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David and Tamela Mann release first book ‘Us Against the World’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

 NAACP Image Award-Winning Actor and Comedian David Mann and his wife, Grammy® Award-Winning Recording Artist Tamela Mann, celebrated Valentine’s Day and #BlackLove with the announcement of their forthcoming new memoir, Us Against the World: Our Secrets to Love, Marriage, and Family. It is available on September 25, 2018.

With a love story spanning more than 30 years and celebrity careers that have garnered numerous prestigious awards and accolades, superstar couple David and Tamela candidly share about their lifelong love, marriage and blended family, while telling the honest truth about issues they’ve faced including communication, forgiveness, sex, finances, and faith, in their very first book. 

Us Against the World also reveals surprising details about how the pair met, married, and started a family, the challenges of managing the fame that comes with success, and the growing pains of working with their adult children in the family business.

“We’ve always been transparent about our relationship and family with fans. In our first book we’ll tell our whole story and share our secrets to a successful marriage,” said David Mann. “Our marriage is a top priority and our greatest accomplishment. As authors, we’re excited to share what we’ve learned about how to make doing life together work and how to fully love your spouse,” said Tamela Mann.

 Stay tuned…

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New Poster for ‘Tyler Perry’s Acrimony’ with Taraji P. Henson (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out the new poster for the upcoming romantic thriller—“Tyler Perry’s Acrimony.” It debuts in theaters on March 30, 2018.

As previously reported, “Acrimony,” features Taraji P. Henson as a faithful wife who is tired of standing by her devious husband (Lyriq Bent, “She’s Gotta Have it”) and is enraged when it becomes clear she has been betrayed. The movie’s name was changed to  “She’s Living My Life” a few months ago but is now back to its original title.

“Acrimony” also features Ajiona Alexus, Crystle Stewart, Raquel Bianca JohnDanielle Nicolet, Bresha Webb, Terayle Hill and Kendrick Cross.

Watch the trailer + the new poster below:

Photo Credit: Instagram/Lyriq Bent

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Bobby V, DC Young Fly & Lyfe Jennings star in BET’s ‘Hollywood Hearts’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Check out the trailer for the upcoming romantic drama “Hollywood Hearts” starring Bobby V, Carl Payne and Lyfe Jennings. The film premieres on Saturday, October 8 at 8 p.m. EST on BET.

According to the press release, “Hollywood Hearts” is about a music artist who’s engrossed with his music industry lifestyle and finds it difficult to give up his ways for the woman that he loves, the life he wants to build and the ego he can’t let go of. However, after a tragic turn of events and real friend interventions, he finds himself realizing that the industry will come and go but true love doesn’t come around but once in a lifetime.

Rounding out the cast of “Hollywood Hearts” is DC Young Fly, Benzino, Walnette Santiago, Patrice Fisher, Willie Hyn and Asia Sparks.

“Hollywood Hearts” is Directed, Written and Executive Produced by African-American visionaire Tangie B. Moore of Tier 2 Films. Since co-founding Tier 2 Films, Tangie has been able to ink several deals and placements with Discovery Studios, WEtv, EOne, Sprite, BET Entertainment/Viacom & Samsung.

Take a look below and tell us what you think!

Photo Credits: Tier 2 Films

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Chrisette Michele and Rob Riley participate in FGC’s ‘Are You Ready For The Answer’ [PHOTOS]

Written by | Cyrena Rose

Orlando, FL was recently graced with the presence of a positive movement by way of Terrance Johnson  (Pastor J) and Torsha Johnson (Lady J)!  Together the couple wrote a book titled The Answer and formulated a movement to equip singles to say “I do” and empower married couples to say “I still do.”

The Answer is a platform that uniquely acknowledges the fact that people enter relationships for a multitude of reasons and circumstances.  The Answer provides a very relevant and real-life response to the questions that are asked before, during and in between relationships. correspondent, Tamara Paige and I were invited to attend a panel discussion  (taking place at the Full Gospel Conference) focusing on love, marriage, relationships and dating and their blessings and challenges.  The panel was moderated by the one and only Thomas Miles, better known as Nephew Tommy and included the authors of The AnswerPastor and Mrs. Terrance Johnson, Grammy Award-winning recording artist Chrisette Michele and film, television and stage actor Robert Christopher Riley. 

