Greenleaf Recap Season 4 Episode 10: Gratitude…

Hello World,

I guess the number one biggest thing we learned tonight is that OWN’s “Greenleaf” is coming back at some point in 2020! Yay!  The second biggest thing is that Phil DeMars is precisely the self-serving scoundrel we always suspected he was. But more on that later in this Greenleaf Recap Season 4 Episode 10: Gratitude…

Give Thanks & Praises…

This week’s episode begins where last week’s episode ends – with Grace having decided that she is willing to turn her back on the pulpit to protect her son A.J. She walks off of the stage and to A.J., who is standing in the center of a church aisle. He is wearing white and looking angelic which is a stark contrast to an A.J. lookalike, who is wearing all black and shows up at the end of the episode. But let me not get ahead of myself. Grace grabs her son and says, “I’ve been worried sick about you. What are you doing here?” A.J., ever standoffish but for good reason, is confused as to why Grace is confused that he showed up. Both Grace and Sophia have been blowing A.J.’s phone so it’s no wonder that he finally comes back. He then tells Grace the bad news. “I’m going to turn myself in.”

After churchgoers scatter, Bob and his team of Phil and Judee convene in Grace’s former office. “What the he** happened here?” Bob asks them. He reveals that with Grace’s resignation, a key part of his plan has been thwarted. “What about my board?” he says. Bob wants the board to vote on his plans for Calvary as a part of the Harmony & Hope expansion. He’s particularly disappointed that his daughter wasn’t able to carry out his plan. “You’re going back to Phoenix today,” Bob says to Judee. Then he turns to Phil. “Did you have something to do with Grace stepping down?” Phil downplays his part in Grace’s decision, but he does affirm that he is seeing and in love with Charity as Judee blurted that before she stormed out of the office. Phil assures Bob that his relationship with Charity is a “good thing” and that she can be useful to them. However, Bob says, “I’m still not over how you hurt Judee. I think that’s a big part of the reason why things didn’t work out with Ken.”

Finally, Bob says, “What a mess!” Sooo…was Phil using Judee when he was involved with her? I’m inclined to think that he truly loved her because if he had been using Judee, Bob would have kicked him to the curb already…But I don’t know since Bob is an opportunist as well…

After that debacle at Calvary, Lady Mae can only stare out of her window, looking at the grounds on which the Greenleaf home is built. Charity knocks on her door and Lady Mae invites her in. “This house, this land is all we have left now, and I’m so scared,” Lady Mae says to her youngest daughter. Charity fixes her mouth to say, “I had nothing to do with with Phil and how he pressured Gigi.” Chile, please. Lady Mae asks Charity where did Phil get the evidence then? “Did he have confederates in unmarked vans on the property?” Charity says, “I don’t know.” “So you came in here to lie to me,” Lady Mae says. The disappointment she feels is tangible. She knew Charity was less than smart, but she didn’t know she was less than truthful too. She calls Charity, “Phil’s helpless little pawn.” Charity says, “Mama, I never meant to hurt you.” That got Lady Mae. She tells Charity that all of them from Grace to Nathan are connected. “It’s one life. You do damage to one life and the whole life suffers. He’s smart enough to make a big fool of you, and that’s the extent of his genius.”

In Grace suite’s, Grace and Aaron meet with A.J. Aaron explains to A.J. that if he turns himself in, he will probably get 10 years in jail. For whatever reason, A.J. is adamant about wanting to turn himself in although Grace and Aaron try to convince A.J. not to turn himself in. He plans to turn himself in the following day.  Then Aaron tries a different tactic. ” “Why not just go now?” he says. That did the trick because A.J. becomes apprehensive again and then flees the suite. Grace is confused. “There’s something that he’s not saying.” I feel the same way, but for the life of me, I cannot guess what this is…Can you?

