SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A 10-year-old Shreveport native recently touched a chord and went viral with his rendition of Sam Cooke’s, “A Change Is Gonna Come.”
You might have seen Jordan Hollins in the “Artbreak’s Got Talent” show back in May. Video of his performance went viral after the Eden Gardens Elementary School student stunned the audience with his powerful, soulful voice.
The song was inspired by Cooke’s visit to Shreveport in 1963, when he and his wife, brother, and manager were turned away from the Holiday Inn on North Market on the night he was scheduled to perform at the Municipal Auditorium, in spite of having a reservation. They were later arrested for disturbing the peace.
It all happened just three weeks after the Ku Klux Klan bombed a predominantly Black church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four girls, and just after police officers in Shreveport severely beat Reverend Harry Blake inside Little Union Baptist Church during a vigil for the girls.
This incident was Cooke’s inspiration for “A Change is Gonna Come,” which features the line, “I go downtown somebody keep tellin’ me don’t hang around.”
Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins apologized in 2019 for the racist way Cooke was treated during that visit to the city.
“It’s good to know that people look at the song as an inspirational song, and it has a lot of meaning to it,” said Jordan, who’s been singing since he was six years old.
His grandmother, Henrietta Hollins, says there was something “burning inside of him” to sing.
“Every day, all day. Through the day, in the shower. He was just over the top with singing,” Hollins said.
Four years later, it finally paid off.
Jordan won “The People’s Choice” and “Best of Show” the “Artbreak’s Got Talent” show. He says the experience was “epic.”
“That’s the only word I have to say,” says Jordan.
Hollins says she and Jordan’s grandfather couldn’t contain their excitement.
“And when they say he was the winner, I almost just fainted. I had no idea that this song was going to do what it has done for the world through this little boy.”
That includes performing on the American show, “The View” with gospel singer Kirk Franklin, as well as at Shreveport’s “Glo Fest,” where Jordan performed at the Bakowski Bridge of Lights on the Texas Street Bridge.
“I have a chance to still change the world, by a song,” says Jordan.
His grandmother couldn’t have agreed more.
“We all want that change. You know, we need it, our children need it for the generation to come.”
And who’s better to bring that change?
“I want hope. I want love to be in this world again, ’cause there is so much hate,” Jordan said.
Jordin Hollins is currently auditioning for a role with Kidz Bop.