WGN America Hosted “UNDERGROUND” Panel & Party with the Blackhouse Foundation at Sundance #PassionateSpot
UPDATE: 1/11/16: Lifetime has dropped a full trailer for its next Original Movie, “Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart” (it looks like the title has been changed to “Toni Braxton: The Movie”) starring newcomer Lex Scott Davis (“The Exes”), which will premiere on Saturday, January 23 at 8pm ET/PT. Check it out below, followed by all the previous updates on the film, including a bunch of stills:
About the Show
From The Bottom Up
From The Bottom Up is a six-episode docu-series following the journey of five women striving to change their lives, rebuild their families and live their dreams after falling from grace.
Last night in Atlanta was amazing as some of the city’s elite came out to support the ladies of From the Bottom Up. What I appreciated most about the ladies and the concept of the show is facing their past head on. Of course TV is for entertainment purposes but not many programs that feature African American women have positive programming. These ladies made their mistakes, they also did their time, and now they are allowing America to learn through them. I had the pleasure of working with cast mate Kimberly Smedley and will also have a guest featured spot on the show, and the experience itself was humbling. It took a lot for these ladies to even produce the content from late hours, allowing themselves to be vulnerable, and being candidly honest to a camera where millions will judge them.
I for one can not wait to see the show and support these ladies. And you all should too. Tune into Centric TV, Saturday January 16 at 10p EST
Myleik Teele, CEO of CurlBox, Will Serve As The Keynote Speaker At the “Ladies of Business” Conference in Atlanta, GA #PassionateSpot
Teyonah Parris Stars in TV One’s Original Movie on Life of Miki Howard, Directed Christine Swanson #PassionateSpot
The Miki Howard Story (Working Title)
Teyonah Parris stars in the upcoming TV One Original Movie “The Miki Howard Story” (working title), which is being directed by Christine Swanson. Parris plays the R&B/Jazz singer and actress who enjoyed mainstream success in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with a string of top 10 hits including “Come Share My Love,” “Baby, Be Mine,” “Love Under New Management,” “Ain’t Nobody Like You” and others.
The film, which is produced by Carl Craig and Eric Tomosunas and Rob Robinson of Swirl Films, will cover 30+ years of Howard’s life, both professional and personal trials and triumphs, including her relationships with the men, like Gerald LeVert, who played instrumental roles in her life.
Joining Parris in front of the camera is Darius McCrary as Gerald Levert, Gary Dourdan as Augie Johnson, LisaRaye is Sylvia Rhone, Amari Cheatom as Eddie Phelps and Vanessa Bell Calloway as Josephine Howard.
Swanson is directing from a script written by Rhonda Baraka, which is based on a yet to be released biography by Miki Howard.
“I first met Miki Howard when I was hired to direct the film. As I approached the rewrite for the film, I spent over 50 hours with Miki to get a sense of her and her story,” said Swanson, who’s an NAACP Image Award nominee this year in the Outstanding Directing – Motion Picture (Television) category for a 2015 TV One telepic, “For the Love of Ruth.”
She adds about telling Howard’s story on film, “I knew then that what we were embarking upon was going to be epic in terms of storytelling, nuance and passion. Like myself, Miki Howard is a passionate individual who has a love for life. [Her] music was the backdrop to my youth and now I get to translate her story on screen. What a privilege. We hit it off right away and I knew my whole life was in preparation to tell this story at this time. We are both passionate artists, caring mothers, strong women and perhaps both a little crazy in all the right and some wrong ways!”
Production is currently wrapping up in Savannah, GA as post-production begins, with a June 2016 premiere on TV One eyed.
Vince Harper is the ideal husband; he showers his wife, Rozalla with love, commitment, and protection, qualities every woman wants from her man.
Heather Ramos is Rozalla’s deceitful, conniving friend. She worms her way into Rozalla’s life with less than honorable intentions. Heather quickly convinces Rozalla that Vince is not only a poor provider; she coerces Rozalla into believing he’s no longer manly enough to fulfill her desires. Heather’s overpowering influence causes Rozalla to belittle and berate Vince, telling him she’s no longer satisfied with the life that they’ve built. Rejecting his valiant efforts to please her, she yells a heartbreaking response. Rozalla awakens the next morning to find that her caustic wish has indeed come true, and she is face-to-face with the opportunity to live the life she thought she wanted.
Harrison Payne is sexy, tempting, and seems to possess all the qualities Rozalla has been longing for. His passion, persistence, and generosity make him the perfect man to fill the newly opened position in her heart. Maybe even a little too perfect. In this dramatic and sexy novel, you’ll instantly become engrossed in a tale of greed, love, and lust. They say be careful what you ask for. Find out what happens when Rozalla determines that the grass really isn’t greener on the other side.