Thanking the Good Lord…

Grace runs into Kerissa as she is rushing out to Urgent Care. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Grace tells Kerissa that as her situation has shifted, she can longer buy out Kerissa and Jacob’s share in the estate. Kerissa responds, but she has more important issues that need her attention. At the doctor’s office, Kerissa prays, “Please let it be negative” but God doesn’t answer the prayer in the way that she requested. “You have chlamydia,” a woman, a doctor or nurse perhaps, says to her. The woman attempts to give Kerissa instruction on how to discuss the matter with husband and tells her she can’t have sex with him for 10 days. But Kerissa tells the woman that Jacob did not give chlamydia to her. Isn’t that wild? That’s what she gets for cheating on her husband. The “c” in chlamydia is for cheating…

Later, Lady Mae and two of the board members meet to discuss the upcoming vote. The board plans to vote on dissolving Calvary and merging what’s left with Harmony & Hope.  When Charity’s name comes up, Lady Mae asks, “What has that little idiot done now?” LOL!!! If you’re mama thinks you’re an idiot, it’s safe to say that you are an idiot! LOL. But Charity’s vote is needed to break the tie so the family must find a way to be nice to her.

When Phil and Charity meet, she tells him that her family is breaking up as a result of Phil DeMars. Phil responds with, “Be still and know that I’m the man who loves you.” Charity thought he was going to say, “Be still and know that I’m God” and so did I. I’m so sick of Phil at this point.

Even later that night, Jacob snuggles into his woman. Obviously, the man wants to get down but Kerissa can’t. She says, “Not tonight, Jacob. ” After saying this a couple of times, Jacob asks, “What did I do now?” Kerissa says, “Nothing,” and tells him that she is on her period and doesn’t feel well.

The next day, Bishop goes to Charity to ask her to vote on the side of the Greenleafs. But Charity uses this opportunity to complain about her parents’ preferring Gigi to Charity all of these years. “So now, you two want my help!” she says. It’s clear to Bishop that Charity may end up supporting Phil in the vote to the detriment of her family. Bishop’s parting words to Charity are, “If you take everything your mother and I built and hand it over to Bob Whitmore, you’ll regret it for the rest of your life.”

In Grace’s suite, A.J. and Sofia talk. Sofia tells her brother that she will write to him when he is in jail and that she will put money into his commissary. But A.J. tells Sofia to “just forget that I exist.” What is up with him? I don’t get it.

Back at Calvary, Charity sits outside of the board meeting. After a vote is taken, Phil opens the door and says to Charity, who is sitting in a chair as she looks into the meeting,”You ready to do this?” Obviously, she is needed to break a tie.

Bishop and Lady Mae are at the Greenleaf estate. Bishop gets a call from somebody, but Bob Whitmore calls Lady Mae next. “He wants me to come down to church right now and talk,” she tells Bishop.

In another part of the estate, Jacob is experiencing some physical symptoms and asks Kerissa for the pills she gave to Zora when she had a bladder infection. Without a lot of rumination it seems, Kerissa tells her husband, “You don’t have a bladder infection.” She continues. “First of all, I love you.” Then she detonates the bomb that blows up their marriage. “I have chlamydia,” she says. Jacob correctly guesses that Fernando Amable passed on more than insider information to Kerissa.  They go at it for like a minute and then Jacob says, “Just get out.” Kerissa reminds Jacob that all of his mistakes don’t compare to her one mistake. “I never gave you a disease,” Jacob says. “You are the disease,” says Kerissa back to him. “Go and get yourself a lawyer. This is over,” Jacob says. That’s the funny thing about men. Women can forgive men for cheating on them. But men cannot handle their women cheating. It’s unfair, but it is what it is. And after all of that, Kerissa calls Fernando!

The Grateful Dead…

For whatever reason, Bob wants the Greenleafs to be an integral part of his vision for a new and improved Calvary. In his meeting with Lady Mae, he tells her he wants Calvary to be multicultural and to “break down the walls of racism.” Bob sees himself and Lady Mae at the elm of this new multicultural church. You know as Bob was talking about this multiracial church, it occurred to me that maybe the creator of Greenleaf has been trying to dismantle the “black church” all along in favor of “the church.” “The church” is not confined to a denomination or a race. Lady Mae also uses this time to tattle on Phil.

Across town at Dante’s house, Sofia is no longer the good Christian girl that she once was. As Dante and Sofia continue to a make out, she tells him that she is a virgin. Dante tells her that he is willing to go at her pace and doesn’t pressure her to have sex with him. That’s nice.

Unlike Dante and Sofia, a devious couple with no boundaries – Fernando and Kerissa – meet. Fernando has been doing some digging and discovers a will in which it is revealed that Uncle Mac was the executor of the estate and that a botched burglary led to the Greenleafs getting their home. Weird, huh? And although Fernando has given Kerissa valuable information, she still slaps him after she says, “You gave me chlamydia.”

