All Articles Tagged "web series"

“An African City” New Webseries Explores Love & Life For Modern African Women

March 18th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: AnAfricanCity.tv

With a new web series hitting the internet every other day, it can be hard to decipher what’s actually worth your time. But that’s why we’re here. I don’t spend nearly enough time watching web series but when I find one that’s good, particularly one that caters to black women, I have to share.

Enter: “An African City.”

The series, created by Ghanaian Nicole Amarteifio, follows five beautiful and successful African women who’ve all decided to return to their home continent and confide in each other about love and life.

Much like her characters Amarteifio studied in the United States and had a successful career when she returned to her native Ghana. She found that the dynamics between men and women to be intriguing and started writing about it. Eventually her musings turned into screenplays and now the web series. Amarteifio hopes the series provides a few laughs for women across the continent and uplifts them.

On the show’s website,  Amartefio explains that she was tired of seeing African women depicted as poor and dire. Instead, she wanted her show to portray these women as intelligent, modern and classy. And because of that we now have “An African City”

The series, which debuted on March 2, boasts a cast of five women with rich personalities. There’s the religious one, the one who is all about her business, the central character who is trying to navigate her love life and the divorcee who returns to the continent without a job.

These women are played by actresses MaameYaa Boafo, Esosa E, Maame Adjei, Nana Mensah, and Marie Humbert.

In the first episode, Nana Yaa, the main character, played by MaameYaa Boafo, returns to her native Ghana for “big government contracts” and because it’s her home. At least that’s what she tells her friends. At the episode’s end we discover it might actually be something entirely different.

But I don’t want to give too much away.

Get into the first episode, “The Return”  in the video below.

If you like it, you can watch the rest of the episodes from the first season here or the first three on YouTube. 

What do you think about this web series? Will you watch?

One-Time Stockbroker Ebony J. Lewis Broke Out From Finance To Write A Web Soap

May 24th, 2013 - By Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond
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Ebony Jasmin LewisBronx, NY-native Ebony Jasmin Lewis left a lucrative career path in finance to write, direct and star in the Web series she created, “Truth Unspoken.” She says of her former profession, her heart was never really in it.

“I actually stumbled into finance,” says the Pace University graduate. “I decided to apply for an internship at Citigroup in the Margins and Derivatives Operations.  I didn’t think I was going to get it, but I did.” Two years later, Lewis says, she was hired as a stockbroker.

“They paid me to study and take the Series 7 [exam that would qualify me to trade stocks],” she explains, “but it was not for me. I decided to change careers before I was in too deep.”  Interested in addressing the lack of diversity in film, she began assisting on movie projects and took a stab at writing and shooting her own script.

We asked Lewis how she went from fledgling writer/director to helming a cast that includes America’s Next Top Model alum Keenyah Hill, Tobias Truvillion (Blue Bloods, One Life to Live, Brooklyn’s Finest) and Liris Crosse (The Best Man, Baby Boy) — and securing a distribution deal with Maverick Entertainment Group. Come Tuesday June 11, “Truth Unspoken” is coming to a Wal-Mart, Blockbuster, REDBOX, On Demand, and Pay Per View near you.

MadameNoire: What inspired you to write and direct “Truth Unspoken?”

Ebony Jasmin Lewis: I really feel like there were not enough films out there that show real life cultural diversity. I also wanted to write a film that would have people on the edge of their seats wanting more. I wanted to show that I can really write a great script.  But when I did start writing the script, I had absolutely no idea that it would be received so well.

MN: You left a lucrative career path in finance to pursue your passion to write and direct. What was the hardest thing about making that transition?

EL: The hardest thing was learning how to budget myself. Although I changed careers, my bills did not change… I am so happy Black Enterprise magazine is sponsoring my launch party because I learned a lot about my finances by reading that magazine as well. The other hardest thing for me was losing some friends and family who didn’t believe in my dream.

Does Keke Know About This? ‘R&B Diva’s’ Husband Gets Spin-off Webseries

April 29th, 2013 - By Brande Victorian
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If we said the name Michael Ford to you, you probably wouldn’t know who we were talking about. But if we asked if you remember the man who was glued to Keke Wyatt’s hip during the entire first season of “R&B Divas” last year because the singer was afraid he would cheat, you’d know exactly who we were referring to. Interestingly, it seems Keke may have loosened her grip just a tad this second season because her husband — and manager — Michael Ford has been given a spin-off webseries on TVOne’s website: “The World According to Michael.”

