Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Sometimes the hardest part about falling down is trying to get back up! Well the CENTRIC Network is preparing to show viewers this season what that looks like through a brand new docu-series titled “From the Bottom Up.” The one-hour program follows five African-American women who are trying to rebuild their lives and careers and keep their families together after falling from grace.


Christine Beatty with her daughters

The one-hour series comes from the creative minds of media mogul Queen Latifah and noted singer-songwriter and “R&B Diva” creator Nicci Gilbert. The five cast members include entertainer Sara Stokes (Making The Band 2), actress Chrystale Wilson (The Players Club), former Detroit Mayorial Chief of Staff Christine Beatty, entrepreneur Kim Smedly and radio personality and actress Stacii Jae JohnsonDSC_0130-2

Nicci Gilbert with the ladies of “From the Bottom Up”

I had the pleasure of attending the show’s Atlanta premiere Thursday night that was hosted by CENTRIC. The private screening was held at Ventanas overlooking downtown’s Centennial Olympic Park and was attended by the cast as well as special invited guests, tastemakers and media influencers.

DSC_0097Kelly Price and Avery*Sunshine on the red carpet

Celebrities spotted throughout the evening included singers Avery*Sunshine, Kelly Price, KeKe Wyatt and Q Parker from 112 along with “Saints & Sinners” actors Clifton Powell and Jasmine Burke. Former reality star Chanita Foster was also in attendance along with HGTV’s Egypt Sherrod and husband DJ Fadelf, media maven Mona Stephen and YouTube sensation Funky Dineva.


Stacii Jae Johnson explaining her ‘bottom’ during the Q&A

Following a sneak peek of the show, the cast engaged in a Q&A session with UPSCALE Magazine’s Entertainment Editor Satchel B. Jester. Each member described their  “Bottom” and how it altered their once blossoming careers. They also opened up about their newfound sisterhood and how the show really helped them to heal from their brokenness.

From the looks of the snippet we watched last night, this is not your typical reality show. It doesn’t appear to be “scripted” and the scenes aren’t coerced! These ladies have literally been to hell and back and I believe audiences will be blown away by their awe-inspiring testimonies. The aim of the show is to really help viewers—men and women—get up from their past mistakes and failures and move forward armed with more strength and wisdom.  Remember, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!

Check out more pics + trailer below:

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Mona Stephen with Jasmine Burke/Avery*Sunshine with Q Parker


Chrystale Wilson striking a pose with Althea “Thi Thi” Heart 

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Nicci Gilbert/Funk Dineva and Guest


Stacii Jae Johnson looking lovely in green

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Egypt Sherrod & DJ Fadelf/Clifton Powell, Avery*Sunshine, Dana Johnson


KiKi from Streetz 94.5 interviewing Jasmine Burke

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Althea “Thi Thi” Heart and Chanita Foster 

DSC_0150Christine Beatty, KeKe Wyatt and Nicci Gilbert

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Chrystale Wilson with Jennifer Lester/UPSCALE’s Satchel B. Jester DSC_0006-2

RC with Mona Stephen

“From the Bottom Up” airs Saturday, Jan. 16 at 10 p.m. EST on CENTRIC

Photo Credits: Ray Cornelius