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In Jenifer Lewis’s memoir, The Mother of Black Hollywood, she says that Black-ish has made her a household name. But for me, the name Jenifer Lewis was looming large in my household twenty-five years ago when I learned I had been nominated for a NAACP theater award for best actress along with Jenifer and three other actresses. I remember vividly wondering who she was when it was announced that she had won. Little did I know that in 1993, she already had an impressive number of theater credits and awards under her belt.  Little did I know that she would go on to have an illustrious film and tv career and if I had known that after auditioning for John Singleton’s film Poetic Justice, she would look at him and say, “Little boy, just give me the f***ing part, will ya?” I would have dismissed all thoughts about nabbing that NAACP award because Jenifer is a woman who is unstoppable, who is determined to win, and her page-turning memoir speaks volumes to the aforementioned.  If you’re looking for a tell-all about Hollywood—a book revealing dirty secrets a...
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  I remember the first time I even remotely let myself believe that Barack and Michelle Obama could take residence in the White House. It was when I saw a photo of them flanked by Malia and Sasha in Ebony magazine. It was a beautiful photo wherein the first family were donning winter coats, their faces lit up with hopeful smiles. Could it happen? Would it happen? Do I dare let myself believe the unthinkable? I recollected being a child and seeing the walls plastered with the presidents of the United States—all white men. Who was this black man who had the audacity to believe he could become the leader of the most powerful nation in the world? Moreover, who was that beautiful black woman standing at his side and how did she get there? I, like many others, had never heard of Barack or Michelle. It seemed like a dream, like they had appeared out of nowhere. Who are these people? Well, it’s been a decade since I came across that photo in Ebony Magazine and that unfamiliar family as we all know became the first black First Family. Over the years I’ve lear...
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 All Other Ground is the third book in award-winning author, Doris Dancy’s Redemptive Love Series and it doesn’t disappoint. Summer Carlton, the protagonist in this riveting story told in multiple POVs, is distraught because the man she’s in love with is marrying another woman. She’s so devastated that she thinks about doing the unthinkable, but fate would have it that her plans are thwarted. And instead of ending her life, she starts a new one, miles away from the home where she grew up. Summer becomes fast-friends with Jillian, a Christian woman who’s married with two children. Jillian invites Summer to her church picnic where Summer meets some interesting people, one of whom piques her curiosity. Summer, still struggling with demons from her past, tries her best to move forward with her new life, but the road is bumpy and full of missteps. However, she trudges in the hope of finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Will Summer overcome the past? Will she find everything she’s ever wanted? Those questions and Doris’s beautiful writing kept me ...
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  The first time I laid eyes on Gabrielle Union she was lighting up the screen as the character Conny Spalding in the 2001 romcom, “Two Can Play That Game.” As she strutted down the street in a blazing red thigh-high skirt suit, my mouth dropped to the popcorn littered theater floor and I shouted, “Wow, who is that?” She was breathtakingly beautiful. She wasn’t a pretty black girl. She wasn’t pretty for a black girl. She was just simply pretty, gorgeous and if anything, her brown hue accentuated her God-given good looks. Not only was she beautiful, but she had a banging body and after doing a little research, I learned she had the other B-word—brains. So needless to say, when I recently read her memoir, “We’re Going to Need More Wine,” I was surprised to learn that Gabrielle’s beautiful hue resulted in her becoming the poster child for victims of racism in the town of Pleasanton, California where she grew up. Only one of a few African-American’s in her high school, life in Pleasanton wasn’t always pleasant for Gabrielle. In her page-turning, you must r...
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  A Star is Born, starring Bradley Cooper as Jackson Maine and Lady Gaga as Ally, was a provocative and moving film. The music, acting and directing were superb, but what had the most profound effect on me was the message I came away with. It may not have been the message, first-time director Cooper had in mind, but it’s what in my humble opinion resonated throughout the film: Depression, alcoholism, and addiction are diseases that are so deleterious and overpowering that even love cannot conquer them.  With that said, if you made it through today fairly balanced without needing to take a drink, a hit, a shot or pop a pill, you need to shout for joy. It’s a blessing to be able to deal with life on life’s terms without any mind-alternating substances. Unfortunately, for Cooper’s character in A Star is Born, he was not as fortunate. It’s really a paradox, because on one hand Jackson had everything—talent, money, good-looks and then Gaga’s character Ally, a young struggling artist who loved and adored him and who in a romantic scene accepted Jackson’...
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