Grace and A.J. meet on a dock on the Greenleaf estate. She ask him, “Why are you doing this?” I don’t understand why he is choosing to go to jail either, particularly as Grace is willing to stick to her story on A.J.’s behalf. “Stay,” she says. “I wish I could,” A.J. replies. “Can you tell me why?” Grace asks. “You don’t get to know why. Like everything else in this world, you don’t get to know why. It just is.” I’m more confused than ever. I just know that he’s an integral part of this season, and I want to know more…

Lady Mae returns from her meeting with Bob, and she tells Bishop about Bob’s plans. She has agreed to his plans which Bishop is not feeling. “Your cockeyed ambition is making you plain stupid.” But I have to go with Lady Mae on this one.

Charity has sought out the comfort of her man in his home. He tells her that when he was in the third grade, he was so into magic that he flunked the grade. As of now, he still loves magic though and asks Charity to say the magic word in reply to his question. Yes, that fool asked Charity to marry him and foolish Charity agreed to do so. (It was a nice ring though.) And I must say that Phil is too fine. He takes off his shirt as the couple kisses and prepares to do the do after Charity was originally claiming she was “old-fashioned.” I guess that saying that, “It doesn’t mean a thing unless you have a ring” is true.

After he’s got some loving from Charity and has shut down Grace, Phil thinks his future at Calvary is set. But Bob reveals to Phil that he still won’t be in charge during an impromptu meeting at the church. “It’s going to be me and Mae. Mae told me what you did to Grace.” But Phil aine come this far to be turned back ’round now. “What do I have to do to change your mind? Name it.”

Although Kerissa originally wanted out of the Greenleaf estate at any cost, now that she is being kicked out, she is determined to stay. “Have you found a place to live?” Jacob asks Kerissa. “I’m staying put unless you want Bishop to die in jail.”  Something about a woman named Mrs. Davis was killed in order for the Greenleafs to get their home…Not sure I understand, but yes, that heffa is using that crazy will she got from Fernando to blackmail her husband. Smh…I didn’t know Kerissa was that dirty…Did you?

And speaking of dirty, Phil shows up out of the blue. He confronts Lady Mae about her meeting with Phil. “That arrangement you made with Bob is null and void.” He tells her that she and Bishop may want to get any belongings they have in the church because the building will be demolished in a week!

Before he can hardly get the words out, Charity sniffs out her man and shows up. This simpleton thinks he’s there to ask her father for her hand in marriage. When he tells her that he cannot marry her because he is marrying Judee, she dissolves into tears. At least he had the decency to tell her his news privately.

Grace, who visits her sister Faith’s grave, is having a heart to heart talk with God. At first, she laments the condition of the family and their church and her son. But then she she pivots and thanks God for every body in her family and the situation with the church. It’s kind of an eerie speech, but at the same time, it’s a prayer of acceptance. The Word does tell us that we can’t only thank God for the good things, we have to be thankful for the bad things as well as God is sovereign and over it all

And then a man who could be A.J. doppelganger comes to her. He has dreads and the same complexion, only he is dressed in all black.  (Is A.J. covering for him somehow? Is this the guy who stole the drugs?) He correctly guesses that Faith was her sister. And then he says, “Everything has an expiration date” and calls her “Grace” although I don’t remember her telling him her name. Grace, who figures he somehow wandered onto the property, tells him how to get to main road to be on his way…I know that’s right.

Who is he? I know it must have something to do with A.J., but I guess we won’t know exactly what until 2020.

Thank you sooo much for reading my Greenleaf Recap Season 4 Episode 10: Gratitude… and my other recaps so far. If you would like to keep up with OWN’s “Greenleaf,” and my recaps, please click on this link to subscribe to my blog 🙂!

UPDATE: If you would like get a sneak peak of Season 5 and secrets from the Spinoff directly from OWN “Greenleaf” Creator Craig Wright & Executive Producer Kriss Turner Towner, click on my interview with them HERE!!!

Any thoughts?



