Category Archives: Event Reviews

They Don’t Want Us To Be Woke

Let’s start with this, so that we’re clear from the onset.

I am a survivor of rape and domestic violence. I am also both woke and aware that sometimes women lie about being victimized by men. Therefore, what I’m about to state isn’t based on my biased emotions because of what I’ve survived. I don’t hate men and I know how to be objective.

If you are a person of color, and you don’t go to see Birth of a Nation, you’re playing yourself and robbing our children of an important moment in American History that is not sugar-coated or watered down.

A jury of his peers found Nate Parker not guilty of raping a woman, whom he had a relationship with, when he was a young, black man (without millions of dollars in the bank) on a sports scholarship in college. Now, as a grown man, Nate Parker is being vilified for that same crime because he successfully made a movie that could have a positive impact on our legacy and the minds of people in this country.

This is not a “I slipped something in her drink/I gave women drugs regularly” situation by any means. Nate Parker has spoken about this incident and never changed his stand on his innocence. Recently he was interviewed by Robin Roberts about the incident. After the interview, The Grio published an article about said interview with a very misleading title in an effort to (obviously) gain readers’ attention.  During the interview with Robin Roberts, Parker was expected to apologize for the rape controversy that recently reemerged and exploded due to the spotlight put onto Birth of a Nation. In my experience as a rape victim, a woman, and a citizen, innocent people, who are proven innocent by a jury, don’t often apologize for a crime they didn’t commit, if they didn’t commit the crime. It is my opinion that mainstream media is attempting to hang Parker with his past, in hopes that no one will go see the movie.

The reality is this: the biggest demographic of movie goers is women. With an estimated annual buying power of $5 trillion dollars, women rule in many areas of importance, regardless of what you may assume.  Therefore, if women are led to believe that Nate Parker committed the crime of rape, even though a jury found him innocent, women will sympathize with the alleged victim, if they too have been violated, or empathize, even if they haven’t, and thereby boycott Birth of a Nation instead of supporting it. Someone somewhere is hoping that on this opening box office weekend, that will be their victory.

Ask yourself this one question if you think I’m blowing smoke:

If Parker were in fact guilty of the crime of rape, why bring it to the forefront after he’s already starred in several movies, along with the likes of Denzel Washington?

I’ll tell you why. Birth of a Nation isn’t just going to be in movie theaters across the country or the world. There’s an educational curriculum developed around the film to put it into school districts as well. If our next generation isn’t led to believe that slaves were happy being enslaved and are instead taught the truth about what slavery was, introduced to more stories about how slavery impacted the country the live in, they are more likely to have a higher sense of self, civic responsibility and concern about civil rights as it relates to themselves and other people of color. 

The rape case that ended with a not guilty verdict is being used as a distraction. If Nate Parker was a White man, putting out this same movie, the crime he WASN’T found guilty of committing, wouldn’t be a topic of any conversation at all…. anywhere. I urge you to make a decision to educate yourself about a pivotal figure in African-American history instead of allowing yourself to be influenced by the spin being put on Nate Parker’s past. If you were in his shoes, that is what you’d want.

They don’t want us to be woke. So we need to stay woke.

Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight
Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight

Keep Calm…I’m Still Here

It has been a few weeks since I posted. However, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been hard at work for The Company, The Woman, The Brand. I even did something I haven’t done in two years. I went on vacation. No, I don’t mean a stay-cation at the Fortress of Peace of Mind, or a weekend trip. I mean a real, authentic vacation, to another state, for more than three consecutive days. I attended this year’s Essence Festival in New Orleans and although I traveled to the Big Easy for the first time solo (no girlfriends, no boyfriend, no pets, no Super Son), I’m so very glad that I did. This was a trip to refocus and reiterate my purpose, and I was blessed to be around people and hear people speak, that helped me to accomplish that. Not to mention the music performances were STELLAR and before you ask, YES Mrs. Carter (aka Beyoncé) put on a fantastic show.

