All Articles Tagged "OWN"

Janet Mock Sits Down With Oprah For Super Soul Sunday

April 29th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: OWN

Bruce Jenner is not the person educating the world and giving voice to an often ignored and misunderstood community. Janet Mock, the former website editor for People turned author and activist, is sitting down with Oprah for an episode of Super Soul Sunday this weekend to talk about her own personal journey.

For those of you who may not know Mock’s story, she was living in New York City, working her dream job. She kept the truth of her past life private. Then in 2011, Mock shared her story with Marie Claire magazine. Though she later took issue with the piece, specifically the title “I Was Born A Boy,” the story opened up a world of possibilities for her.

She quickly became one of the most visible and influential trans women in the world. Today, she hosts a show on MSNBC and has written a memoir called Redefining Realness. 

During her sit down with Oprah, Mock will discuss knowing at as early as five-years-old, that she was a girl. She says:

“As a young person, you don’t have much agency or decision-making. And so you just go wherever people pick you up and take you, and say that this is the way the world is,” she says. “And something internal inside of me told me constantly that what they’re saying is wrong. And so it creates this dissonance with who can you trust if you know that inside, as a 5-year-old, that this is how you know yourself to be.”

Check out the clips from the upcoming interview in the videos below.


You can catch Mock’s interview on OWN at Sunday, May 3 at 11 am ET/PT.

Jay Williams, Man With 34 Kids, Is Coming Back To TV…With His Own Show

March 25th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Oprah and OWN are determined to dominate the ratings this year. Now that the network has pinpointed exactly what it is viewers want to see, they’re on a roll.

This September the network is sticking to the formula and reuniting with Jay Williams. For those who don’t remember, Williams is the man with 34 children by 17 different women. Iyanla sat down with him and several mothers of his children for one of her “Fix My Life” shows.

According to Variety, this time around Jay, of Atlanta, will have his own show where he will try to mend the relationships with his family, children and mothers of his children. Iyanla will be helping to guide him along the way.

While Jay certainly needs to “do the work,” to borrow a phrase from Iyanla, I do wonder if all of this fame and recognition is going to his head.

At the same time, with his track record, full of irresponsibility,  it’s doubtful that Jay would attempt to repair these relationships without the cameras around.

Which might have been what his daughter was arguing all those months ago when she said she resented Iyanla for giving her father another way to dodge his issues. 

I still don’t believe Iyanla is to blame, particularly when Jay is ultimately the only person who can hold himself accountable. But I do get the sense that he’s more interested in being seen than he is in repairing and rebuilding the relationships he’s broken.

What do you think about Jay getting his own show? Is it more hurtful than helpful?

She’s About That Life: Evelyn Lozada Announces New OWN Series, “Evelyn”

March 25th, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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 Evelyn Lozada Announces

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Last month we reported that Evelyn Lozada wasn’t interested in returning to the Basketball Wives franchise. She shared with fans via Twitter that the series was no longer a good fit for her life and that she was moving on to bigger and better things. Today we’ve learned what one of those bigger and better things is: Lozada has found a new TV home at the Oprah Winfrey Network. With the help of her family, Lozada will debut a new reality show, currently titled Evelyn.

Slated for a July premiere, Evelyn will revolve around Lozada’s balancing act of mother to a 21-year-old model/college student and 1-year-old. Viewers will also see how Lozada’s relationship with fiancé, Carl Crawford, plays out. The Wrap shared OWN’s description of the show and it reads as follows:

“Evelyn” (working title) follows the lives of Evelyn Lozada, of “Basketball Wives” fame, and her 21-year-old daughter Shaniece. Evelyn is engaged to big league baseball player Carl Crawford and the couple just welcomed their first child, Carl Leo Jr., to the family last March. Between learning to be a mom all over again, setting up a new home in Los Angeles for her and her family, running several businesses as well as dealing with issues surrounding her family back East… Evelyn has a lot going on! Not to be outdone, her daughter Shaniece’s modeling career is taking off resulting in a flood of business opportunities with no clear choice of which to pursue, leaning on her mom for advice which she (sometimes) takes. Each episode is filled with close friends and relatives in the ladies’ lives who help round out a world filled with laughter, support, encouragement and tears as we follow Shaniece carving out the new life before her and Evelyn finally feeling like she has the life she deserves.

Evelyn will be produced by Shed Media, the same media company who produced Basketball Wives on VH1.

