Mississippi native and Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Ted Jackson has released his new book, You Ought to Do a Story About Me: Addiction, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Endless Quest for Redemption.
In 1990, Jackson was working for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, and he ran across a homeless man sleeping under a bridge in the downtown portion of the city. After snapping the man’s picture for a story he was working on at the time, Jackson woke him up, and the two began in conversation.
“You ought to do a story about me,” the man said to Jackson.
Jackson pondered the conventional line that every journalist has seen or heard at some point in their career.
“Why would I want to do that?” he asked.
“Because I’ve played in three Super Bowls,” the man, who Jackson would soon find out to be former NFL player Jackie Wallace, replied.
You Ought to Do a Story About Me is not only a story about the tragic downfall of one of the league’s best defensive backs, but more importantly, it’s a story about recovery and redemption in a world where the problems of systemic racism and poverty are still omnipresent.
To buy the book, click here, and to hear Jackson talk more about the 30 years in between meeting Wallace and publishing You Ought to Do a Story About Me, check out the video below.