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Jackée Harry On Being A Teacher Before Her Acting Career Took Off: 'That Was My First Love'
Prior to becoming a household name on popular television shows like “227” and “Sister, Sister,” Jackée Harry worked as a history teacher in New York City. “I worked at Brooklyn Technical High School,” Harry tells ESSENCE. “I taught American History. Ninth and tenth grade. All boys. I still love teaching. That was my first love.”
At the time, Harry believed that she would “do acting and teaching on the side,” but as her popularity grew, the North Carolina-born actress’ life took a path that was quite the opposite. Still, she says, “I thoroughly enjoyed teaching. I still enjoy it. I feel like it’s one of those things that takes kids through life.”
Though it may not have been clear at the time, Harry’s passion for sharing knowledge didn’t end when she left the classroom. Her “Sister, Sister” co-stars Tia and Tamera Mowry never skip an opportunity to share how much they’ve learned about the art of acting from TV mom. “I was just born that way,” Harry reflects. “I like imparting knowledge, but I’ve learned that everyone doesn’t want your knowledge. You have to learn how to get somebody to want to learn. The learning process has to be understood before you can understand what somebody is trying to teach you.”