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WHEN LOVE KILLS: THE FALICIA BLAKELY STORY Red Carpet Screening and Q&A with Lil Mama, Lance Gross, Tami Roman and Tasha Smith

ATLANTA, GA – AUGUST 09: (EDITORS NOTE: This image was shot with a fisheye lens.) A general view of the atmosphere during the “When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story” movie screening at Regal Atlantic Station on August 9, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images for TV One)

TV One really outdid itself with its latest original film, When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely story! If you have ever been a fan of the network’s Fatal Attraction series then you will really love this movie. Marking Tasha Smith’s directorial debut, the film is based off a true story. Falicia Blakely (Lil Mama) was a young woman who became a stripper and pregnant when she was only sixteen years old. Abandoned by her daughter’s father and living with her troubled mother (Tami Roman), she is forced to grow up and work to make ends meet. Her luck seems to change when she meets Big Dino (Lance Gross), a drug dealer and charmer. Her life spirals out of control as she sacrifices her life, body, and ultimately her freedom all in the name of love.

Indeed this is a story that has all the angst, danger, and makings of any traditional Lifetime movie! Tasha Smith is an excellent director. Her guidance coupled with this amazing cast of actors really makes this film awesome. Lil Mama’s acting chops are Grade A and we cannot wait to see her in more productions!

TV One definitely knows what it is doing and we can only hope things go up from here. We need to see more films like these about real people, especially young women. Most people have no idea just how prevalent sex trafficking is or that most women are in prison based on something surrounding a man.

 

Social Life

THE GENTLEMEN’S FOUNDATION RAISES OVER 60K FOR LGBTQIA PEOPLE OF COLOR AT THE 6TH ANNUAL GENTLEMEN’S BALL IN ATLANTA

Over this past weekend, The Gentlemen’s Foundation hosted their 6th Annual Gentlemen’s Ball (powered by UPS) at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel. The 2017 theme “We Are Royalty” celebrated all people of color identifying as LGBTQIA.

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Photo Credit: Michael Walker/UMEEK Images

Over this past weekend, The Gentlemen’s Foundation hosted their 6th Annual Gentlemen’s Ball (powered by UPS) at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel. The 2017 theme “We Are Royalty” celebrated all people of color identifying as LGBTQIA.

Additionally, the black-tie gala ball and awards ceremony celebrated individuals within the LGBTQ community who have been committed to social change and enhancement of the quality of life. Guests and honorees for this year’s ball included Tarell McCraney (“Moonlight”), Tracee McDaniel (founder of “Juxtaposed Center for Transformation”), Amiyah Scott (“STAR” on FOX), Charles Stephens (Writer/Creator of The Counter Narrative Project), Darlene Hudson (“State of Black Gay America Summit and Southern Unity Movement”), Julian Walker(“BLACKBIRD,” “Being Mary Jane” on BET), Jack MizrahiMelissa Scott (VH1 “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta”), Chief Joel Baker (City of Atlanta Fire & Rescue Department), Sharon Lettman-Hicks (Executive Director/CEO National Black Justice Coalition), CoriologyTyra BDerek J (“Real Housewives of Atlanta”), Miss Lawrence (Bravo’s “Fashion Queens”), Jussie Smollett (“EMPIRE” on FOX), Kelly PriceBevy Smith (“Radio Andy” on Sirius XM) and more.

Under the theme, “We Are Royalty,” this year’s fundraising gala and celebration was the signature event of The Gentlemen’s Ball Weekend, September 29th through October 1st, 2017. The three days of programming were filled with activities for guests and allies to recharge and reimagine their lives. Empowering experiences included: a health & wellness fair, workshops on love, relationships and financial planning, along with parties, mixers and socials before and after the ball. On Friday, September 29, ball attendees were invited to two free panel discussions with tastemakers in the business and entertainment industry’s. Special panelists included Ryan Anderson (“SunTrust Bank”), Vaughn Alvarez (“CR8 Agency,” Publicist), Gocha Hawkins (WE tv, “LA HAIR”), Melissa Scott (“Traxx Girls”), Lisa Cunningham and more.

On Sunday, October 1, following the ball, The Gentlemen’s Foundation hosted a “Royal Brunch,” that featured a special Q&A with current select Atlanta Mayoral candidates. In attendance were Mayoral candidates: Cathy WoolardCeasar MitchellKeisha Lance BottomsLaban KingMichael SterlingPeter Aman and John Eaves. All candidates addressed important issues impacting the city of Atlanta and it’s LGBTQIA citizens.

The Gentlemen’s Foundation was founded by Juan and Gee Smalls, an African American Atlanta based same-gender loving couple who also serve as certified relationship counselors, philanthropists, and life coaches. The foundation is a non-profit organization committing to broader social change and encouraging individual and collective empowerment as well as public service, leadership, philanthropy, and networking. Check out more photos from the event below.