I also did some networking. Some of this networking I did will hopefully have long-term benefits result from it. I have a ton of video to edit so it can be posted on the Official Super Woman YouTube Channel to share will all of you, from the panel discussions at the Empowerment Experiences and a live performance from Marsha Ambrosius, to Steve Harvey hosting Family Feud. I ate shrimp and crawfish etouffee, chick and sausage jambalaya, turtle soup, fried oysters, crab cakes, conch, and the best peach cobbler I’ve ever had in my entire life, and my family hails from the South. The peach cobbler was so good in fact, it deserved its own Instagram post.

I have grown fond of sharing my experiences and my life lessons with others on a very transparent level, so on July 18, 2013 at 8:30 pm (eastern) I’m going to do something for my Super Fans. I’m hosting a live Google+ Hangout aptly called #AskSuperWoman, so that nine Super Fans can ask me questions which I will answer during the Hangout. The questions can really be about anything, and I have already agreed to answer the questions honestly and frankly. However, it’s best that the questions pertain to something that I know. In advance, let me say that I don’t know anything about physics, I can’t solve world hunger and I’m not giving anyone a loan. But any questions that may be relevant about business, my company, relationships, sex, friendship, entertainment, writing, getting a book published and many other topics that I have some knowledge of, are welcomed.

Participation is very easy. All you have to do is think of something to ask me, go to any page of the Super Woman Productions and Publishing website and click the button on the right side that says Ask Super Woman. An email will open in your browser, and you can type your question, then send it. I’ll receive your question and then invite you to the Google+ Hangout on July 18, 2013 at 8:30 pm (eastern). One (or some) of the nine people selected for the Hangout, will also receive a prize from me for their participation. It’s that easy.

There’s only one catch.

You have to be at least 18 years old.

And there’s another catch.

You have to submit your question by July 14 to be selected and accept the  #AskSuperWoman Google+ Hangout invitation you receive.

That’s it.

You don’t have to pay anything.

You don’t have to sell anything.

I don’t need you to sign any agreements or give me your oldest child. 

 

Then on July 18, 2013, at 8:30 pm (eastern), we are going to have some fun, grown folks conversation via Google+ Hangout. If you don’t accept the Hangout invitation and join the Hangout at 8:30 pm (eastern), you will not be eligible for a prize. So, get your question thought out and send it in to #AskSuperWoman by July 14 and I’ll tell you what you want to know.

~Smooches!  

Keep Calm I'm Still Here
Keep Calm
I’m Still Here

Not Your Average Joe

This weekend I watched the Pistons beat Charlotte during a preseason game at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Afterwards I rode back into the city and headed to 1917 American Bistro on Livernois for a performance by Joe Poré.

“Exceptional” was what one patron of the restaurant said as she listened to him sing. She hadn’t come to hear him sing, but his voice caught her attention as she waited for her carry out order. She asked me who he was and I handed her the ticket that was in my hand. I believe in giving visuals to people and allowing them to read information for themselves.

For those who are not familiar with Joe Poré, you now have an opportunity to do exactly that – become familiar. I will say this much. He’s not your Average Joe. His voice is amazing and consistent. Not everyone can do Stevie Wonder justice, but Joe Poré can. He acknowledged Stevie as one of his musical influences during the intimate performance held for those in attendance. I don’t know if Stevie has ever had the pleasure of hearing Joe sing, but I’m sure Joe would make him very proud. As songs by Alexander O’Neil and Brian McKnight flowed fluidly from Joe Poré’s vocal cords, I couldn’t help but sing along. His voice is almost hypnotic. No one noticed if I was singing off-key or not because they weren’t there for me. And all of the attention in the room was focused on Joe Poré.