Will you be tuning in to see how life has changed for Lozada?

Watch: Iyanla Vanzant To Speak To Karrueche Tran

March 17th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: OWN

Source: OWN

Ooo chile! TV is so delicious these days. And I can see right now that Oprah and her OWN network are determined to win the entire game. It was just two weeks ago that we learned Chris Brown fathered a child while he was dating Karrueche Tran. And right around the time she was trying to process it all, the OWN crew reached out to speak to her.

She’s not going to be sitting down with Oprah for a “Next Chapter” interview, she’s about to get a dose of realness from the one and only Auntie Iyanla Vanzant.

From the sneak peek recently posted on the network’s Facebook page, Iyanla is going to be asking some pretty hard questions.

He betrayed you 

He lied to you 

He did it all publicly

How did you find out that he had a baby by another woman?

Have you spoken to him 

And finally: What I want people to know about Chris Brown is ________?

I’m sure we could think of some adjectives to put in that blank.

Check out the preview in the video below.

 

The sit down will air on OWN Saturday March 28th at 8|7c.

We’re there!

Where Is The “Harlem” In Maya Angelou’s “Harlem Hopscotch” Music Video?

December 29th, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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So I finally watched OWN’s premiere of Dr. Maya Angelou new music video for “Harlem Hopscotch” and it got me seriously wondering to Sal, how come you ain’t got no brothers up on the wall here?”

If you haven’t seen the video, you can check it out above. In fact, I implore you to watch it first, before continuing this essay. If the name of the song and lyrics sounds familiar, the song is really a re-conceptualized version of Dr. Angelou’s 1969 poem of the same name. According to BET.com, the song is the first single from Dr. Angelou’s posthumous 13-track album called Caged Bird Songs, which was released last month. The album, which was produced by both her estate and RoccStar and Shawn Rivera (formally of the group AZ Yet), features Dr. Angelou’s vocals and poems over pop and other contemporary beats.

Rolling Stone wrote a brief article about its release in October and included a free listen of album, if you’re interested. Apparently the album was a dear project of the late poet, writer, dancer and activist. And as quoted in the Rolling Stone article, Dr. Angelou said of the importance of the album: “It’s woven into the tapestry of our lives, and we’re being serious and giving and kind about it. So obviously, it’s going somewhere. And we have to release it to go there.”

According to the BET.com article, the video, which was directed by Emmy Award-winning duo Tabitha and Napoleon Dumo and premiered on Oprah.com the Tuesday before Christmas, is said to use “dance to interpret Dr. Angelou’s inspirational poem about persevering through life’s challenges.” But in spite of its aim, it’s actually hard to see how video actually corresponds with the poem itself. For one, while it is true that some parts of the video were filmed in Harlem, New York, particularly the beginning; the rest of the video takes places in other locations far outside of the track’s namesake, like Hollywood and Los Angeles.

In fact, we would be hard pressed to see any bit of “Harlem” in this video. I mean, it is there, but sparsely and it looks a lot like the newly gentrified Harlem with the high rents and higher incomes than the one Dr. Angelou wanted us to know about in 1969. In fact, the main focus of the video is a bunch of smiling faced, happy feet celebrities, including Alfonso Ribeiro, Zendaya and one of the dance crews from So You Think You Can Dance and America’s Best Dance Crew, who dance along side of chorus line of mostly smiling White faces in the streets of Hollywood.

Now granted, I can appreciate the fact that lots of people of various colors and ethnicities also appreciated Dr. Angelou’s work. And I can also understand that the Phenomenal Woman belongs to us all. But that’s the thing: there is a difference between appreciation and straight up white-washing over the woman’s work in order to not offend some folks’ sensibilities. White folks’ sensibilities. And for that reason, I kind of have a huge problem with this music video.

For more clarity, let’s look at the poems stanzas:

One foot down, then hop! It’s hot.

Good things for the ones that’s got.

Another jump, now to the left.

Everybody for hisself.

In the air, now both feet down.

Since you black, don’t stick around.

Food is gone, the rent is due,

Curse and cry and then jump two.

All the people out of work,

Hold for three, then twist and jerk.

Cross the line, they count you out.

That’s what hopping’s all about.

Both feet flat, the game is done.

They think I lost, I think I won.