We wanted to know what prompted the panelists to join the #AnswerMovement and in doing so, what the movement means to them?  What, in fact, is ‘the answer’ and how do we individually reach our answers?

Tamara Paige sat with Chrisette Michele minutes before she and the other panel members took the stage to get the perspective of the recently engaged panelist.  Michele expressed her excitement in finding out what people feel about the commitment of marriage in the ‘Millennial era.’  Last fall, Chrisette got engaged to her longtime manager Doug Ellison.


“Millennials are petrified of just the word marriage and even relationships.  People are saying ‘no new friends’. . .relationships in general are almost a lost art form.”  The June 30th panel discussion was Michele’s first and she was looking forward to the exchange of ideas.

“If you read book The Answer, society right now is very social media driven, expressed Rob Riley, and a lot of people focus on what we call ‘the wrong thing’ – we have to get back to what matters.”

The star of the VH1 hit series “Hit The Floor gave us his perspective from a single-man’s point of view “. . .more personal communication, being together and not relying on text messages” were key relationship factors he pointed out. “A move that furthers that initiative is something I can stand behind.  We’re dealing with a systematic degradation of communication between people and relationships don’t stand a chance; friendships won’t stand a chance.”


Riley further expressed his interest in the movement stating “I’m here to get answers as much as I am here to give advice.  I believe a man’s teacher arrives precisely at the moment he’s ready to learn.  It’s not for everybody;  everyone in the audience doesn’t need to get it today.  It’s not gonna touch everybody at the same time but it has to exist; it has to happen – it has to start.  God puts us in the places we’re supposed to be in and I’m happy to be here.”

Pastor Terrence J summed it all up from the perspective of a married man by simply stating “so many of us sign up for something we aren’t prepared for.”  Thus his and Lady J’s quote ‘more answers, less problems.’

“The word of God is the answer, Pastor J advised, and we’re trying to move this generation back to the word of God.”

RC fans, please purchase The Answer and allow the book to breathe life into your relationship or prep you for the relationship you desire to have.  Also, text ‘ANSWER’ to 444-999 to receive a free video series on an R-Rated approach to ‘The Birds and Bees’ story.

Lastly, tune in tonight @ 7p, EST to TVOne’s original movie “Bad Dad Rehab” starring Rob Riley! You can also catch Chrisette Michele’s Milestone Tour which kicked off Saturday at ESSENCE.

Photo Credits: Facebook/The Answer Movement, CyrenaRose and Dex Jones

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Dr. Heavenly hosts ‘Heaven Help Us Relationship Master Class’ [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

“Married to Medicine star” Dr. Heavenly Kimes hosted her inaugural “Heaven Help Us: Dating & Relationships Master Class” over the holiday weekend. The event was presented by the reality star and relationship expert and her new dating app PIQ.

unnamed-74The one-day class was attended by nearly 200 singles and couples at The Gathering Spot in Atlanta and featured a who’s who of experts and thought-leaders who shared their wisdom on courtship, commitment, sex and marriage.

Guest panelists included “Married to Medicine” cast members Quad Webb-Lunceford, Dr. Simone Whitmore, Dr. Jackie Walters and Genise Shelton along with Jack Daniels, Stacii Jae Johnson, Sasha the Diva, Dr. Myla Bennett, Andre Carter, Angie Nicolas, Dr. Rondrick Williamson, Dr. Alisa Nelson-Wade, Marcus Rosier, Viondi Pate and LaChaka Barney.


Guests enjoyed the informative sessions as well as a catered lunch featuring music by Hot 107.9’s DJ Princess Cut. Special thanks to sponsors Ederra Bella Plastic Surgery, Chakalate Factory Novelties, Glow Skin Enhancement and Signature Sipz.

