TV One Presents 30th Anniversary “A Different World” 14-Hour Marathon TODAY!!!

Hello World,

After today, we have to wait two more days til the Season Finale of   OWN’s “Greenleaf,”  but there are other opportunities for enthralling television entertainment until then! As a matter of fact, TV One will celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the premiere of “A Different World,” one of my FAVORITE shows of ALL TIME, with a 14-hour marathon on the same date the series launched, today, Sunday, September 24 at 10 a.m. ET. The marathon will begin with the pilot episode, which still reigns as the highest rated television pilot in history, garnering 38.9 million viewers. So after I get home from church,  I will be watching!

“A Different World” premiered on NBC on September 24, 1987 as a spin-off of The Cosby Show. The series originally centered on free-spirited, rebellious Huxtable daughter, Denise (Lisa Bonet), as she attended her parent’s alma mater, Hillman College. During season one, Denise struggles through college and meets memorable friends along the way, including Maggie (Marisa Tomei), Jalessa (Dawnn Lewis), Dwayne (Kadeem Hardison), and Whitley (Jasmine Guy). Seasons two through six capture the essence of being young, black and educated in America by tackling political, ethical, racial, emotional and social issues far before the media was ready to address them.

“TV One is excited to celebrate the 30th anniversary of ‘A Different World,’ a truly iconic television show which displayed the black college experience in a way that touched and inspired generations of students to pursue a higher education,” says Dexter Cole, TV One SVP of Program Scheduling & Acquisitions. “After three decades, many of the show’s themes and messages of friendship, coming of age, responsibility and perseverance still ring true. We hope fans will join us as we take a moment to look back with fondness on this American television treasure.”

The marathon celebrating the fictional HBCU will run from 10 a.m. ET to 1 a.m. ET and will feature a selection of the most popular episodes, in chronological order, containing memorable moments from each season of the series.Interstitials from cast and crew captured recently reflecting on their experiences with the series will also be featured during the marathon. The pilot episode will be presented as a special “Pop Up Edition” filled with show trivia at 10 a.m. ET and again at 8:30 p.m. ET to commemorate the same time the pilot premiered 30 years ago.

On TVOne.tv and the network social platforms, fans can celebrate all week with daily editorial breaking down the most iconic moments, a video countdown of the top 5 moments of all time, and a ‘Where Are They Now?” photo gallery to catch up with your favorite characters. For more information about A Different World on TV One, visit the network’s companion website at www.tvone.tv. TV One viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on TwitterInstagram and Facebook (@tvonetv) using the hash tag #ADifferentWorld.

Check out TV One’s “A Different World” 30th Anniversary Promo Video Below!

Any thoughts?

Remembering the Life of My Friend & Soror Sherry “Elle” Richardson…

Hello World,

If you hadn’t noticed, I took a brief hiatus from blogging. About three weeks ago, just before Memorial Day, my husband and I took a quick road trip to Tampa, Florida for his birthday so all of my extraneous energy was directed to that impromptu endeavor. And then the day after we returned, Memorial Day, I learned that a dear friend suddenly passed away. So it’s been difficult to collect my thoughts, much less write them or anything else down.

But here I am, back at a blank page, ready to reveal the ruminations I’ve had since my friend and soror Sherry “Elle” Richardson passed away, two weeks ago today, on her birthday.

This is how I looked when we first met. Yes, I was a geek at first 🙂

I met Sherry in 1992. I was a freshman at the University of Georgia in Athens, and she was a transfer student and sophomore. I met her along with another girl whom she had befriended before they met me. The three of us were fast friends, initially bonding over our desire to not be there at all. LOL! The three of us didn’t want to attend a white school, plain and simple. All devotees of “A Different World,” we were hungry to experience a historically black college or university, an HBCU, for ourselves. We wanted the funky marching band, the opportunity to meet our own Dwayne Wayne, Shazza Zulu or Julian Day (dependent on your taste in men), the endearing yet tough tutelage of black professors and the adventures that unfolded in dormitories teeming with people who looked like you but were from everywhere. Instead we were the minority, one of a few black faces at a school where we expected to learn but we couldn’t guarantee much else. But over time, we grew to love our historically white university and all that went with being a Georgia Bulldog in Athens at that time.

If college was a trip and it was, then Sherry was my travel agent. We had so many adventures together! A sheltered preacher’s daughter, I longed to party a la Ariel in “Footloose,” and Sherry was the perfect partner in partying. We practiced dancing in the mirror before we could “shake what your mama gave ya” in parties at Memorial Hall, where most on-campus parties were held! And if we felt like it, we ventured to Atlanta and partied in clubs all over town too. Our belief was it we weren’t dripping sweat when we left a party then we hadn’t partied.