‘Love Jones’ Actress Bernadette Speakes Shares About the Movie’s 20th Anniversary, Being a Christian in Hollywood & More…

Hello World,

If  you came of age in the ’90s, you know it was the golden age of black cinema…Let me hit you with just a few — “House Party” (1990) “Boyz in the Hood” (1991), “New Jack City” (1991), “Juice” (1992), “Menace to Society” (1993),”Jason’s Lyric” (1993) “Friday” (1995), “Above the Rim” (1995), “Waiting to Exhale” (1995), “Love Jones” (1997) and “The Best Man” in 1999…One of those films “Love Jones” is being celebrated for reaching its 2oth anniversary as of this March with much fanfare, and I’m here for it, particularly as one of my Delta Sigma Theta sorority sisters, who also pledged the sorority at the University of Georgia, co-starred in the film! The movie captured a time period in my life just after college when I fancied myself a budding poet (the great poet Nikki Giovanni, also a Delta, even critiqued one of my poems!) and traveled to poetry readings around town with friends. So when I discovered that Bernadette Clarke now Bernadette Speakes, on top of acting in one of my favorite movies of all time and being a Delta, is also a Christian, I knew I had to interview here on After the Altar Call about her journey, particularly as it is the 20th anniversary of the release of “Love Jones.”

Below is my interview with her (which I edited for for the sake of brevity):

1.You were born in New York, raised in Chicago and received a bachelor’s degree in Theater from the University of Georgia in Athens. How did you get from Athens to being cast as Sheila Downes in what has become a classic film “Love Jones?”

After I graduated, I moved back to Chicago, and I began pursuing my career. I ended up meeting Ted (writer and director of ‘Love Jones’) during a master’s thesis film we were doing for someone. He was doing sound. I was one of the actors on the film. And that’s how we first met. And it was very interesting because everybody that was on that shoot, especially one gentleman in particular, kept bragging and kind of boasting about all of these projects and things he had coming up. And Ted really didn’t say anything, he was just kind of joking around and just kind of laid back. We got along really, really well. Next thing I know, like, I think it was less than a year later, I get called on an audition for a film. I walk into the audition room, and it’s Ted. And he’s like, ‘Hey, what’s up?’ And I said, ‘Oh my gosh, is this yours?’ He goes, ‘Yeah.’ And I said, ‘Did you have this in the works when we were working together?’ He said, ‘Yeah, it was kind of coming together, but I didn’t want to say anything.’ And that’s how I got cast.

On what set Bernadette apart from other actresses auditioning for the role…

I think Ted could answer that question better than I can, but I will say this about my last audition. I don’t know if you remember in the movie, I do this African dance. So when he wrote that, it was kind of like everybody had been drinking. My character who hadn’t been written yet does this thing, and it’s really simple. And when I auditioned, my agent said you need to come in there with an African dance. And I was like, ‘What?’ And that was my 4th call back. And I said, ‘Is that it? Is that all I have to do?’ And she was like, ‘Yes, they want to see a two-minute African dance.’ I said, ‘Okay.’

God puts things in divine order. I was already dancing with a West African troupe, and I went to one of my friends. We choreographed a routine. I walked into that audition very raw I would say because a very close friend of mine, I didn’t know if he was going to live or die that day because he had AIDS. So I wasn’t even going to go to this audition when I would found out that that he may not make it. I had said I’m not going. And my agent was really mad because I said I was going to visit my friend instead. Well, he found out that I wasn’t going to go to the audition. So he called me, and he swore up and down, he promised me that he would hold on and he said I needed to go do this. He told me he wouldn’t see if I didn’t go do it. So I called my agent and said I was going to go, but I went in there raw. And I guess I put all of that energy into the routine. I went in there with no shoes on, no make up on, these African pants and a leotard. I did my thing, and I was ready to bounce.

And Ted was like, ‘Wait, wait, wait.’ I said, ‘Oh, I’m sorry. What’s up?’ He said, ‘I actually wrote something for you that I want you to read on camera.’ I was like, ‘Really? I have no makeup on.’ He said, ‘Naw, it’s all good. I just want to hear how you do it.’ I said, ‘Do you have a note that you want to give me before I read it?’ because it was a cold read. And he said, ‘Yeah. You know those girls who go to Whitney Young? You’re one of those girls.’ And that’s a note that only you being from Chicago (where the film was shot) would understand. Whitney Young (former First Lady Michelle Obama is a graduate) is a predominantly black high school, and it’s like a prep high school. It’s kind of bougie. And my sister went to Whitney Young so I totally knew what he meant when he gave me that note. So that is exactly what I did, and he said, ‘That’s it.’ And when I was finished, I said, ‘Gotta go. Peace out.’