Check out more photos below:


Centric’s FTBU star Stacii Jae Johnson posing with an attendee

A guest takes selfie with Genise Shelton - Dr. Jackie - Dr. Simone

Attendee posing with Dr. Jackie, Dr. Simone and Genise Shelton

Quad Webb-Lunceford - Dr. Ron - Dr. Heavenly

Dr. Heavenly Kimes w/Quad Webb-Lunceford & Dr. Rondrick Williamson

Photo Credits: Chris Mitchell/CME3000

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Emayatzy Corinealdi talks ‘Roots,’ acting & more with Omari Hardwick for ‘Interview Magazine’ [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

“Roots” starlet Emayatzy Corinealdi chops it up with her former “Middle of Nowhere” co-star Omari Hardwick in an exclusive for INTERVIEW. Corinealdi will be starring in the iconic role of ‘Belle’ that was so famously played by the late Madge Sinclair. She also opens up about why this “Roots” remake is so important to the current generation, how she deals with the pressures of being an African-American women in Hollywood and the moment she knew that acting was her calling.  Check out more photos and excerpts from the conversation below:img-emayatzy-corinealdi_181943976258

On the pressures of being both an actress and ‘being’ Emayatzy…

“It’s not something I feel pressured to be; I don’t feel like I need to be a strong black woman to make sure I’m a good example. It’s something that just is, will be.”


On why the Roots remake is so timely…

“I think now it’s such a perfect time given the climate that we’re in. We still have a lot more room to go. The fact that we have a Black Lives Matter movement along with Roots coming out again, there’s room for a conversation to be had as a result. That’s when I said, “I would be humbled to be a part of this for what it can be and the whole generation that it can speak to.”


On the Roots reaching a new generation…

“That’s why I love that in doing this one, it isn’t, “We’re doing this one so that it can be better than the original because that one missed the mark in some way.” No. This is an opportunity to speak to another generation and that’s what’s important.”


On when she knew acting was her passion…

“As far as the moment that I felt when god was tapping me on my shoulder, I do remember the moment where I realized, “Oh wow, this is what I want to do.” It came when I was 18. I had been acting and everything before then—I had been doing summer theater and was involved in everything I could be in except for drama in high school because I was an athlete. I was like, “Oh I’m not going to be in the drama department. That’s so silly.”img-emayatzy-corinealdi_181656437861

On the conversation she had with her parents and God about acting… 

“It was, “I really think I want to be an actress…can I do that? How do you do that?” “I don’t know, but I think you should do it.” “Well that’s what I’m going to do.” It was literally like that. That is how the decision came, and the path was made from there.”

“Roots” airs tomorrow beginning at 9 p.m. EST on History Channel

Click here to read the entire interview!

Photo Credits: Brian Higbee

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‘Married to Medicine’ star Lisa Nicole Cloud to host ‘Teach Me To Grow With You’ Conference

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

My good friend Lisa Nicole Cloud kicks-off her “Teach Me To Grow with You” Two-Day Conference tomorrow May 28-29 at Atlanta’s Twelve Hotel Atlantic Station.

Teach Me To Grow with You is a relationship based conference that is available to both singles and couples who are looking to experience healthier, happier and more meaningful relationships in their life. Attendees can expect to receive practical advice, tools and strategies that they can use to grow their relationships personally, professionally, spiritually and financially. This key focus of Teach Me To Grow with You is to help singles prepare for their future mates, as well as seriously courting, engaged and married couples repair, refocus and renew their relationships.

unnamed-13According to Lisa, this is a conference designed to help couples in the very areas where they may experience the most challenges.

‘We’ve brought in some of the nation’s foremost experts in the areas of marriage, love, communication, finances and personal development. I believe these are the areas where some marriages and relationships have the most problems,” said Nicole during our phone interview this week. “My goal in developing this conference is to teach couples how to grow together and stay together.”

In addition to that, Lisa also shared with RC the five key ingredients that every couple must have in order to survive.

Take a look below and tell us what you think!

  1. The couple must have God at the center of their relationship
  2. The couple must have the same vision and goals
  3. The couple must grow together and focus on personal development
  4. The couple must have effective communicate
  5. The couple must keep it hot in the bedroom

Click here to see a full conference schedule and stay tuned!

Photo Credits:

RC Exclusive - Ent

Chef G. Garvin shares with RC the Perfect Valentine’s Day Menu and More!