To learn more about The Gentlemen’s Foundation visit: www.TheGentlemensFoundation.org.

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Music

KIERRA SHEARD & J. DREW SHEARD OF KAREW HOST LABEL RELAUNCH SHOWCASE AT STUDIO 51 IN DETROIT

 Karew, home of the Grammy Award winning Clark Sisters and multiple award winners Karen Clark Sheard and Kierra Sheard, announced exciting new changes, new branding, new music, new visuals, and more during it’s relaunch showcase event on Tuesday, September 19 at Studio 51 in Detroit.

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karew records

 Karew, home of the Grammy Award winning Clark Sisters and multiple award winners Karen Clark Sheard and Kierra Sheard, announced exciting new changes, new branding, new music, new visuals, and more during it’s relaunch showcase event on Tuesday, September 19 at Studio 51 in Detroit.

The Karew relaunch showcase informed attendees about their new expansion to becoming a multi-genre label. The event included a new music performance by Karew’s own Kierra Sheard. Kierra gave attendees an exclusive listen of her new music featuring rapper, Sir The Baptist. Additionally, J. Drew & The Band performed. Upon entrance into the venue, guests were shown the all-new apparel by Karew.

kierra sheard

“I am excited about presenting the future of Karew to the world. Karew is now expanding from just a record label to a full entertainment company including music, film, fashion, and more. We are a team of young and innovative millennials working together to build timeless projects. We are currently still building and it only gets better,” says President & CEO of Karew Records, J. Drew Sheard II.

Recently, Karew celebrated the success of the #1 Billboard Gospel single, “Hang On.” “Hang On,” was lifted from the album, GEI LIVE, and made a top 5 debut on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart upon its release. Karew Records current roster includes: Karen Clark Sheard, Kierra Sheard and The Clark Sisters, who were recently sampled on rapper Jay Z’s 4:44 album. Kierra Sheard is currently featured on Lecrae’s song, “Worth It” lifted from his new album “All Things Work Together.”

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Social Life

[RECAP] #WORK! Check Out The 3rd Annual Queer Black Film Festival!

Atlanta is always poppin’ Labor Day weekend–Dragon Con, Labor Day cookouts and vacations, and of course Black Gay Pride!

THE CITY WAS FULL OF EVENTS, BUT FEW OF THEM MATCHED THE FERVOR OR WERE AS OUTSTANDING AS THE THIRD ANNUAL QUEER BLACK FILM FESTIVAL SPONSORED BY VISION CHURCH OF ATLANTA AT THE GEORGIAN TERRACE HOTEL.

There, Black LGBT filmmakers, producers, actors, directors,  screenwriters, and showrunners from across the country gathered together to share their expertise, craft, and most of all their own amazing work.

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Atlanta is always poppin’ Labor Day weekend–Dragon Con, Labor Day cookouts and vacations, and of course Black Gay Pride! The city was full of events, but few of them matched the fervor or were as outstanding as the Third Annual Queer Black Film Festival sponsored by Vision Church of Atlanta at The Georgian Terrace Hotel.

There, Black LGBT filmmakers, producers, actors, directors,  screenwriters, and showrunners from across the country gathered together to share their expertise, craft, and most of all their own amazing work.

third annual queer black film festival

Third Annual Queer Black Film Festival by Rhavynn Drummer

 

eden's garden web series

Hosted by local filmmaker, Courtney Walter and Onyx Keesha, the festivities began on Friday afternoon with a actors’ workshop hosted by Rhavynn Drummer. Later that evening a screening of Davien Harlis’s critically acclaimed film, Red Carpet, Hashtags, & Heartbreak was held with a Q & A with with Davien and other cast members from the film. The fun did not stop there, however, as on Saturday a panel was held, discussing the portrayal of Black gay characters in the media. The panelists were directors, filmmakers, producers, and actors; each with a different, refreshing perspective. Following the panel discussion, five different projects were screened; including Commute, Parallel The Documentary, and Eden’s Garden.

third annual queer black film festival

Davien Harlis receiving reward for “Best Overall Film” for “Red Carpet, Hashtags, & Heartbreak”

Finally, and excitingly, the event ended at Piedmont Park where the winners from the weekend were given various awards for best screenwriting, overall work, and best story. Needless to say the Third Annual Queer Black Film Festival is a wonderful event. The hosts were amazing, the venue was outstanding, and getting to meet so many Black LGBT people in the film industry was empowering and impressive. The festival serves as a stark reminder that there really is a place in the world for everyone who desires to express themselves. We definitely cannot wait for next year’s festival and you can be sure we will be front line and center! Happy Pride everyone!

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