And I think just being authentic and real in that moment is what got me the role. Not to say no one else was, but that is who Sheila is. She is very authentic and real, calls it like she sees it, very loyal to her friends, not fake. So I think the way that whole day kind of evolved brought all of that into place.  I ended up being a co-star in the film which was huge for my first film!


2.Twenty years ago, “Love Jones” debuted on March 14. Did you have any idea that it would be a hit movie that continues to resonate with audiences even today?

No, I didn’t.  I don’t know if any of us did. We knew we were doing something unique because nothing had been done in regards to the Chicago scene, the poetry scene or anything like that up until that point. And also, nothing had been done in a real positive, eclectic way of looking at African-American life in this type of setting so we all kind of knew that, but we didn’t know that it would burst. The irony is that it didn’t do well financially. It didn’t cost a lot to make, but it wasn’t in the theaters for a really long time. But it became this pop culture film, and once it went to video and television and online streaming and all of that stuff, it started to reach the masses in different geographical settings. My daughter, she is a millennial, and all of her friends know about the movie. People in my parents’ age group, they know about the movie so it became this really iconic film. And we had no idea that is what we were doing.

And for me, it wasn’t just about the movie. It was about the soundtrack too. Even today, you can listen to the soundtrack, and it’s still good.

And I really credit all of that to Ted. Ted is an amazing visionary artist. He’s a photographer. He’s a connoisseur of music, jazz, classical, R&B, blues. Like he loves it all. And he put all of that in the film.

3.I read that last month the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hosted the event “In the Mood for ‘Love Jones’ – The Academy Celebrates the Film’s 20th Anniversary,” which included a screening of the film at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. What was it like to reunite with the entire cast, and was this your first time reuniting with everyone since the movie debuted?

No, in February, we all saw each other at the ABFF (American Black Film Festival) Awards which was awesome! It was amazing to see all of us older. When we first did the film, none of us were married.  Well, actually, Isaiah was married, and I was the only one who had a child. And we were all like in our early 20s. So when we see each other 20 years later, we’re all married. We all have kids. We’re older, wise, a lot more debonair. (laughter) And then it was really great to see each other again (at the academy event). And everyone is doing well in their lives. I had seen Bill Bellamy and Nia in passing at different events, but we all didn’t keep in touch. Well, I personally didn’t. I think some of them are closer in relationships than I am with them, but it was really beautiful for all of us to be together again.

4.In addition to “Love Jones,” you were featured along side Oscar Award-Winning Actor Sidney Poitier in “To Sir with Love II.” You’ve appeared in several TV shows such as ParenthoodMonk and Boston Legal. And you have acted in several theater productions in addition to being CEO of Dreams Take a Minute Productions in Los Angeles. Have you had a strategy in advancing in your acting career or do you have a principle that has guided you as you’ve made moves in your career?

I think the main thing that I do, I think most people would say, you should focus on one thing, Represent yourself well in that one thing and then move on to the next thing. And I’m more of an eclectic person. I can’t just focus on one thing. And also, I’m a stay-at-home mom taking care of my kids. So it was like what can I do to stay creative but not jeopardize or sacrifice this time in my children’s lives. And that fueled my decision making.

I feel like the industry isn’t going anywhere. It’s always going to evolve and grow, but it’s not going anywhere. So for me, I didn’t want to miss the legacy of my family and missing moments of when my kids grow up and taking steps toward their mark in the world for the sake of my dreams. I would rather still stay productive in my career, watch them grow, get them to a point where they can jump off the cliff so to speak into their dreams and then usher in mine. I don’t regret making that decision. I know I’m not where I could have been. I have not accomplished half of what my colleagues have, and I’m so happy for and proud of them. But for me, my family is my pride and joy. I look at my kids and how they are today, and I’m so glad  I put them first. And my marriage is solid. My husband and I have been together 18 years. I think marriage is hard regardless of whether you’re in the Hollywood scene or not, two people trying to live together with flaws and all. But I think definitely my husband and I have cultivated something that is amazing. We’re each other’s biggest fan.

And now we’re at a point in our lives where are our kids are going, ‘Go do you thing.’ They want to see us soar, especially me. My kids definitely realize what I’ve given up in a sense and now they’re like , ‘Go soar Mom’ and that feels so good.