I will say this much, Joe Poré needs to brag more. Not about who he’s worked with, produced or written for, but about who he is and the talent that he possesses. He’s extremely talented. He should definitely be headlining a major venue like the Fox Theater. Don’t take my word for it. Go to iTunes, and download his single “Far Away” and listen for yourself. And ladies, it doesn’t hurt that he is also absolutely gorgeous.

Joe Poré will be a guest on The FabLife Radio Show on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 7 pm eastern so mark you calendars.

Follow him on Twitter @JoePore

Detroit: Urban Feel, Small Town Appeal, Big Possibilities

This weekend I was given the privilege of attending The Fuller Woman Expo at the St. Regis Hotel. I’ve always wanted to attend this expo in the past, but was unable to due to conflicts in my schedule. This year, I was allowed to cover the event for this blog and for my Entertainment and Lifestyle Report on The Blaqe Rocket Blast. On Saturday, in a sizable banquet room at the St. Regis Hotel, vendors, entrepreneurs and attendees gathered to hear workshops, panel discussions, ask questions, network with each other, buy from each other, listen to the phenomenal comedienne and actress, Kim Coles and see a fashion show.

Vendors who were present include Von Stiff Clothing, Endless Chic, SoZo-eme (who makes a delicious smelling shea butter based body scrub), Steffie Kakes (her six flavor sock it to me cake is sinful), Tricia’s Simple Treasures, Queen Grace Collection, Pheline, Gi”Amour Women’s Accessories and I’m Pretty 2 Cutting Edge Jewelry.  Model Allison McGevna provided attendees with tips on how to safely and professionally navigate the modeling industry. She discussed the kinds of modeling jobs available, including fit modeling, print and editorial modeling, and e-commerce modeling. She informed the ladies in the audience to make sure that they are aspire to model for the right reasons and not to attain self validation because the industry will “chew you up, spit you out and run you over“. Allison emphasized that it’s important to refrain from sending pictures of yourself in sexy (or sexually explicit) poses to agencies if you want to become a clothing model. Sexy pictures won’t get you the modeling jobs with Macy’s, Target or other clients in that market. Allison’s body of work is extensive, including modeling for Apple Bottom and Baby Phat. She even discussed wearing clothes that make you look good regardless of your size or shape.

The “body positive” event included a discussion panel moderated by The Fuller Woman Expo’s Executive Producer, Cassy Jones-McBryde, featuring Lorna Litz Baez (Curvy Girls Nuvo TV/plus size model), Stephanie Penn, (Daily Venus Diva Magazine), Georgia Greenwood, Creator/Canadian Director of The Fuller Woman Expo and Marina Zelner, President and CEO of Queen Grace Collection.

I also had the pleasure of being a special invited guest for the Detroit CEO Magazine Launch Event, Saturday evening at the Roberts Riverwalk Hotel. Let me preface this by saying, I didn’t know what being a special invited guest would entail. Remember, I’m new to being a “celebrity“, so I still hear people say things about me and I look around the room and wonder who they are talking about. I’m extremely excited about the possibilities that Lacretia L. Rogers is bringing to our city with her magazine.

Now you may be thinking, “Super Woman, we already have a bunch of magazines in the city of Detroit, so what makes her’s different/special/better/worthwhile?” Let me say this: there are a lot of magazines here, Ambassador Magazine, Crain’s Detroit Business, Uptown Detroit and others. However, one thing that erks me about these other magazines is that they primarily feature individuals based solely on their name recognition or net worth. Yes, I said it. If you’re not rich, already on the cover of everyone else’s magazines, in politics or sports, you may never make it into those magazines. They often overlook people doing something tremendous simply because they have yet to hear of them.

Not to offend anyone, but several of our local magazines are simply popularity contests in print format. They miss the mark when it comes to introducing their readers to something or someone new, right in their own city. But there are thousands of people who deserve to be mentioned. You can almost take the city of Detroit map, throw a dart and hit an area occupied by someone doing something spectacular anywhere on it. I believe that Detroit CEO Magazine will be the mechanism for more business owners and operators to become familiar with each other and for the public to become familiar with them as well.

