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Michael Ealy Golden Globe Nominated-Actor: The “Think Like a Man Too” Interview PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kam Williams   
Tuesday, 24 June 2014 00:00

For the last few years, Michael Ealy has been red-hot, jumping from TV to film and back to TV, seamlessly. He recently starred in the sci-fi television series, “Almost Human,” for which he earned an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Leading Actor in a Drama Series.

Earlier this year, he starred in the remake of "About Last Night", and prior to that on the TV series “Common Law.” He also completed impactful, multi-episode arcs on CBS’ hit series “The Good Wife,” and on the Showtime series, “Californication,” while concurrently shooting the feature adaptation of the renowned theatre production, "For Colored Girl’s Only, Who Consider Committing Suicide When The Rainbow Is Not Enough" for Tyler Perry Studios and Lions Gate Films.

Prior to that, he was handpicked by Will Smith to co-star in "Seven Pounds", and by Spike Lee to join the ensemble of "The Miracle at St. Anna". Michael Ealy’s riveting performance was lauded in this true story of four Buffalo Soldiers who risked their lives to save a young Italian boy while behind enemy lines.

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A Tête-à-Tête with the Grammy-Nominated Artist: Eric Benét PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kam Williams   
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 23:52

 

Born in Milwaukee on October 15, 1966, two-time Grammy-nominee Eric Benét is an actor, singer and songwriter whose music has been influenced by such R&B greats as Al Green, Sly Stone, Chaka Kahn and Marvin Gaye. His first professional break came back in the late Eighties while he was in a local group called Gerard.

Since then, Eric Benét has struck gold on the R&B charts and released albums like "True to Myself", "A Day in the Life" and "Love and Life". He has collaborated with a range of highly respected artists, including Something for the People; Earth, Wind, and Fire; and Wynonna Judd. As an actor, he’s enjoyed recurring roles on the TV series “For Your Love,” “Half & Half” and “Kaya.”

Here, he talks about starring opposite Erica Gluck in his new film, Trinity Goodheart, a heartwarming family drama about a strained father-daughter relationship. The movie premieres on the GMC-TV Network on Saturday, August 20th at 9 PM ET/PT (8 PM CT).

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One on One with the Notable Pediatric Neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson M.D. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kam Williams   
Wednesday, 04 June 2014 21:13

Dr.  Benjamin Solomon Carson was born in Detroit on September 18, 1951, where he and his big brother, Curtis Carson, were raised by a single-mom. Dr. Carson, who realized his childhood dream of becoming a physician, recently retired as the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital after a groundbreaking career of over 35 years.

Now a Washington Times columnist and Fox News contributor, he is also the author of numerous New York Times best-sellers, including Gifted Hands, an autobiography which was made into a feature-length film starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. More recently, he co-wrote America the Beautiful and now One Nation with his wife Candy Carson.

A former member of the President’s Council on Bioethics, Dr. Carson is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. He and his wife founded the Carson Scholars Fund, an organization dedicated to recognizing the academic achievements of deserving young people.  

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Exclusive Interview with the Notable Emmy-Nominated Actress: Tonya Williams PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Saturday, 12 April 2014 00:00

Tonya Williams was born in London, England.  Her parents are Jamaicans.  Her father is a deceased retired judge who used to serve at the Supreme Court for Saint Kitts, British Virgin Islands and most of the Leeward Islands.  Her mother is a retired registered nurse. Tonya Williams grew up in their beautiful West Indian island from the age of one until six.  During that time, she started ballet at three years old and piano when she was five.  Her parents legally separated when she was six.  Ms.  Williams moved back to England (in Birmingham) with her mother.  There she continued to study ballet and piano.  In addition, she started studying tap dancing.  At the age of 12, she settled down with her mother in Canada.  While in high school, she took a modeling course and when it ended, an agent started to represent her for fashion work and TV.  After high school, Ms.  Williams took a year off and continued to work as a model and actress.  She then auditioned and got into Toronto’s Ryerson University in the Drama program.  One of the policies of the program was that she could not continue to work in the entertainment industry.  After one year at Ryerson, Ms.  Williams booked the lead role in the play “Love and Politics”.  In order to be part of it, she left the Drama program and the rest was history.