Without previous knowledge of the “Harlem Hopscotch” poem, it would be easy to conclude all sort of whimsical irrelevancy to the current “Harlem Hopscotch” song. The danceable beat and upbeat tempo of the song does help sell the theme. And in fact, the music video does a good job of playing up the whimsy angle of a game of hopscotch without any mention of the poem-now-song’s deeper meaning. To be even clearer: the poem/song is actually about poverty – Black poverty to be more exact.

A good and simple analysis of the poem comes courtesy of this blog post, which writes in part:

Harlem Hopscotch” adds a whole different meaning behind the actual game of hopscotch, being that fact that this game is being played in a community full of poverty. Usually when one plays a game, in this case hopscotch, it can almost always be associated with fun. However, in this scenario the game is to teach the children a lesson of the rough times in life, letting them know not to expect good things. Comparing poverty and struggle to a game of hopscotch emphasizes the real meaning of poverty in the sense that a game of hopscotch is looked at with complete innocence, according to Sparknotes.com. Racism is tied into the poem because of the fact that the game the children are playing takes place in an extremely poor black community, Harlem. “Since you black, don’t stick around”, line 6 from the poem, exemplifies racism because the whole point of the game is to move forward, and this line commands the question of who should move or not. There are many different ways to interpret the theme, and many different ways to state what the theme is. The overall theme that is clearly expressed is childhood poverty, struggle, wealth, work and leisure in the African American culture.”

All of which is not featured in the video.

And I get it: poverty is depressing. I mean, who really wants to watch a video of some sad-face poverty stricken Black kids, playing chalk hopscotch in the age of Playstations and iPads? Nobody. I don’t even believe Dr. Angelou intended that with the poem when it was drafted in 1969 – at likely the height of poverty in Harlem. But when the alternative is to create visuals of a multi-racial bunch of celebrities as well as random White people dancing in streets, which are not Harlem, we kind of gloss over what Dr. Angelou really wanted us to pay attention to in the poem.

And intentions matter. No one convinced us of that more than Dr. Angelou herself, who a few years before her passing, publicly denounced the Dr. Martin King Jr. Memorial for how the statue’s inscription misrepresented the civil rights leader’s words for the purpose of brevity and space. In many respects the washing over the poem and now song’s theme is guilty of that same misrepresentation.

Unlike what the description for the video would have you believe, this was not an inspirational poem “about persevering through life’s challenges,” but rather this was an inspirational poem about Black people preserving through poverty and racism. And as good stewards of Dr. Angelou’s legacy, intention as well as the issue of Black poverty and racism in general, we should not allow those themes to be written out of the narrative.

Evening Eye Candy: “The Haves And The Have Nots” Hunk, Tyler Lepley

December 12th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Ladies, if you don’t already know him, meet “The Haves and the Have Nots” actor, Tyler Lepley. He plays Benny Young on the hit OWN show, and before he was a hit on-screen and with the ladies, the Philly-born cutie moved to Los Angeles and paid the bills by doing personal training. After auditioning for and nabbing a role in an independent feature, his first film role, Lepley caught the acting bug. He took some classes and eventually was cast in small roles in movies like Baggage Claim, and is now doing big things on Tyler Perry’s hit show, “The Haves and the Have Nots” alongside Tika Sumpter (he plays her half-brother). He’s a talented actor on the rise, and did we mention that he’s easy on the eyes? Check out this week’s evening eye candy and we think you’ll agree with us! 

“I Never Really Got A Chance To Tell My Side” Trans Woman Riding With Teddy Pendergrass Speaks Out

October 23rd, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Trans Woman Riding With Teddy Pendergrass Speaks Out

Source: OWN

Even today, there are a lot of theories surrounding Teddy Pendergrass’ car accident. All we really know was that the singer was riding with a transgender woman and was subsequently paralyzed from the accident.

Sadly, folks got very hung up on questioning Teddy’s sexuality and no one really took the time to find out what happened with these two.

So it’s very interesting that the people at OWN, tracked down Tenika Watson, the woman who was riding with Pendergrass the day his life changed forever, told OWN’s cameras, “I never really got a chance to tell my side of things and it was important to me. Very important to me.”

How they met

I met Teddy in the seventies. I was coming down the street where I lived at. It was close to the studio where he recorded. He called me over to his car and it was a Rolls Royce. I thought he was a pimp because I wasn’t really used to people really having Rolls Royces. So that was the first time and I ran from him. 

Watson, a former prostitute, told OWN that she was working as a nightclub entertainer and model when she saw Teddy again at a popular club in Philadelphia.