Detroit is a city where many people know each other but at the same time, don’t know as many people as they should. We are tremendously blessed to have a lot of talented individuals, entrepreneurs, businessmen and businesswomen in Detroit. We need events like The Fuller Woman Expo to continue to be successful so that we can all become more exposed to them. We need Detroit CEO Magazine to highlight the individuals that we may not have heard about so that we can bring our economy back into the black by supporting their businesses. I truly believe that if you don’t take a step outside your door to meet others, you will miss someone truly worth meeting.

I’m thankful for all the publications that have included little ol’ me inside their pages (Rolling Out Magazine, Front Page Detroit, Who’s Who In Black Detroit), even though I haven’t been nominated for an Emmy yet. When I reach that point in my life, they get first dibs on writing about me again. In the meantime, I will continue to strive to give them something positive to write about.

I encourage you as readers, members of society, women of color and every other demographic that you fit, to become more familiar with Detroit, its people, its businesses and what it has to offer. If you don’t reside in Detroit, please come visit us. Don’t believe everything you see on the news or read in the papers. Come and find out for yourself what we have to offer and make an informed decision based on your experience, not based on the fears that the media perpetuates.

Detroit is the birthplace of soul music, fashion and automobiles. That is our history and our legacy. There are many people here doing the right thing to continue moving that legacy forward in a positive way. Lend them your support and our city will make the resurgence that it is capable of.

Detroit Sparkles

It’s not everyday that I can say that I’m extremely proud of Detroiters. However, I am able to say it more often lately. I attended the Sparkle Red Carpet Premiere Party at Emagine Theaters in Royal Oak on August 16, 2012. Thanks to Detroit’s own Bill H. McKinney and Kern Brantley, their Sparkle Team and many enthusiastic supporters, the event turned out fabulously. I enjoyed the live performances by the band from the movie, the Whitney Houston tribute and the opportunity to be in a room full of diverse and talented individuals. Elijah Connor sang [and I do mean SANG] and I was blessed to have a few moments of his time for an interview.

The energy in the room was all positive. People truly enjoyed themselves. As I sang along to Whitney Houston’s hits and songs from the movie, Sparkle as sung by the Sparkle-ettes, I was truly proud of us. I was proud of Bill McKinney, Kern Brantley, and Paula Clark for a phenomenal premiere event, worthy of my Mark England dress.

I also met the founding members of POI Entertainment (Power of Integrity) at the Dipson West River Theatre  for their Sparkle event, where I had the opportunity to interview them live on The Blaqe Rocket Blast Radio Show and find out more about their amazing business enterprise. Power of Integrity is truly a trailblazer and I commend them for their think outside the box, do something different mindset when it comes to business.

Sparkle is a fabulous film, full of good music (courtesy of R. Kelly), well choreographed stage performances (courtesy of Fatima Robinson) with powerhouses in writing, directing and producing behind it including Mara Brock Akil (“Girlfriends“, “The Game“, “Single Ladies“) her husband and partner, Salim Akil, Debra Martin Chase, T.D. Jakes and Whitney Houston, who made her last, and very grand, appearance on the big screen. There were small variations from the original film, but that’s due to creative liberties and those changes didn’t alter the overall film in a negative way. I won’t write a spoiler, so I encourage you to see the film for yourself. And no, Sparkle is not a chick flick. It’s a good movie that happens to have a female lead character, which the movie is titled after. It’s a movie that everyone can relate to or knows someone who can. Plus if you’re from Detroit, you should go see it simply because it gives us the positive light that we deserve. The film was well cast from the stars, to the Frank Lloyd Wright house, and the old school Cadillacs. Even the costume styling was something to be proud of.

We looked good.

Detroit looked good.

This past few days proves one thing if nothing else. We can do better. We can revive our city.