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One on One with the Great Ballerina: Misty Copeland PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kam Williams   
Thursday, 27 March 2014 23:49

Born in Kansas City, Missouri on September 10, 1982, Misty Copeland is a soloist at the American Ballet Theatre. A recipient of the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Arts, she is also an inductee into the Boys and Girls Club Alumni Hall of Fame.

She lives in New York City and can be visited online at www.MistyCopeland.com  and followed on Twitter at @mistyonpointe. Here, she talks about her memoir, Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina.

Kam Williams: Hi Misty [Copeland], thanks for the interview. I really enjoyed your autobiography.

Misty Copeland: Thank you.

KW: What inspired you to write it at such a young age?

MC: I didn’t expect it to happen this soon, but it seemed like the right time when I was approached by Simon and Schuster, based on the way it was presented to me. It wasn’t going to be an end-all to me career, like “This is what I’ve done.” Rather, it’s more focused on how I feel about all my experiences in life and what I’ve learned from them, while I’m still in the midst of my career. So, it’s almost like I’m sharing that, inviting people into my world and bringing them along on a journey that I’m still on.     

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Exclusive Interview with the Great Authoress: Alexis Wilson PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Thursday, 16 January 2014 17:49

Alexis Wilson was born in the Netherlands. Dancing has always been part of her life.  Actually, she started doing it as soon as she learned to walk.  Her parents, renowned African-American director/choreographer Billy Wilson and Dutch prima ballerina Sonja Van Beers, were stars in Europe with The National Ballet of Holland (now called The Dutch National Ballet).  In 1960, Mr.  Wilson created the title role Othello of the highly respected choreographer Serge Lifar.  This role made Bill Wilson into an international ballet star.  Later, in the Sixties, Alexis Wilson’s parents went to the U.S. to found the Dance Theater of Boston.  Years later, after the couple divorced, Alexis Wilson moved to New York City with her brother and father. At eleven years old, Alexis Wilson started to study classical ballet seriously at The New York School of Ballet.  She became the youngest dancer, performing with their small company (The U.S. Terpsichore) in their adaptation of Giselle.  Alexis Wilson benefited from a full scholarship to pursue a professional path as a dancer. At the age of fourteen, she joined DTH (The Dance Theater of Harlem) as an apprentice dancing in the ballets The Four Temperaments, Serenade, Swan Lake and Dougla.

Later, she swiftly moved on to become a featured dancer in the Emmy Award winning television special Blues and Gone. After appearing as a dancer in the Francis Ford Coppola film, “The Cotton Club”, she earned a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) in drama from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1985.  Hereafter, she went to Europe where she was involved in concerts and dance festivals.  She came back to the U.S. in the early 90s.  She became a dancer in New York for the Essence Awards choreographed by Michael Peters (who also worked on Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Beat It, and many others).  In addition, she taught dance, was a choreographer’s assistant herself and the list goes on.  Furthermore, she wrote a full-length musical, as well as a narrative homage to her father’s contributions for PBS television.  She later made short story contributions to these books:  Before I Got Here: The Wondrous Things We Hear When We Listen to the Souls of Our Children, edited by Blair Underwood and Not in My Family: AIDS in the African-American Community, edited by Gil Robertson.  Ms.  Wilson wrote poems and her work was featured in several published collections.  More recently, she staged Rosa, danced by Joyelle Fobbs on January 26th, 2013, in Ohio at Columbus' Lincoln theatre in honor of the late Rosa Parks.  In this performance, Grammy winning chanteuse Roberta Flack superbly sang “I Told Jesus”.  Readers will be able to view the YouTube video after the end of the following interview.  