But Sherry wasn’t all about partying though. We both wanted to establish ourselves as leaders on that colossal campus. One of the ways that we concocted to do so was to pledge a sorority. We noticed that most of the black women who seemed to be leaders were members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, plus they won all of the step shows and looked good doing so. Since she was a year ahead of me, Sherry was ready to pledge, but as a freshman, I wasn’t quite ready or qualified. Sherry decided that one of the ways that she could get the attention of the Deltas was to take part in the Miss Black University of Georgia pageant, which was sponsored by the sorority. Not only did she take part, she won the competition! I’m sure you can guess what happened after that. And when I was ready to pledge the following year, 1995, she successfully advocated for me to become a member of our illustrious sorority.

Partying in Atlanta after we graduated from college…I got better with time fortunately…

After she graduated in 1995 and I graduated in 1996, we kept in touch. In fact, I introduced her to many of childhood friends who promptly loved her as much as I did. In fact, some of these friends hung out with her without me at times. One of our first adventures as brand new adults was a girls trip we took to Jamaica in 1997. It was such a heady experience to travel with your girls on your own dime! The four of us belted out our rendition of TLC’s “Creep” over and over and over again at a karaoke spot one night. I remember shutting down a “hole in the wall” club another night. One day, we watched a brave friend jump from the cliff at Rick’s Cafe in Negril. We called the trip the “Girl Dems Sugar,” a song by Beenie Man that we heard repeatedly wherever we went on the island. And since Sherry was a film producer by profession, she filmed our adventures in a beautiful video that I have to figure out a way to see now since no one has a VCR anymore.

On the Metro in D.C. on Inauguration Day (don’t ask me why I have on pink and green?!)

Speaking of a VCR, fast forward years later, in 2009, several of us caravanned from Atlanta to Washington, D.C. to see the inauguration of President Obama. It was amazing that Sherry, one of my first friends at an institution where I feared I would be lost as a minority, and I witnessed the inauguration of the first black president of this country together. We bought thermal underwear, hand warmers and more to brave the bone-chilling temperatures on the mall that memorable day and shed it all to stun at the Southern Ball that night.

At the Southern Ball, one of several balls that President Obama and First Lady Obama stopped by…

And then in September 2012, we were back in Jamaica again as one of our friends, a childhood friend who now claimed Sherry as one of her besties, was getting married on the island. We were roommates, and it was a wonderful opportunity to catch up in a way that is sometimes hard to do as adults with jobs and other responsibilities. As we were there for a wedding, we discussed what love and marriage meant for us and pondered what that would look like for us as women nearing 40 years old.

At my book release party in 2012…

That next year, 2013, I helped Sherry celebrate her 40th birthday at a Hawaiian luau-themed party she had a her home. A month later, she came to my Southern tea-themed bridal shower followed by my wedding in August of that same year. As college students who lived down the hall from another one another, we saw each other every day. Naturally, as single women staking our claim in our chosen professions following college graduation, we didn’t see each other every day anymore. But we saw each other pretty regularly when our extended group of girls got together to explore the city from brunches, Memorial Day picnics, sisterhood retreats (which she created) at various homes and destinations, the “Sex and the City” movie premiere and more.

But I must admit, when I got married, I cocooned myself in newlywed bonding and didn’t avail myself to random hanging as much as I once did. I noticed the same pattern among friends who had gotten married before I did so I realized it was normal although not always advisable for maintaining friendships. When I heard the news of Sherry’s passing, I realized it had been quite some time since I had seen my friend…I only hope that Sherry knew how much I treasured my friendship with her over the years although recent life events dictated my time.

At a friend’s bridal shower…

Although I am a committed Christian, I cannot pretend that I have an inkling as to why God chose to call my friend away from this earthly realm. Since her homegoing, as I’ve walked throughout my house or driven somewhere, found myself saying, “Imagine Sherry is no longer here?” As I’ve gotten older, I’ve experienced the passing of friends, family members and church family, but it doesn’t make it easier or predictable. These experiences only emphasize that life is truly a transitory state. We should savor all that this life, though temporal, has to offer, but most importantly, we have to be saved or become a Christian to go to Heaven, which lasts for eternity.

So that’s all I have except to say I will miss and love her forever. And I thank God I knew her…

Rest well Sherry…Save a seat for me in eternity…

Any thoughts?

 

Bossed Up: 100 Truths to Becoming Your Own Boss God’s Way – NEW BOOK ALERT!!!