I went over and spoke to him and said hi. And I said I just wanted to speak to you. He said ‘Ok.’ And I said ‘I’m leaving because I have to get up early tomorrow.’ And he said ‘I’m getting ready to leave too. Would you like a ride home.’ So I said sure. So we proceeded to go to his car and drove away and that’s when the accident happened. 

The accident and the aftermath 

First the car started speeding up really fast. And I was wondering is he driving fast. But he wasn’t. It was out of control. And I noticed he was struggling with the wheel and all of a sudden I heard this great big bang. Next thing I know the press was there and I got into the ambulance with him and I helped him as much as I could. 

I had contusions from the impact and I had a chipped tooth, which is nothing compared to him. 

I didn’t find out Teddy was paralyzed until it got in the paper. I tried to reach out to him right after the accident. I went to the hospital where he was and there was a woman there. And she said, ‘You’re not going to see him before his son does.’ And she caused this big scene and I just left. 

Interesting.

The story, as I’ve heard it, always made it seem like Pendergrass and this woman were in a full fledged relationship. But in reality, they were just meeting.

What do you make of Watson’s story? Is it different from the way you’ve heard it? You can watch the full clip in the video below.

“I’m Talking No Money In The Account Bad” Flex Alexander Details Financial Struggles In New Flex And Shanice Trailer

October 22nd, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Earlier this year, we told you that Flex and Shanice were getting a new reality show on OWN. And now that the time is nearing for the show to premiere, we’re getting more and more information about what we can expect from the series. The network recently released an extended trailer. In it, we see Flex and Shanice dealing with their unorthodox family structure. Having all of those people (at least 4 extended family members) living in the crib can be a strain. The family argues about which relatives are bringing money into the household and which ones are kind of freeloading.

In addition, the couple opens up about their financial struggles and getting back into their prospective fields. Shanice is back in the studio, sounding stronger than I remember. And  Flex is back on stage performing as a stand up comedian.

We all know the funniest stories are the true ones. So it only makes sense that Flex is using his recent filing of bankruptcy as material. Check out a few excerpts from his set and then watch the full video below.

“Me and wifey, we went through it y’all. We was ballin’, making 1.5, 1.7 million a year, just balling and then just [makes car screech noise] boom! Somebody cut the lights out! 

I’m going to tell you what’s really embarrassing? Filing bankruptcy. The funny thing is me and wifey go down there and wifey she’s like ‘I don’t want to do this…’ I’m like ‘baby, we gotta do it. Donald Trump did it 12 times.’ Went in there and we’re like ‘Lord please don’t see no Black people because they’re going to know who we are!'” 

You can watch the end of the bit in the video below. Forgot how funny that Flex Alexander is. Take a look in the video below.

The show “Flex and Shanice” will air on OWN starting Saturday, November 1 at 10/9c.

Also on the next page there’s this adorable video of Flex and Shanice talking about how they’ve managed to keep their marriage going strong after 14 years and Shanice talking about Flex being her Snicker.

“Who Holds Him Accountable?” Amina Mosley, Eldest Child Of Jay Williams, Writes Open Letter To Iyanla

October 13th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Eldest Child Of Jay Williams Writes Open Letter To Iyanla

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We’ve talked extensively about Jay Williams and his large family on this site. We’ve talked about his parents, the women who had his children and even the other men who seem to be following in his footsteps. And while Iyanla said she dealt so heavily with the mothers because she knew they were raising the children, aside from that meeting with Jay on the couch, we didn’t hear too much from them.

Well, all of that changed recently when Jay’s oldest child, daughter Amina Mosley, wrote an open letter to Iyanla, sarcastically thanking her for fixing her father. In it, she explains that instead of being held accountable for his actions, Jay got to walk away from the experience a bit of a superstar, without dealing with the broken relationships with his children.

See what she had to say.

I joined my siblings on the couch as we sat across from you, and then my father entered the room.  In that particular moment, it felt like seeing a ghost. I hadn’t had any contact with my Father in over a year, and I was not at all pleased to be in presence. I just could not seem to wrap my head around my father knowing exactly how to reach me and where to find me all of this time but was only willing to talk when there was a camera around. Needless to say, my guard was up, and I did not believe that anything positive could come from this show. I began to worry about my siblings feelings, my family’s reputation, and I even questioned how I could receive any healing with my Father from that conversation. I left Atlanta feeling frustrated. All of the feelings about my Father that I had long since suppressed had resurfaced, and I did not want to deal with them, so I didn’t. I tucked my feelings away as I had so effortlessly done before, out of site out of mind. That is until the first show aired.

