Saturday, June 19, 2021

Random House Editor Talks New Trayvon Martin Book, Prince Memoir; Dream Beyonce Autobiography

Chris Jackson was photographed Aug. 31 in his New York office.
Chris Jackson was photographed by The Hollywood Reporter on Aug. 31 in his New York office.

*Chris Jackson, recently named editor-in-chief and publisher of Random House imprint One World, and the most prominent African-American editor in publishing, spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about a number of projects he has in the works, including a memoir written by the parents of Trayvon Martin.

Due in January, just ahead of the five-year anniversary of Trayvon’s fatal shooting, the book from his father Tracy Martin and mother Sybrina Fulton will be titled Rest in Power.

“It’s amazing. Everyone who’s been reading the manuscript is in tears by the second chapter,” said Jackson. “It’s not just about the mournful story about losing a child, but it’s also how that moment ignited this global movement.”

Jackson had also signed Prince for his memoir before the singer’s death in April. Asked if the book will ever see the light of day, Jackson would not give any details.

“That’s something I can probably say nothing about. (Laughs.) What did Esther [Newberg, Prince’s book agent] say? I’m taking Esther’s line. Whatever she said, I am seconding. That’s Esther’s special superpower,” Jackson told THR. [Editor’s note: Esther said nothing.]

Jackson, who edited Jay Z’s 2010 book Decoded, also revealed himself as part of the BeyHive.

Asked his dream book, he said, “If Beyonce was going to write a book, a real book, I would maybe sacrifice a body part for that. When I knew Beyonce — knew, meaning I hung out with her three times when I was working with Jay — the stories she told, and the kind of things she was interested in, and the kind of ideas she was exploring I found really fascinating.

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