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Exclusive Interview with One of the Most Prominent American Producers/Directors/Screenwriters: KENNETH JOHNSON PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Monday, 13 January 2014 17:38

 

Kenneth Culver Johnson was born in 1942 in Arkansas (Pine Bluff (Jefferson County)) to Kenneth Culver Johnson Sr. and Helene Maye Brown Johnson. Mr. Johnson is a graduate from Carnegie Institute of Technology. He wears many hats: director, producer, author, teacher and screenwriter. Mr. Johnson’s first important work was An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe in 1972. Soon after, he wrote, produced, and/or directed one of the most popular TV series of the seventies, The Six Million Dollar Man (1973-1978), based on the novel Cyborg by Martin Caidin, The Bionic Woman (1976-1978) and The Incredible Hulk (1977-1982). Before his aforementioned popular shows of the seventies, Kenneth Johnson was successful in NY and in the East Coast as a director/producer. In 1966, he was part of The Mike Douglas Show in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as a producer, and he directed most of the film work for the show. When he was only 24 in 1967, he took Roger Ailes’ position as executive producer of the show.

It is important to consider how The Bionic Woman was ground-breaking in the seventies. Jaime Sommers, who represented the bionic woman, was strong and feminine; in other words, she was not androgynous. Sommers was also astute, forthright, self-defined and intrepid. She carried herself with class and finesse without being ostentatious. Her beliefs and actions profoundly shook the status quo regarding how women were portrayed on TV. Kenneth Johnson provided to international viewers a broader definition of what a woman could be on television.

Jaime Sommers was the high school sweetheart of Colonel and astronaut Steve Austin, the bionic man. After a skydiving accident and restructuring surgery paid by the American government, she became a top-secret agent for the Office of Scientific investigations (OSI). She could run faster than 60 mph, it is even reported that her speech reached 100 mph. She possessed the ability to bend massive steel bars, jump from really high heights, and hear sounds from a long distance. A bionic dog called Maximillion was also created, and could run at speeds of up to 90 mph. Max cared about saving lives as much as the other bionics, Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers. Emmy Award winner Lindsay Wagner portrayed Jaime Sommers.

Sommers, the most famous female secret agent, undertook many missions where she did such undercover work as a police officer, a chanteuse, a nun, a professional wrestler, and so on to fight spies, aliens, crazy scientists, etc. Sommers was not the only powerful woman in the show; it happened from time to time that she had to fight Fembots, which were female robots who had superpowers similar to the bionics.

The name "Jaime" was mainly a male name (a derivative of "James") before the television series began. It is certainly not a coincidence that in 1976 the name Jaime became one of the 100 most popular names of the year in the U.S. The female name Jamie (a variant spelling) also became highly popular at the time. So, it was a cultural phenomenon.

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One on One with the great actor Morris Chestnut PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kam Williams   
Tuesday, 12 November 2013 00:00

 

Morris Chestnut was born on New Year’s Day 1969 in Cerritos, California where he was a student-athlete in high school, en route to majoring in finance and drama at California State University. He made his big screen debut opposite Ice Cube in John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood, and subsequently enjoyed his breakout role as the groom-to-be in Malcolm Lee’s The Best Man.

The handsome heartthrob has been a much-in-demand leading man ever since, starring in hits like The Call, Think Like a Man, Identity Thief, The Brothers, Not Easily Broken, Kick Ass 2, Two Can Play That Game, Breakin’ All the Rules, The Perfect Holiday, Half Past Dead, Like Mike, Ladder 94 and The Game Plan. A dedicated family man away from work, Morris and his wife, Pam Byse, live in suburban L.A. with their son, Grant, and daughter, Paige.

Here, he talks about reprising the memorable role of Lance Sullivan in the eagerly-anticipated sequel, The Best Man Holiday.