Detroit sparkles, if we give it the positive energy to do so.

View my videos for both events here: Official Super Woman YouTube Channel

A (Motion) Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Why Do Men Cheat? That’s not a rhetorical question nor is it one being posed to start a debate, so please don’t email me all of your answers or opinions♥. Why Do Men Cheat?  is a movie. Yes, I said a movie. The movie is written, directed by, produced by and starring Detroiters and guests stars Alex Thomas, Sandy “Pepa” Denton, Cherie Johnson, Bobo Lamb, and Damon Williams. The writers of the movie are Ken Baker, Jr., Tamekia Dobbs, Lauren Johnson and the movie is based upon some of the life experiences of the Executive Producer, Delano Glass. I attended the movie premiere and I was very impressed. I’m not easily impressed.

Before you call the movie man-bashing, don’t judge a movie by its title. The movie delves not only into the excuses men give for cheating, it shows the enabling behaviors of the women, the consequences of their actions and even shows what positive outcomes are available for men who decide not to cheat to remedy their relationship issues. The movie is funny when it needs to be, heartfelt when it needs to be, and relatable no matter what side of the debate you sit on. It’s a story that you may say you’ve already heard, or think you know, but maybe you really don’t. Maybe you’re too biased, depending on your opinion to look at a different viewpoint. After all, every man who cheats has an excuse that he thinks validates his actions, and every woman who knows her man is cheating has an excuse for enabling him. But I digress.

The film stars the very talented and very handsome Wynn SardenWhy Do Men Cheat? is Wynn’s first starring role in a feature-length film [I’m going on record by saying that Wynn Sarden may very well follow the path of his favorite actor (and mine), Mr. Denzel Washington, if he continues to study his craft and take advantage of the blessings and opportunities coming in his direction. Wynn also has a role in Sparkle being released on August 17, 2012]. The first time I saw Wynn was on an in store poster for my stylist Mark England. I didn’t know he was an actor until recently and I didn’t know he was good at it until I saw Why Do Men Cheat? Again, I’m not easily impressed, and I was impressed. Without giving away the movie, Wynn stars as a professional athlete who is faced with the outcomes of his behaviors and the decisions he makes with regard to his relationships with women [a brief interview I conducted with Wynn follows this review]. There are two additional stories included in the movie and you need to pay atttention or you’ll miss something very clever.

Whether you are a man or a woman, single or married, there is something in this movie that might hit home for you. It may not cause all the cheaters of the world to have a come to Jesus moment… but then again, anything is possible. Before you assume that the movie premiere took place in a theater full of angry women with pitchforks and torches, let me dispel that thought. The theater was full… of women and men… a lot of men. Therefore, if you were a single woman, this would have been a good place to go. A single woman in the audience could pay attention to the reactions of the single men during the movie, therefore assessing those who are guilty of similar behaviors, those who have gotten all of the fuckery out of their systems and learned to do better, or those who don’t cheat because they just know it’s not worth it to do so. The only men who could be angry about this movie are those same men who are mad at Steve Harvey for Think Like A Man; the men who don’t want women to know what they do because they have something to hide. If you’re not the cheating type, you won’t be offended by the film. Also, how can you be offended by something you haven’t even seen yet?

There were also some come to Jesus moments for women in the film. Why Do Men Cheat? depicted some of the behaviors that women are guilty of that contribute to men cheating as well; the groupie behavior, the starved for attention behavior, the I want him for myself behavior and other destructive acts that women commit. After all, the men who cheat, need a woman to cheat with. So for every guilty man, there is a woman who was wrong too. More often than not, she knows it or finds out later, but goes along for the ride anyway. Regardless of the excuses that men use, and whether you agree with them or not, Why Do Men Cheat? was an excellent film and I’m looking forward to seeing Why Do Women Cheat?

 

View the video of my interview with

the movie’s star, Wynn Sarden by clicking here