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Today is Valentine’s Day and what better way to say “I Love You” to your boo than with a romantic meal. So when I had the chance to chat with Celebrity Chef G. Garvin recently at the Macy’s Black History Month Celebration, I couldn’t help but ask what the perfect menu would be for two. Here’s what he told me…

The perfect menu begins with you understanding your partner and what they want…


Next, I would start off with a nice bottle of red wine 


Then a safe salad with kale & caramelized walnuts, golden raisins, sliced almonds, and a white balsamic vinaigrette

salmon-filet After the salad would be a sautéed big eye salmon 009-1Light creamed corn 2acff30554a6dbeb02b33ea7e4d77bc3Arugula shaved fennel and razor clams

Close out the night with a Lightly-Buttered Pound Cake feat. Honey Jack Daniels and vanilla cream sauce

For this menu and other exciting Valentine’s Day dishes, click here. Also be on the look out for Chef G. Garvin on The Food Network’s “Guys Grocery Games.” He’s also releasing a new book, “The Taste of the South,” which marries his southern roots with everything he’s seen from around the world. He’s also working with newly married actress Keshia Knight-Pulliam (Hartwell) on her upcoming show,”Cooking with Keshia.”

When I asked what dish defines southern cuisine Garvin said, “Most people think it’s Fried Chicken but if you can find some really crispy pork belly, you’e winning!”

Happy Valentine’s Day from


OXYGEN hosts ATL Preview Party for ‘Preachers of Atlanta’ [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius

I had the pleasure of attending a sneak peek of Oxygen’s new docu-series “Preachers of Atlanta” Thursday night at the 595 North Avenue Venue in Midtown. The private affair was hosted by Praise 102.5 media personality Willie Moore Jr. and featured the show’s stars—Pastor Corey Hambrick, Pastor Le’Andria Johnson, Pastor Canton Jones, Pastor Kimberly Jones-Pothier, and Pastor Judah Swilley.  


The one-hour program, which is a companion to the network’s hugely popular “Preachers of L.A.” and “Preachers of Detroit,” follows five men and women of the cloth and their radical approaches to ministry.  After red carpet photos, each member was introduced to the audience along with 2-minute snippets from the show. Pastor Johnson followed up with a soul stirring performance to “set the atmosphere” and Willie Moore Jr. led them in a brief Q&A session discussing why they decided to participate in the show.


“I think that all of us have been tested and proven by God,” said Pastor Kimberly Jones-Pothier.  “I know that God trusts me. I also think that we’re going outside the doors and we’re loving people back to life and letting everyone know that God is a God of grace and mercy.  See, when God’s mercy meets your mess he turns everything around! What we’re bringing to the table are real authentic pastors who really, really, really, really, really love people.”

Following the Q&A session was another musical selection featuring Pastors Canton Jones and  Judah Swilley. Jones was later joined by his group of hip hop dancers for a  performance of his single, “I Can’t Help It” which comes from the CD, I Am Justice.  “Preachers of Atlanta” premieres next February 3 at 10 p.m. EST on Oxygen.

Check out more photos and the super trailer below.


Praise 102.5’s Willie Moore Jr. hosted the preview party


Pastor Le’Andria Johnson brought the house down with a heartfelt performance


Pastor Canton Jones performed alongside Pastor Swilley



Pastor Canton Jones taking a photo with his hip hop dancers


Jubilee Mag’s Kim Ford with Pastor Kimberly Jones-Pothier

Photo Credits:

RC Exclusive - Ent

Love is in the Air! Check out these New Year Engagements! [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

While some folks were ringing in the New Year, some folks just got a ring!  Congratulations goes out to actress and philanthropist Keshia Knight-Pulliam. She is officially engaged to former football player turned reality star Ed Hartwell.  Pulliam posted the above photo of her playing “kissy face” with a covered up Hartwell and the caption: “Happy to spend not only my new year but my life with this guy!!!”

Also finding true love on New Year’s Eve was Atlanta’s own Reverend Dr. Raphael Warnock of historic Ebenezer Baptist Church. Reportedly after watchnight service, he popped the big question to his girlfriend Dr. Ouleye Ndoye and she said, “Yes!” Check out the photo below and click here to see his heartfelt proposal:


Last but not least is Grammy-winning singer Letoya Luckett and inspirational book author and philanthropist Rob Hill Sr. According to Love B. Scott, Hill announced that he and the “Torn” singer are engaged. Reportedly, he spilled the beans during his “Hope for Love” session at Mount Lebanon Baptist Church watchnight service in Norfolk, VA. It is also being reported that Luckett performed a few songs with the choir as well. While it hasn’t been officially confirmed, Hill did recently post the below photo of the two with a “proposal” like caption:


Your love, your compassion, and your vulnerability continue to strengthen me daily. You are consistently a part of what makes me better…and that is a gift I’ve prayed for. Thank you for making this holiday season special my love @letoyaluckett…”

Stay tuned…

Photo Credits: KeshiaKnightPulliam/Instagram, RobHillSr/Instagram and Raynard Johnson/Facebook
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Toni Braxton covers ‘Healthy Living’ and talks TV Movie, Drake and more!