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Exclusive Interview with the great author: Dr. Dennis Kimbro Ph.D. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Monday, 11 November 2013 17:51

Dr. Dennis Paul Kimbro was born in Jersey City. He is the son of Donald and Mary Kimbro. He went to Oklahoma University to obtain a B.A. in 1972 and a Ph.D. in Political Economy in 1984 at Northwestern University. Dr. Kimbro worked in sales and marketing from 1978 to 1987 for Smithkline Beckman Pharmaceutical Corporation. Between 1988 and 1991, he was a consultant for ABC Management Consultants, Inc. Since 1992, he has been a professor at Clark Atlanta University School of Business and Administration. He was also the director of the Center for Entrepreneurship of this institution from 1992 to 1996. This center was a subdivision of the university’s School of Business and Administration and it was established to encourage young African-Americans to start their own enterprises or small businesses. It also comprised a summer program for high school students and was funded by a million-dollar benefaction from the Dow Jones Company, publisher of the Wall Street Journal, and was the first of its kind at a historically Black college. Hence, throughout his career, Dr. Kimbro created courses and programs to show “minority”students how to start their own companies and how to make them prosper. His ideas are exposed in his 1991 ground-breaking book Think and Grow Rich: A Black Choice which was part of our top 20 in spring 2012. Dr. Kimbro co-authored this book with the late Napoleon Hill. The book is based on the principles of wealth that Napoleon Hill exposed in his classical bestseller Think and Grow Rich. USA Today reporter Rhonda Richards claimed that it was a “bible” for the would-be Black capitalist. Dr. Kimbro’s books are fascinating because he features Black Americans who succeeded against all odds. He exposes the principles of their work ethic, their beliefs in spirituality, their creativity, their stoicism, etc. Thus, Dr. Kimbro interviewed novelist Alice Walker and opera singer Leontyne Price; he spoke to publishers Earl Graves and the late John H. Johnson. He featured entrepreneurs who are as diverse as the late cosmetics manufacturer Madame C. J. Walker and cookie-maker Wally Amos. Many discussed their ambitions and achievements with Dr. Kimbro. In addition, the author included his own observations and insights about capitalising on potential, positive thinking and developing success step by step.

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH THE PROMINENT PHYSICIAN AND AUTHOR: DR. ALLEN M.D. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Monday, 04 November 2013 17:56

Dr. Allen is a multiple specialist physician born in the United States. His late parents were a urologist (father) and a registered nurse (mother). Dr. Allen grew up on a farm and shares a passion for animals. He was seriously thinking to become a veterinarian. Thus, he went to University of California and obtained a B.S. in zoology in 1982. Eventually, he switched his orientation and enrolled in medical school. He earned his medical degree in 1986 from Northwestern University-Feinberg School of Medicine, in Chicago. He subsequently did his general surgery and urology residency at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics in Iowa City, Iowa. He specialized in urologic oncology and was the awarded chief resident in 1991. Hence, he became a urologist who specialized in cancerous diseases of the urinary tract. He coordinated efforts with State Boards and Pennsylvania Health Departments in order to assure patient safety. As of 1986, he provided acute and chronic care in response to life-threatening medical emergencies, routine healthcare and patient education. He conveyed three successful practices. 

In 1998, an unfortunate accident occurred while Dr. Allen was operating on an elderly patient who had a large kidney tumor amongst other medical complications. During the removal of the patient’s kidney, Dr. Allen’s life dramatically changed in a split-second (after years of hard work) and he had a near-death experience. He got electrocuted by a cautery device used to seal off blood vessels. He suffered a traumatic brain injury (including memory loss, concussion, chronic lethargy…) and had to get the appropriate health professionals to help treat his condition. It was a very difficult road. As a patient, Dr. Allen was prescribed multiple medications (taking a total of 36 pills per day), which created side effects. He suffered many other injuries, including hand and arm nerve damage, heart damage, and post-traumatic stress disorder, to name a few. He also experienced petit mal seizures, his left arm muscles atrophied almost to the bone, etc. It took him years to recover. He needed to go through physiotherapy and psychology sessions among the many treatments.

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