The fallout from Heather’s little outburst was far worse than Rozalla could’ve ever imagined. The room fell so quiet that you could hear a mouse piss on a carpet. Unfortunately, it didn’t last very long. Lisa jumped to her feet like she was ready to do battle.
“Ms. Amanda, did you know about this date?”
“Take a seat Lisa and we’ll all talk it out,” Amanda pled.
“No ma’am, I won’t be sitting. I just want to know if you knew about this date and if you encouraged it?”
“I found out about the date earlier yesterday. Once it was brought to light and I was unable to get your mother to reconsider, I came over and helped her prepare for it.”
“Lisa, sit down,” Carmen encouraged as she tugged at her baby sister’s arm.
Snatching her arm from Carmen’s grip, Lisa began to spit venom at the two remaining women. “So, let me see if I’ve got this right. You talked my poor, grieving mother into going out on a date with some stranger and she was ignorant, or desperate enough to do it. Which is it, Mama, were you stupid, desperate, or do you just not give a damn about Daddy and the fact that he just died? I mean, damn, do you really think that six months is a respectable amount of time to mourn the man that dedicated his life to you? Or are you so much of a slut that you can’t wait to get back out there and get laid? Is that funky, old twat of yours that hungry for attention?”
“What the hell is wrong with you, Lisa? How dare you talk to Mama like that, you disrespectful little brat,” Carmen hissed.
“Little girl, you have no idea what I’ve been through, what I’m still going through. And for you to talk to me, your mother, like that… Get out!” Rozalla pushed herself up from her seat. “Get out of my house, Lisa, now!” Rozalla pushed her daughter’s shoulders with more force than she realized she had. “Get out now, you hear me? Get out!”
Despite Lisa’s objections and rants about the house belonging to her father, Rozalla continued to yell and physically push her out backwards until Lisa’s back was against the front door.
“You think your daddy was the only one that dedicated himself to this marriage, to this family? What do you think I was doing all those years? Who cooked and cleaned behind you kids and your father? Who listened to him at night as he talked about all the stresses of his day? Who comforted him when his parents died? Who solely supported this family financially after the accident that rendered him disabled for nine months? Who stayed up late nights helping with homework and tending to the sick? It was me, Lisa, me! And don’t forget that it’s been my paycheck paying your tuition. Now it’s my turn to live, without having the responsibility of all y’all on my damn back. And until you are ready to apologize, realize I’m a grown ass woman, and treat me with the respect that I deserve, don’t come back to my house.”
“Screw you and your house,” Lisa spat as she stormed out the door. Rozalla turned around to see three stunned faces staring back at her.
“I love you so much, Mama, but I never realized that your loving and supporting us was such an uncomfortable weight on your back. I promise that I will not impose my weight upon you any longer,” Carmen sniffed as she picked up her bags and left.
“Wait a minute, Carmen, I didn’t mean it like that. Please don’t leave, I didn’t mean it like that,” Rozalla begged, but her pleas fell on deaf ears. Carmen pulled off without looking back.
Rozalla closed the door and slid down to the floor. Her hands covered her eyes as she sobbed like a baby. She wondered what she’d done so wrong that would make Lisa treat her with such disrespect. Furthermore, how could she in turn make her kids feel as if they’d been an unwanted responsibility? She was hurt and angry at the entire situation, but still felt deep down that this was her time to live. Was that really so wrong?
“Come on, Roz, get up and let’s go back into the kitchen. I’ll fix some coffee and we can talk it all out,” Amanda said as she helped her best friend to her feet.
As Rozalla sat at the table trying to collect herself, she thought of all that had just transpired and wondered how it all could’ve been avoided.
“Amanda, why did you have to say that you tried to convince me not to go through with the date? Why couldn’t you just defend me and my choice to go out?”
“That’s what I was wondering,” added Heather.
Amanda looked at Heather as if she wanted to knock her out of her chair. Pointing at her, Amanda commented, “You don’t want to start with me.” She then turned her attention to Rozalla. “Don’t you think the bigger question is why did this chick announce your date to everyone in the first place?”
“How was she supposed to know that Lisa would over-react?”
“Isn’t she supposed to be your friend? I assumed that y’all would have talked about how your daughters might feel about the whole dating thing. And then there’s the common sense factor. Wouldn’t common sense tell her to clear that conversation with you first?”
“Wait a damn minute,” Heather interjected. “I know you’re not calling me stupid.”
“I didn’t, but if the shoe fits, feel free to put it on your big foot.’
“You better watch your mouth before this big foot finds its way up your tight ass.”
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