He saw injustice first hand while growing up in Texas.
As a youngster, Jamie Foxx was raised by his grandparents who legally adopted him. The actor previously struggled with understanding why his birth parents didn't want to take care of him and weren't apart of his life. As an adult, Jamie reconnected with his mother, even moving her into his home back in 2014. He admitted at the time that building a relationship with his father has a bit more difficult, but that he was open to making it work.
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Although his birth parents were absent, the actor has shared that his grandparents were loving and supportive of him through every step of his life. In a recent chat with Just Mercy co-star Michael B. Jordan about his real-life character Walter McMillian, an Alabama man falsely convicted of murder and sentenced to death back in the 1980s, Jamie revealed that he drew inspiration from his parents.
“I’m from the South,” the Texas native said to Jordan. Jamie reportedly grew up in a segregated area of Terrell, Texas. “My father was put in jail for $25 worth of illegal substance. Who had educated black folks in South Dallas for 25 years. The very judge that he would have come visit the school and talk to the kids was the judge that presided in this case, putting him in jail for seven years. But now he’s sitting in a cell with people who he used to teach.” Watch Jamie and Jordan's conversation, along with the Just Mercy trailer, below.