5.In addition to your acting career, I also admire that you are a Christian. How and when did you find your way to Christianity? Tell me about that journey. What is it like to be a Christian in Hollywood?

It was a journey within itself. My mom’s family are Baptists, and my dad’s are Catholics so I was always around some type of faith-based environment. But it didn’t really appeal to me honestly because I saw a lot of hypocrisy so I wasn’t interested. But then when I got to college, I felt lost. And I felt like I wanted to be a better version of me, but I didn’t really know what that meant. But I chose to become a Muslim. When I went back to Chicago, there is a very large population of Muslims where I lived which was Hyde Park, so I studied with an imam under Sunni Muslims. But I still felt like my soul was crying out for something.

There’s a reputable theatre in Chicago called the Steppenwolf Theatre, and I ended up being cast in two shows that same year with that theatre company, and God put Christians in both shows. It was the first time that I saw Christians not only own their imperfections but were authentic. Like they weren’t ‘judgy’ or judgmental or religious like a Pharisee or legalistic. And they were extremely talented women in the arts whom I highly respected. And all of that kind of piqued my interest and made me think, ‘Well maybe I have this whole Christianity thing wrong.’

So these women studied the Bible with me, and I asked 50 million questions because I had a lot of bitterness in my heart. They helped me sort through a lot of it. So I fell in love with Jesus. He was this masterful storyteller, the very thing that I am, he is the epitome of. I fell in love with the Bible. It became a no brainer for me to follow Him.

On how her faith helped Bernadette to transition to Hollywood…

So I was converted in Chicago, and when I moved to California, the church that I was a part of in Chicago, had a sister church in California, and they just actually moved me here. I moved here with nothing. It was literally my child, my clothes and my car. And the ministry in California gave me a household with roommates and a community that I’ve been with for almost 22 years. My church is called Turning Point LA. We changed our name. It used to be AMS, which stands for Arts Media Sports in the Los Angeles Church of Christ.

Being a Christian in Hollywood, I feel like it’s the fire that fuels me. And not because I’m trying to go out here with fire and brimstone. I’ve always been rebellious in my nature. Like I was the first to get tattoos in my family, the first to get piercings in my family, I had a baby out of wedlock. But now I get to be rebellious in a whole different way. When you look at Hollywood, you can say there are innovators absolutely, but I want to be defiant in a different way. So it definitely fuels me where I feel like I don’t have to compromise or give up anything just because I’m a Christian. What’s mine is still going to be mine and what isn’t isn’t. And I’m not going to apologize for who I am because I’m an actor and a storyteller. It doesn’t hinder me at all.

6.I know that you had a bout with illness. How did your faith sustain you during what I’m sure was a difficult time in your life?

It was 2014, and I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. It was cancer of my bone marrow. It was stage 4, and it was aggressive. I had a tumor in my back that cracked my vertebrae. I had been sick for six months before I found out that I even had cancer. It was a progressive cancer to say the least. And it caused excruciating pain that wasn’t helped by morphine or Percocet. And I was hallucinating with the dosages they gave me to so I didn’t want the dosages because I didn’t have a clear mind when I was using them. I had the choice to do medical marijuana which I prayed a lot about, and I chose not to do that either. It was a time when I felt like the physical pain, the emotional anguish and the spiritual suffering that Jesus went through when He went to the cross, this is an opportunity for me to experience that intimacy, even on a small scale, with Christ.

On choosing to focus on joy and gratitude during illness…

I think when you go through suffering, it can either be a burden or it can be a joy. And joy doesn’t mean happiness. Joy means I think your perspective and your gratitude. For me, I chose a joyful, grateful perspective going into it and that is what sustained me. I was sick for just over a year. When you have Non-Hodgkins lymphoma, there is only one combination that is curable. The combination that I had which is stage 4 aggressive was a curable combination for the type of chemo prescribed for me. I’m in remission now. I’m technically not cured until the 3 to 5 year mark.

7.Obviously, outside of acting, you have other interests. You are now a Rodan + Fields sales consultant. Why?