Confused? Here’s a little explanation from the news release:

Often misunderstood and usually the target of many jokes, Michael Ford became last season’s “unofficial diva” due to his 24/7 attachment to his beloved wife Keke – and he wouldn’t have it any other way.  In The World According to Michael, Michael sheds light on his hectic yet joyful life with Keke and their six children, giving viewers an exclusive look into their beautiful Atlanta home….

Each of the webisodes will feature Michael in his day-to-day duties as he switches between his roles as dad, husband, manager and business owner. From making breakfast for his kids and rousing his less-than-early-riser wife, to squeezing in tee times on the golf course and interviewing interns for his expanding entertainment company, Michael is finally getting his moment to shine.

We’re sure shine is exactly what he’s looking for as it’s become common place for the husbands of several of reality TV’s most well-known women to become just as popular and well-known as their wives. I’m just surprised Keke said yes to this. We are talking about the same woman who said her husband couldn’t even go golfing because he might stumble upon some other woman to creep with. It will definitely be interesting to see just how much she’s involved with his thing — and if she’s loosened that cray cray grip up just enough to let the main breathe.

Like “R&B Divas,” “The World According to Michael” will air every Wednesday on tvone.tv. Check out a sneak peek of the first webisode up top. What do you think?

Gentlemen Uncensored: What Is Good Sex?

March 31st, 2013 - By Madame Noire
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It’s a broad question, we know, but it’s also one of the most asked  – and a question whose answer usually differs greatly between men and women. Check out what the men say is good sex to them and find out if they’re on point with what they think is good sex to a woman.

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Andrea Lewis Teams Up With Issa Rae To Launch “Black Actress” Web Series

March 28th, 2013 - By Sakita Holley
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Andrea Lewis Actress

Andrea Lewis

Andrea Lewis, an actress and singer, best known for her role as Hazel Aden on Degrassi: The Next Generation, has teamed up with “Awkward Black Girls’” Issa Rae to create a new web series called “Black Actress” that will premiere this summer.

No stranger to digital production, Lewis has spent the last few years growing the viewership for her current Web variety show “Those Girls are Wild (TGAW)” with friend Shannon T. Boodram to more than 60,000 subscribers and 7 million views.

But she insists that while this show will have a comedic arc similar to what you’ve seen on TGAW, it will also touch on some of the very real scenarios that women of color go through in Hollywood. And with the success of Kerry Washington’s historic role as the lead in Scandal, the reignited conversation about the lack of roles available to black women in television and film provides the perfect backdrop for a show like Black Actress.

I recently caught up with Andrea Lewis to learn more about the show, her new partnership with Issa Rae, and their crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.

MadameNoire (MN): You’ve achieved a good amount of success as an actress. So what made you decide to launch a production company and create this new series with Issa Rae? Why not just wait for your agent to call with your next big break? 

Andrea Lewis (AL): So far, I’ve had a great career and I’m very grateful. And technically I have been waiting for my agent to call with my “big break” my whole life. But I figured that if I can take control of my career instead of waiting for the gatekeepers to [pick me] or give me permission than that’s what I’m going to do.

I’ve always wanted my own production company and look up to women such as Reese Witherspoon and Drew Barrymore who’ve gone down a [similar path]. So starting my own [production company] was a no brainer for me at this point in my life, and teaming up with Issa just made sense because she read one script and saw a scene that was already shot was completely [on board with the idea].

I think she’s hilarious and we definitely get each other’s humor and quirkiness.

MN: So what is “Black Actress?”

AL: “Black Actress” is a “mockumentary” Web series about the struggles of pursuing an unconventional career and making your dreams a reality even if it hurts. The series follows the journey of Kori Bailey, the lead character, played by myself, and features interviews with actual well-known black actresses.

MN: Can you name some of the actresses who will make a cameo on the show?

AL: Yes! The show will feature interviews from actresses such as Tatyana Ali, Keke Palmer, Kim Coles, Tracee Ellis Ross and many more.

[Click through for a short clip...]

Gentlemen Uncensored: Sex And Patriarchy, Part 1

March 24th, 2013 - By Madame Noire
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In episode 1 of Gentlemen Uncensored, it seemed marriage may not be in the cards for all of the fellas, but one thing they are all down for is sex. The question is what are their expectations of women — and themselves — in the bedroom, and how much of what they claim they need is based on true desires or simply what they’ve been taught to want. Check out part 1 of the discussion.

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Meet Gentlemen Uncensored DJ CEO: ‘As A Man, It Is My Duty To Comfort My Woman’

March 14th, 2013 - By Madame Noire
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Jarell Greene/DJ CEO (@djceo) has become synonymous with style and grace fostering a unique and unforgettable musical experience second to none on the New York party scene. His other interests include anything sports related and collecting gaming systems. The thing that attracted him to his girlfriend was her intelligence, sense of humor, fashion sense and her love of music.

