A couple of musings from pop culture.
*** My good buddy Dr. Ian Smith is now the host of "Meet the Faith" on BET (www.bet.com/News/meetthefaith.htm). It premiered on Sunday with Angela Bassett and Courtney P. Vance. He's doing a good job... and tells me that he's looking for a way for me to participate on "Meet The Faith" in the wake of my recent on-camera, "One World with Black Enterprise" appearance and in the spirit of his continued support of my career and me. And of course, he's always working on many things - specials, books, marriage, parenthood, etc. (www.doctoriansmith.com/) which I think is why we get along so well. (I too am a multi-tasker). VH-1's "Celebrity Fit Club" (www.CelebrityFitClub.com) is how we've come to see him most often these days. But he's working on a campaign now that promises to change the world and shift the health of our nation - especially the health of African Americans (http://www.50millionpounds.com/default.aspx). The 50 Million Pound Challenge is an historic opportunity for African Americans to come together against a growing health crisis. The challenge is to collectively lose 50 million pounds and reduce the very real risks that being overweight poses to our community.
Dr. Ian and I are a part of a group of folks who title ourselves "The Pentavaurate". At the turn of this century, the five of us would have dinner once or twice a month and just share our lives with each other. It was a commitment we all held high for three years and change. Since "life" has begun to happen in a forwarding way for us all (marriage, kids, life partners, careers, moves, etc.), we now see each other rarely, but we always support each other.
* And I've had a chance to collaborate with Tyler Perry a time or two over these last couple of years. I want to shout him out as he readies for the Wednesday premiere of "House of Payne" (www.tbs.com/shows/houseofpayne/). It will air on TBS, which bought 100 episodes (40 of which he's completed. He reportedly tapes three shows a week). Additionally, I'd like to shout out that I have also performed with one of the show's stars. I knew Cassi Davis from my days at Morehouse. Yet again, you remember that play "Martin: The Life & Times of Martin Luther King Jr."? I've spoken about it a couple of times in previous entries. Well, Cassi too starred in that production. And for a couple of years, she played my mother. Since those times, she'd move to Los Angeles and be seen in TV and film oftentimes. She too has has worked extensively over the years with Tyler Perry on such projects as the stage play and subsequent DVD Madea Goes to Jail, as well as Perry’s theatrical films, Daddy’s Little Girls and Madea’s Family Reunion. Her television credits include Living Single, Chicago Hope and the voice of Hud Woman in the claymation show The PJs, with Eddie Murphy. She has also made appearances in Woman Thou Art Loosed, School Daze, Silent Children and Big Otis Blues Revue. This, I argue, is her BIG BREAK! CONGRATS!!!!!
* WHICH ONE OF THESE DOESN'T FIT? READ ON... well, Anthony and I were on the computer one night - playing with YOU TUBE and going where it leads. On this particular night, after we saw some JANET JACKSON appearance from Japan or perhaps it was DIANA ROSS in the '80s, we were led to some selections by MISS LATOYA JACKSON, Michael and Janet's sister. Now, I know she's known as the wacky one who tells all the family business. But there was a time, I told Anthony, were LATOYA held a very special place in my little-boy, 'pop-culture' heart. In fact "HEART DON'T LIE", her duet with Howard Hewitt was one of my favorites. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qjpgm-Nh1U). And remember, the Full-Force-produced "You're Gonna Get Rocked"? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg7ATxVX9hs). Well, maybe most of the music is forgettable. But LATOYA inspired my Anthony to research even further into whether Latoya has a MY SPACE page. And she does... It's www.myspace.com/latoyaonline.com. And her website is www.latoyaonline.com. But what's great is that YOU TUBE, which I call my LIQUID CRACK, can take you down a memory lane that stumbles into territory that you (and I) may have forgotten about or blocked out. And in the moment of watching LATOYA in her best "head-band", I SMILE.... a BIG SMILE! And I REMEMBER THE TIME.