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Grammy winning-music superstar Toni Braxton looks absolutely radiant on the cover of Healthy Living Magazine‘s December Issue. Inside, the 48-year-old singer dishes about her upcoming Lifetime biopic Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart as well as the making of her family’s holiday album Braxton Family Christmas and a song idea she has for Drake. Toni also talks candidly about why she struggled with fame for so many years and why she’s still single. Check out a few highlights below:

On her Lifetime biopic ‘Un-Break My Heart’ set to air Jan.23:
“I’m proud of myself for all the things I’ve gone through. There are moments that I felt sorry for myself, but at the same time, I started to get up and move forward. That’s the hardest part of getting up, because you’re embarrassed and humiliated.”

On feeling guilty of her success and solo career without her sisters:
“Even though I helped my sisters get record deals, they didn’t have the success that I’ve had. They are starting to have success I’m so proud and happy for, but it was just hard for me being the only one that had success, and I carried that burden of being ashamed. In spite of all the success, I was always ashamed of my success too.”

image001-2A song idea she has for Drake:
“I would like to do something with Drake. Maybe he could do a song about having a crush on 
an older woman and I can sing the hook”

Her dating struggles that lead to mixed emotions during Christmas:
“This Christmas is a year of gift-giving, but it’s also a year of trying to get to myself emotionally, to try to be happy. It’s great being around family and friends. It’s a holiday, and it’s food and you gain seven pounds, and that’s great. But sometimes, around the holidays, I remind myself that “you’re alone.” You’re by yourself and you don’t have love, and why don’t you have love?”

Favorite songs from her music catalogue:

“My favorite Toni Braxton song would probably be Breathe Again, and You’re Makin’ Me High. It might be neck-and-neck.”

On the making of ‘Braxton Family Christmas’: 

“It was hard. I was scared of the challenge; we’re sisters and we fight and we argue. When you’re creative, you have creative differences. It was hard to get everyone together.”

On why she loves to perform in concert: 

“That’s the adrenaline rush. I consider myself an athlete. My voice is my instrument, and I get to perform, but I still have to rest and to take care of it. Sharing with the crowd, the response I get from them, and hearing fans come up and say ‘Oh my god that song made me feel like that…’ Music can magically take you, enchant, and transport you to a point in time in your life.”

Healthy Living Magazine featuring Toni Braxton is on newsstands now!

Photo Credits: Healthy Living Magazine

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Sneak Peek at Tyrese and Rev Run’s ‘It’s Not You, It’s Men’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out a sneak peek of Tyrese Gibson and Rev Run’s new OWN series It’s Not You, It’s Men. The one-hour program will debut on Saturday, January 23 at 9 p.m. EST.

As previously reported, the show will give viewers insight on everything from men and love to relationships and marriage. Each week, the series will feature celebrity guests offering unique points of view on topics such as monogamy, modern romance, sex, marriage and dating.  Look for appearances by Kim Whitley, Vin Diesel, Jordin Sparks, Marlon Wayans, Loni LoveIyanla Vanzant, and more.

It’s Not You, It’s Men is based on Gibson and Run’s book Man-o-logy.

Take look below:

Photo Credit:


Kendrick Lamar covers EBONY’s Black Music Month Issue

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Grammy-winning hip-hop star Kendrick Lamar opens ups to EBONY about his highly respected sophomore album, To Pimp A Butterfly, as well as his take on the nation’s current socio-political woes. He also delves deep into his faith and spirituality and explains why love and wisdom come from children!  Check out his excerpt and full magazine cover below:

inside photo kendrick

“Where does it come from? It comes from kids. And I don’t even have kids. But at heart, I’m a kid myself. And I think all Geminis are kids at heart. And that’s why they’re able to simplify some of the most complex things and connect with people. It’s having that kid spirit. I sit and talk to kids all day, because I feel like they carry the most wisdom.”