DJ CEO

Just like any other man I have many flaws. What I find interesting about flaws though is, depending on the context, they aren’t considered flaws. For instance, common sense isn’t normally a flaw, but when it comes to love it can be. Nothing about love is ordinary. In fact all of it is extraordinary. There lies my flaw. I apply common sense to everything and that depicts me as a cold emotionless man, which in all honesty isn’t true.

Maybe it’s because I’m an Aquarius or maybe it’s something learned from my dad who raised me. I’m a problem solver. If I’m not happy or something isn’t right I don’t cry about it, I figure out a way to fix it. The initial response for most women is an emotional one. They cry or yell and then want what has gotten them to this state of disarray fixed. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Both. But as a man, it is my duty to comfort my woman to let her know it’s going to work out and we are in this together and sometimes that means I have to be emotional.

Both men and women should know one important thing. Just because someone is a good man/woman, it doesn’t mean they are good for you. I think woman, far more than men, are quick to settle with a good man than a man is to settle with a good woman. I know I’m picky for a few reasons: 1) I have far more options to choose from. 2) I’m not easy to be with. 3) At my age, marriage is always in the question and forever is a mighty long time. Like that new Volkswagon commercial says “Choose Your Passengers Wisely”. In my experience, women have been far more focused on the idea of a relationship/marriage than picking the right traveling partner for them. That turns me off because then I don’t feel like it’s about me or us, it’s about the sentence.

Allow me to venture into a field of study I didn’t do to well in at school, math. When you create a mathematical sentence, for example 7 + x ­= 10, only one number — x– can give you that desired result. But if your mathematical sentence looks like this. n + x = 17.5, your variable can be anything to get to that result. Most folks would like to believe they follow the first example but I would stand to say most people, including myself,  follow the latter, especially women.

I’m a man who was raised by a man and woman together but learned how to be a man from a man. I know what my role and responsibilities are, but this isn’t the ’60s; it’s 2013. I want to be able to take care of my woman; however, I don’t want to have to take care of her due to her own comfort in being taken care of. I need a woman that can take care of herself and us if need be. If I get extremely ill, I need to know my woman can hold us down financially, spiritually, and emotionally. However, the best case scenario would be she’ll never have to take care of us because I will be doing it, not because I have to, but because I want to. I’m a man and I want to be a man to my woman — a protector, provider, and lover. The only time I want to be a super hero is when you need saving, not want saving. We’re partners, let’s fly together!

–CEO

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Meet Carlos Walton: ‘Women Have An Extremely Hard Time Falling Back And Letting Men Resume Their Rightful Place’

March 13th, 2013 - By Madame Noire
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Carlos Walton is a former math teacher, dean, and interim principal for NYC’s Department Of Education. He holds degrees from Hampton University and Cambridge College.  For 12 years, he has served as Executive Director of APEX’s Manhood Training & College Prep Initiative, placing hundreds of youngsters in HBCUs. He enjoys speaking, community organizing, martial arts and spending time with his daughter, Selah.

Carlos Walton

Second Time Around

I never want to say the words “I am divorced”.  As happy, grateful, and blessed as I am to be divorced, it just doesn’t have a very attractive ring to it, especially to women.  It’s a blemish on my character and speaks to failure.  For this reason, and so many more, I oftentimes don’t put it out there.  To be honest, I stay so far away from that ugly time of my life that I sometimes forget that I’m a divorcee.  Out of sight, out of mind.

Without making a conscious decision to do so, it has become an excellent coping mechanism.  Being a man who lives by the principle of “constant elevation” and putting in the work to be better and do better, there’s so many other aspects of my life I’d rather highlight. However, once exploring a relationship, that divorced status inevitably becomes a conversation.  Although I take full responsibility for the demise of that relationship, from accepting a premature proposal to changing the locks on my door, who really wants to disclose times of poor decision making?  Especially in regard to something as serious and relevant as marriage.  Nevertheless, a divorced man and single father is who I am, and my head does not bow, in fact, my Soldier spirit won’t allow it.

As I get to know women now, I don’t disregard their family background.  I listen keenly to the stories and experiences that shaped their character.  I look to see the kind of people they keep close and how those people respond to them.  Show me your friends and I’ll show you who you are. I can still here my sweet granny’s words, like it was yesterday.  There’s a lot to be said about forgotten wisdom.  Although still plagued by societal ignorance, I had to sift through guidance like, “don’t bring nothing too black back here, ain’t nothing too black, too good” and “remember the four F’s…Find them, Fool them, F*** them and Forget them. There’s still some pearls that we’ve received that we forget to apply and appreciate.  I’ve learned to be patient, and more importantly, quite attentive in my process of getting to know women.

