fans after each game that inspired her to create her non-profit organization I Am Movement.
“This is for girls ages six to 18 and it’s bringing them together, unifying them so they feel like they have a support system,” Jackson says. She also notes that the organization hits home because her own daughter was bullied in school.
“So many kids are getting bullied and have nobody to turn to or feel comfortable to talk to, and that’s another reason why on top of my daughter getting bullied I wanted to start this program,” she explains.
Jackson understands her skill as an athlete has solidified her success, but it’s also her love of music and dance that sets her apart from other influencers. By merging her passions together, she’s built a following that boasts nearly 730,000 followers on Instagram alone.
“Being true to yourself and being authentic allows you to enjoy life.”