Hello World,

I have yet to visit Canada, but it is definitely one of my list of countries to visit in the not-so-distant future! But in the mean time, in between time, I’m taking us to Canada today via my interview with Tamar Huggins, a Canadian-based and award-winning serial entrepreneur who has been featured exclusively in media outlets around the world including Black Entertainment Television, Canadian Living, and The Huffington Post! Tamar is also the author of “Bossed Up: 100 Truths to Becoming Your Own Boss God’s Way,” which is available TODAY! Check out my interview with Tamar about “Bossed Up.”

1. Why did you decide to write Bossed Up: 100 Truths to Becoming Your Own Boss God’s Way?”

Seven years ago, my spiritual mother prophesied to me that God wanted me to write a book about business to help other women achieve success. I wrote Bossed Up” as a guide for entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs alike – to help them navigate the challenges and successes they would encounter on their journey.

2. Your book incorporates biblical stories and how they relate to modern day entrepreneurship. What is your favorite biblical story in your book and how does it relate to modern day entrepreneurship?

In the God chapter, I referenced 2 Kings 3 – the story of King Jehoshaphat and his army digging ditches in the desert. As they marched for seven days to get to Moab, they became tired and thirsty. King Jehoshaphat went to the Prophet Elisha to ask for guidance. The Lord spoke and said ‘Make this valley full of ditches.’ For thus says the Lord: ‘You shall not see wind, nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you, your cattle, and your animals may drink. And this is a simple matter in the sight of the Lord; He will also deliver the Moabites into your hand.’

As entrepreneurs, we must prepare ourselves to receive God’s blessings before they arrive, even if the blessing doesn’t make sense to us. In the case of 2 Kings 3, it didn’t make sense for the men to see rain in the desert – but it’s what they needed – and it was easy for God to do. If you ask God to increase your finances, for example, you need to take the necessary steps to prepare yourself to receive the blessing, otherwise you may risk losing your opportunity. 

3. Your book addresses business challenges that entrepreneurs may face such as family time management. How do you address this challenge in your book and in your own life?

In the Balance chapter, I provide several references for work-life balance. My favorite is Boss Truth #85 – Prioritize Your Family. 1 Timothy 5:8 tells us that if we don’t provide for our families, we are worse than an unbeliever. Our #1 ministry as entrepreneurs isn’t our business – it’s our families. It is with that mindset that I prioritize spending time and pouring into my husband and my daughter because at the end of the day, I am building my legacy for them. I tell myself I am not an ER doctor, I am an entrepreneur, so I can afford to take time away from work to be with my family. 

4. Tell me about the writing process for Bossed Up.” How long did it take for you to write the book? Was it easy or difficult to write the book? Did you learn anything from writing the book?

God planted the seed to write Bossed Up” within me 7 years ago, but it only took me 9 months to complete the manuscript in 2016. Spiritually, I grew a lot and my perseverance definitely increased. I truly experienced how creative the Holy Spirit really is when we allow Him to work through us. 

5. Many adult entrepreneurs show an interest in business as children. Tell me about your interest in business as a child and how it led to officially becoming an entrepreneur at 23 years old.

I always loved the idea of being a boss and that’s probably why I was a bossy child! My teachers always told my parents that I was a natural leader, independent, and charismatic. God built me this way because He knew what He wanted me to become. As a result, I naturally gravitated to opportunities that allowed me to operate in my gifts. It wasn’t until I lost my advertising job during the recession of 2009 that I accepted my calling as an entrepreneur. I was fearful of the unknown, yet optimistic about the freedom and possibilities that entrepreneurship was able to provide, especially during such a chaotic time. 

6. You live in Canada. Tell me a little about living life in Canada as a black woman and how it may differ from living in the United States as a black woman.

There is something to admire about the black business community in the United States – something that we just don’t have here in Canada. The level of support that black female entrepreneurs have in the States, whether financial or community-based, is much stronger than it is here. I believe this is due to a difference in our cultural mindsets. I always admired the black business communities in Atlanta and desperately wish people in Toronto had the same collaborative and supportive mindset.

7. Finally, how and when did you become a Christian and how has it impacted your life?

I was christened as a Catholic and went to Catholic school, so Christianity was always a part of my life. It wasn’t until about 15 or 16 years old that I gave my life to the Lord, and I was baptized in the Pentecostal church in my early 20s. I wouldn’t be where I am today without God as an active part of my life. I cannot take credit for any of my ideas or accomplishments because they all came from Him. God is truly the CEO of my business and my life. When you have the Creator in control, you can expect nothing but success and happiness.

For more information about Tamar, go to her website, tamarhuggins.com, and to buy “Bossed Up: 100 Truths to Becoming Your Own Boss God’s Way,” go to  Amazon.com.

Any thoughts?