I work in youth development and work very long hours so I tend to only meet women in my field; really beautiful, intelligent and quality women at that, some of whom have gone to Ivy League schools, as well as run schools and programs of their own.  Women extremely accomplished in their pursuits, and who look extremely good on paper, but when you get into a relationship with them, there seems to be a reoccurring challenge: the fight for leadership.  Like the last woman I dated, she was a leader like myself, and often gave a brother props for being a powerful leader,  but when it came down to it, something inside of her would just not let go.  There always had to be a struggle, a confrontation, almost a battle for me to be who I was in the relationship, without her feeling some kind of way about me exerting the powerful leadership that she herself praised me to have.  To be clear, and clarity is my favorite word, I’m not talking about ego stroking or chest pounding, I’m speaking to an innate distrust, coupled with a feet planted mentality rooted in dysfunctional wisdom and nonproductive guidance.  In my opinion, this stems from the horrific ordeal of slavery and the unaddressed rippling effects that have infected our communities and relationships ever since.

It makes me think back to when I was at Cambridge College pursuing my master’s degree and took a class called “A Black Women’s Notebook.”  Being one of three men in a class packed to capacity, it was a learning, and extremely insightful, experience.  The course focused on women’s roles in society and how history has affected what we see in modern relationships.  Three  Black female PhDs taught the class, and one particular professor spoke about the backlash of Black women having been forced to step beyond their roles because a man wasn’t there.  She introduced to us the idea of nature versus nurture, which is the idea that who we naturally are can be altered by conditioning.  According to her, and I totally agree, women have had to be bread-winners, disciplinarians, protectors and basically head of households all over America, but especially in the Black community; which is the pool in which I fish…feel me?  This has trickled into the minds of young girls who watched mommy “hold everything down”  Once becoming women themselves, and thinking this responsibility is theirs too to secure, there begins the recycling of the “I don’t need no man” attitude, which significantly minimizing the role, power and impact of the man in the home and in the relationship.  Today, that same woman, who men like me often date, has an extremely difficult time falling back and allowing their men to resume his rightful place as, dare I say it, king.

I need a sister ready to put the work in to address, heal and re-educate ourselves.  Someone who is honest, and willing to identify the areas that need work, and address them; whether it be within me, or herself.  I am constantly working on me and I want a woman who has a similar approach to personal growth and development.  A woman who challenges the status quo and limiting ideas handed down to us from society.  A woman who believes that men and women are not the same, and is okay with that; not to appease me but because it’s true.  I believe in being a provider and a protector. I believe that our nature and physiological makeup are earmarks to how God wants us to be in this world.  Unfortunately, some may let their emotions supersede logic and perceive what I’m saying as sexist or chauvinistic, but the truth of the matter is, I’m just a real chivalrous type of brother, with a strong respect for culture and value, who absolutely loves Black women.  I raise the bar high not just for the one I’m with, but for myself first and foremost.  Isn’t that what we’re all supposed to do?  Just imagine, what a thriving people we can once again be, if we would live by the principle of constant elevation.

– Carlos

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Meet Ainsley Burrows: ‘I Don’t Think I Can Be Monogamous With One Woman, But I Also Expect She Can’t Either’

March 12th, 2013 - By Madame Noire
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Ainsley Burrows (@ainsleyburrows) is a highly respected poet, entrepreneur and creator of The Sweet Spot, a touring erot1c poetry production. He is also the Founder Of Burrows Ink, a multi-media spoken word company, specializing in publishing, recording, event production and consultation. He has won poetry awards all over the world and is the three-time recipient of the Farrago London Poetry Award for best international performer. Ainsley has released multiple critically acclaimed books and albums.