It was as if I was listening to someone else’s story, about a family that I didn’t even know. I could not believe that this man has 34 children! I could not believe that all of these women just let him get away with this! Why didn’t he just get a vasectomy? How did he get to this point? Furthermore, How can this be “fixed”? So just like any other viewer, I tuned into the next episode, and the next, and the next.  I was able to see how what he created actually looked from another perspective, and was left with one question: Who holds him accountable?

So here’s what I learned from this process; It was never about highlighting the extraordinary circumstances of my family, it was about healing and finding your inner peace.  This has tested my ability to compartmentalize the feelings that I have toward my father, so that I don’t allow his mistakes to mold my decisions.  I also have to be cautious as not to project my feelings onto others. I am not just the eldest of 34. Who I am and what I feel as an individual does matter.  His absence in my life is not a detriment.  In fact, it has actually made me stronger, and serves a greater purpose. I know that things may not ever be perfect between my father and I. I am also aware that the time has passed for him to be a Dad, but I felt that this experience would at the least open up  dialogue between us, possibly even maybe one day developing a friendship. So, with that thought in mind, before I left Atlanta I took a picture with my Grandfather and my Dad just so that I could have some inspiration to hold on to.

When I look at that photo, I see a young woman standing in between two of the most important men in her life. She is happy because she knows that the man to her right loves her, provides for her, protects her and she trusts him. She knows that when she calls he will answer, and that he will always put her first. She is his first child, Daddy’s little girl And he always has her best interest at heart.

She also knows that this is not real. This photo represents a “fantasy” of the Father that she never had. The reality is that this is the first photo she has ever taken with the two of these men together at the same time.

“I Had To Learn To Stop Dating Little Boys” Vivica Fox Talks Love Life And Missing Motherhood With Oprah

October 10th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: OWN

Source: OWN

This Sunday, Vivica Fox will sit down with Oprah for her “Where Are They Now” episode. Vivica’s a charismatic lady so you know she and Oprah gelled well together. Plus, Oprah’s able to ask questions most of us can’t get away with. Anyway, during their sit-down she asked Vivica did she ever regret the fact that she didn’t become a mother and her answer was very candid and a bit sad, actually. See what she had to say.

Oprah:  Do you ever miss being a mother?
Vivica:  Of course.
Oprah:  Really?
Vivica:  If that’s the biggest regret of my life that I have was that I didn’t have a child but I’m a good godmother.
Oprah:  Really?
Vivica:  Oh yeah, I bring the best gifts and throw the best parties. If that’s the one thing that I have a regret about, that would be that I didn’t have a child.
Oprah:  Really?
Vivica:  Yes.
Oprah:  I didn’t expect that answer.
Vivica:  Yeah, that’s the only thing. I’ll never forget seeing Halle on the red carpet and she’d just had Nahla. And I said, “Wow she so beautiful.”  She said, “Vivica if I knew then what I know now I would’ve had 5 of them.” And she said the joy I see in her eyes is just like no other high that I’ve ever experienced so I don’t get to see my eyes in a child.

Wow. It’s so beautiful but also really unfortunate for Vivica, considering it seems like it was clearly something she wanted for her life.

But on a lighter, much more hilarious note, Oprah asked her one of her staple questions: what do you know now that you wish you knew then. I would think Vivica would speak about something in her career. Instead, the conversation veered off into her love life and how she used to get completely distracted by a six pack and a smile.

Oprah: What do you know now, that you wish you had known then that could have saved you so much time?
Vivica: Just to have a little bit more patience. Not to basically fall in love so quick. I have a tendency– I would jump into the shallow end of the pool head first. Now I’m a little bit more cautious with getting to know people, especially for my love life.
Oprah: So what are you now looking for that you weren’t then?
Vivica: Gosh, a man more than anything else. I had to learn to stop dating little boys. I had to learn to stop falling in love with a six pack and a smile, honey. It used to just be the curse for your girl. I did honey. if a six pack and smile came my way, I was just the worse.

I can’t help but think of at least a couple of men she’s referencing. *Calls 50 Cent and Vivica’s former fiancé Omar “Slimm” White to mind.* I know she’s happy to be out of that phase…

You can watch these clips from the interview in the videos on the next page.