The women who created these skincare products are amazing women. They are very smart. They are doctors. They are graduates of Stanford. They teach at Stanford. They are moms. They are wives. They came up with a product called Proactiv. I used Proactiv, and I liked the results. My daughter used it and liked the results. Their customer service was awesome. I always felt taken care of. So I had respect for these women long before I became a consultant. But what pushed me over the edge is I was looking for something. I’m 50. Black does not crack, but we do sag. So I’m like I’m not going to do the whole Botox thing so I did some research on Rodan+Fields. It’s a part time opportunity, and the stream of income allows me to have freedom. The products are not cheap, but the average woman can purchase them.

Is there anything else you want to add?

I’m not done yet. I may have not been on the scene for a while, but trust me when I tell you, I’m not done yet.

Bernadette Speakes recently completed two films, and is about to step into another in mid-February. She has been adventurous on stage in 2014, stepping into her first COMEDY…Elephant Theatre’s West Coast Premiere of “North Plan,” directed by David Fofi. During the 2013 Fringe Festival, she portrayed Tituba, in “The Crucible.” She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre from the University of Georgia; and presently continues to hone her craft at various acting studios around the Los Angeles area.

Bernadette was a part of the Producing Queens of The Trunk Show… which brings its own uniqueness in the world of storytelling. She is also the creator and producer of “Get Up Stand Up…Clean Comedy 4 A Change,” a comedy showcase that bridges the gap of laughter and charity together. Bernadette has also appeared in several acclaimed shows, such as The Elephant Theater’s “In Arabia We’d Be Kings,” and The Fountain Theater’s West Coast Production of Direct from Death Row…”The Scottsboro Boys.” She’s performed at the Steppenwolf Theater, Goodman, Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center, and the Matrix’s LA Premier of An Evening with Shakespeare featuring Charles S. Dutton.

Awards include an Emmy Nomination for “A Stage of Our Own,” with James Earl Jones, The LA Drama Critic’s Circle, and the LA Weekly. Other Film & TV Credits include…”The Soloist,” “Heroes,” “Parenthood,”” To Sir with Love II” with Mr. Sidney Poitier, and the 1997 Sundance Festival Winner, “Love Jones,” which was honored this year, the 20th anniversary of its release, at the 2017 ABFF AWARDS for its contribution as a cinematic classic in African-American films!

Bernadette is also a Rodan + Fields sales consultant. For more information, please click HERE.

Any thoughts?

Nikki Giovanni Comes to Southern Illinois University & More Black History Month Events…

Hello World, nikki

As it is February, I have to pay homage to Black History Month and the wonderful contributions that black people have made to America and beyond…Below are several Black History Month Activities you may want to check out…

1. Longtime poet, writer, commentator, activist and educator Nikki Giovanni will present “Human by the Grace of God: A View of Diversity” at 7 p.m. on Feb. 19 in Shryock Auditorium at Southern Illinois University Carbondale in Illinois. For more information, go to – Actually, this event has been cancelled as today, 2/12/2015…

2. Radio host and activist Joe Madison will be the guest speaker today, Feb. 8, at 2:30 p.m. when Bethlehem Baptist Church in Fredericksburg, VA celebrates Black History Month. Madison is the former director of the Detroit branch of the NAACP. He was appointed to that post at the age of 24. For more information, go to

3. On Feb. 22 at 10:15 a.m., Rose of Sharon Missionary Baptist Church in Odessa, Texas will host “Showcase of Black Authors” with a presentation and book signing featuring Elaine Hunt, the author of “Dreams Fulfilled.” For more information, go to

4. Centerville Community Center is hosting a story telling event about African-American heroes from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27 at 3025 Bethany Church Road in Snellville, Georgia. There will be fun and interactive activities for children to increase their learning about African-American heroes. For more information, go to

5. Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree will speak at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in Martinez, Georgia on Sunday, Feb. 22.  at 11 a.m. For more information, go

6. Rev. Charles Lucas will tell how his “great-great-grandfather secured his freedom from Squire Lukas (His family also has his ancestor’s freedom papers!) and walked from Virginia to Ohio to launch a family on a mission” during his presentation “Lucas Legacy and Cleveland Black History: 1852 to 2015,” at St. James A.M.E. Church in Cleveland Ohio on Feb. 22. 12:30 p.m. For more information, go

7. “Black Historic Churches of Lynchburg and Surrounding Counties,” a photography exhibit by Welford Jones, opens with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Feb. 13 and remains up through April 30 at Hunton Randolph Community Center in Lynchburg, Virginia. For more information, go

Any thoughts?