Ainsley Burrows

She Wants It Too 

Doing the work that I do, I’ve had to re-dream everything I know about sex, women,  and relationships. Growing up, I saw sexist propaganda all around me. Jamaican culture, like most cultures, is very chauvinistic. It’s handed down through generations. What I learned from the men in my family was taught to them by their elders. When I came to America, these same notions were reiterated. Studying history in school, I saw how women women were not allowed to vote, or even to work outside the home. Moreover, when I watched TV, went to the movies, looked at print ads, or even hung out in my neighborhood, I saw everywhere how women were not treated as equals. All this affected my perspective of women. How could it not?
Fast forward to me dating and being in relationships, and I carried those same notions with me. I saw my partners through that chauvinistic lens. They couldn’t do what I did, because I was a man. Things started to change when I began writing and going to poetry slams. Many female artists recited pieces that totally challenged these notions that I inherited. My paradigm was shifted. I started thinking differently and questioned these beliefs that I had been given.  In order to change how I communicated  and related to women, I had to even go a step further  and transform the foundation of how I saw women all over. I had to transform everything.Anyone that knows me will tell you that I am always challenging the different ideas that we as men have about women. For instance, one idea that irks me the most is how we see women’s sexuality. I produce sensual art poetry events around the country and as I listen to dozens of female performers, I have slowly come to realize, that women think about sex just as much as men. The world we live in, however, makes it uncomfortable for a woman to fully embrace her sexual freedoms by attaching so many caveats to a woman’s sexuality. Sure she can think about sex as much as men do, but she has to be married, and she can only think about sex with her husband. I argue with my male friends about this all the time.  Even though many of them don’t want to admit it, women love sex. Maybe even more than us. The sad truth is this restraining order around women and their sexuality only exists so we as men, can feel secure in our own sexuality and sexual abilities.Today, as I date different women, I have to remember this. I realized that in all fairness, I have to treat the woman, the way I want to be treated. In all areas. For instance, I don’t think I can be monogamous with one woman, but I would also expect that she can’t either. And I’m okay with that. She isn’t any less desirable. I wouldn’t consider her to be loose. She desires sex just as much we do, and there is nothing wrong with that. She wants what I want. We are made of the same stuff. We are equals.

-Ainsley

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Gentlemen Uncensored: Meet Anthony ‘TMor’ Morris

March 11th, 2013 - By Madame Noire
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Anthony Morris (@tmizy), affectionately known as Tmor, is a multi-talented father of two, who, by day, is a Corcoran VP, considered by his clientele to be a total resource for all their real estate needs, and by night, a burgeoning, stand-up comedian. His hobbies are watching movies, reading, and cooking. He says what attracted him to his wife was her intelligence, healthy self esteem, and sense of humor. This is his relationship story.

 

The rules of communication as a married man

Anthony Morris
To listen closely without interrupting and reply well is the highest perfection we are able to attain in the art of conversation.” – Francois de la Rochefoucauld

As the older married guy in the crew, I seem to always be the voice of reason or the one younger couples come to for advice. At first it felt uncomfortable because I’m no expert and I’m still trying to figure out my own sh**. But After 16 years of being happily married, I guess I have learned a thing or two about staying together and making it work. One of the most profound things that I’ve discovered over the years is the nuances and degrees in this thing called communication. When we say  “communication is the key,” we aren’t saying enough. We need to be waaaay more specific. You can communicate all day, but if you or the other person are not listening then where does that get you? No where!

If you have ever talked to someone and felt that they were completely present and connected with you, then you know how good that feels. On the other hand, have you ever been talking to someone and felt like they kept cutting you off or they were distracted? Sucks don’t it? It’s even worse if you are being vulnerable with the person. I know I am guilty of half-listening and I’ve been the victim as well. That’s why I know for sure that way too often we aren’t really listening to our partner. We’re just waiting for our turn to speak. I’ve done it. I’ve experienced it. I wanted to win the argument, solve the problem, or protect my ego, and in every instance my relationship has been stunted.

Another aspect of powerful communication that I have learned over the years is “how” we communicate. My wife and I have a rule: no name calling and no yelling. On occasion, we’ve broken one or both of those rules. But, we’ve set a boundary and when either of those instances occurs, we know it’s time to take a break and cool off. It’s like the car veered onto the shoulder and hit the warning track, time to slow down and get back into the right lane.

The biggest challenge I’ve faced in communicating powerfully with my wife is the fact that we have different native languages. I speak dude. She speaks chick. I don’t know how we made it through the early years of our marriage. Neither one of us could understand a word the other person was saying. She’d say, “Do you mind picking your clothes up off the floor?” and I’d hear “Get your clothes off the floor, with yo lazy A**.” “What are you tryin’ to say,” was a common refrain.

My wife and I had to develop a third language; one that honors the ways we communicate, while creating new ways of communicating together. We put more structure in place: no yelling, no name calling, no interrupting. But, we also instituted additional “best practices,” if you will: re-stating what we heard in our own words to make sure we understood what was said and validating what we’ve heard before responding.  Validation is key. Validation tells you your emotions are real and true without vilifying the one you love.

Marriage, like any other relationship, is all about communication. Communication is all about listening, setting boundaries developing your own native tongue specific to your union, and of course it goes without saying, keep loving each other.

-Tmor

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