Click here to read the full interview

Photo Credit:

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5-Minutes with Muta’ Ali, Writer & Director of ‘Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee’

Written by | Ray Cornelius

In 2012, rising filmmaker Muta’ Ali, embarked on a passion project centered on the lives of his grandparents and one of Hollywood’s most enduring couples, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. The open-letter styled documentary was appropriately titled Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee  and combined over 50 years of the couples’ wit and wisdom in to 90-minutes of valuable lessons about mastering love, conscious art and undying activism. The film features never-before-seen archival footage of their storybook marriage as well as insightful commentary from those who knew them best including Spike Lee, Samuel L. Jackson, Harry Belafonte, Phylicia Rashad, Dr. Cornel West, and Danny Glover.

I recently caught up with Ali during this year’s BronzeLens Film Festival to chat with him about the project and his inspiration behind it. We also talked about the biggest lessons learned while shooting the film and the “magic” that was Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis.  Check out my “5-Minutes with Muta’ Ali.”

RC:  What was the inspiration behind the film?

MA:  I personally wanted to learn more about my grandparents because they lived such great lives. I was about 29-years-old and in a phase of my life where my questions were more significant than they were when I was a teenager. I found myself wishing that I had sat down with my grandfather and talked about heavier, substantial issues. We did talk about African-American history and things of that nature but not as personal as I get in this documentary. I knew I didn’t want to make the same mistake with Gram Ruby. With that being sad, I made the journey to New York to sit her down and not be embarrassed by the questions I had or passive with my time with her. I thought to myself, I would be a fool to not try and capture some of her essence and absorb some of her magic. Little did I know it was the beginning of the last two years of her life.

RC:  What is the biggest lesson you learned from your grandfather, Ossie Davis?

MA:  He was a statesman. He was able to treat everyone kindly. He was able to give advice without being overbearing. He was able to handle erratic situations and become a source of peace and calmness like a balm. Just witnessing that was a lesson itself. Physically, he was a huge guy so he could have been an imposing person but he wasn’t. He was the gentlest yet affective person I’ve ever known. To be aware of that possibility was a lesson for me.

RC:  What was Ruby Dee’s most proud of in terms of her dramatic work?

MA:  There was so much but I do remember her being proud of her book of poetry and one woman show, My One Good Nerve.  That has been redone around the country so many times. If you ever get a chance to read it or see the show, you would understand the breath of her artistic talent. Even at her memorial, we had a group of actresses read some of the poetry which was so moving and powerful and funny all at the same time. Gram Ruby was also proud of the play, Boesman and Lena,  which she won Obie Award in 1971.

RC:  What did you learn about your grandparents that you didn’t know before?

MA:  I learned a lot about love, art and activism. What’s standing out the most right now though is that she was actually married to a man named Frankie Dee Brown before she married Grandpa. That was news to me considering I didn’t know that she was married to someone other than him. I saw his picture for the first time while digging through the archives. I finally figured out the story behind that and talked to Harry Belafonte about that and some of the other actors she worked with at the American Negro Theater. It showed me that Grandpa and Gram Ruby had the perfect connection. It also showed me that sometimes you don’t get it right the first time and that’s ok.

RC:  What was the glue that held them together all of those years?

MA:  I think it was a couple of things. I believe they were very attracted to one another. (LOL) They were also raised to have a strong respect for the family structure. They really grew up appreciating family and really taking care of one another and that was more important than your own personal desires. Your desire should always be to take care of your family and your community. She never claimed that Grandpa didn’t disappoint her and she can’t say that she never disappointed him either. However, they knew they would never leave each other. Grandpa would also say that the struggle kept them together. There was always some march or cause. They knew that the love they had for each other and that had been instilled in them since childhood compelled them to take action even if there was some friction between the two of them. There was a greater cause and a greater thing that brought them together. Their art work bonded them together. Those things combined made them a great pair.

RC:  What do you want people to walk away after seeing the film?

MA:  The most universal lesson that Gram Ruby taught me was about community. She never got to see the whole film but she said that, “You’re putting a spotlight on a Grandmother lovingly helping her grandson through issues of love, art and activism.”  Although it’s biographical, it’s actually fueled by that desire to teach your descendants and keep them on the straight and narrow. When you put that on a pedestal it inspires others to speak to their elders and explore the values and lessons they have learned. Then the whole neighborhood will do it and then the community will do it and the entire city will be inspired by what life’s essentials is all about.

Photo Credit: