Chicago Sun Times 04/15/2019 article
Since Empire: The House That John H. Johnson Built was released on November 6, the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., who wrote the book's foreword about John H. Johnson, his late mentor and "godfather," has been committed to helping me promote and push the message about the man and his mission. Just recently Rev. Jackson's Rainbow PUSH Coalition invited me during its Reunion Day to not only discuss the book during its live broadcast but to also have a book signing on December 8 following the telecast. The book was most recently featured in Richard Prince's Journal-isms Book Notes: Holiday Offerings.
On Sunday, November 11, the Raymond A. Thomas Art Studio hosted the official book launch party for Empire: The House That John H. Johnson Built, five days after its nationwide release. Located in Chicago's "Black Metropolis," also known as the historic Bronzeville neighborhood, the studio is housed in the Bronzeville Artist Lofts, home of Gallery Guichard, the preeminent gallery of art co-owned by Andre Guichard. Raymond A. Thomas designed Empire's cover. He served as art director and creative manager at Johnson Publishing Company--under the direct leadership of its pioneering founder John H. Johnson--for more than two decades where his work appeared on the covers and in the pages of EBONY and JET magazines. Valerie Goodloe, who served as a photographer for EBONY and JET, took pictures for the evening along with Ajuma Muhammad. Check out some recent coverage, including The Chicago Defender, The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, Richard Prince's Journal-isms, and WVON 1690 Talk of Chicago (Real Talk Real People with Chatdaddy).
EBONY gets up close and personal for its October issue with Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Sen. Cory Book (D-NJ). A tribute to the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, which I penned, is also featured.
This was taken during a meet and greet, following Aretha Franklin's performance at Ravinia in 2015. She told me how much she liked my hat.
Issa Rae's award-winning HBO series, "Insecure," returns for a third season on Sunday, August 12. Taking front and center on EBONY's September fashion issue, she's hoping to change the way African-American women are viewed in television and in film by presenting multi-dimensional perspectives. In this issue I caught up with Grammy Award-winning performer Bobby Brown and wrote a story about his highly-anticipated two-night BET mini-series, "The Bobby Brown Story," airing September 4 and 5. He also discussed his new life and the importance of having someone in his corner during his darkest moments.
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Bobby and I during media interview at Wintrust Arena in green room. Later that day the Grammy Award-winning singer appeared with RBRM before a sold-out concert at Chicago's Arie Crown Theater. He revealed that he lost 60 lbs. by watching his diet and cooking with his own natural products. Learn more about Bobby Brown Foods. BET's The New Edition Story and The Bobby Brown Story were the network's highest ranking in its history.
OWN's New Series Love Is__ Follows Early Romance of Hollywood Power Pair Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil
Getting married is easy but staying married is a different story. Mara Brock Akil and her husband, Salim Akil, pulled it off and celebrated 19 years of wedded bliss this year, something a bit of an oddity in show business. Noted for their work with top-rated TV shows such as Being Mary Jane, Black Lightning, The Game, and Girlfriends, the duo's next series, Love Is__, will center around the early stages of their relationship. Catch the OWN dramedy on June 19. Also pick up the June issue of EBONY where I spoke with the show's leads, Will Catlett and Michele Weaver. Nicole Weaver, Michele's mom, was her biggest cheerleader on both Twitter and Instagram.
Photo of me with Mara Brock Akil and her husband, Salim Akil, at the 2008 NAACP Image Awards Nominees Luncheon in Los Angeles.
When it comes to high-profile relationships, things aren't what they used to be. It isn't that couples today endure more stress behind closed doors than those who came before. It's just that folks in the spotlight now must deal with more drama thanks to social media having their business in the streets and in the tweets. If you haven't already, check out this cover story I penned where many of these lovebirds have proven that anything worth having is certainly worth fighting for...even if it's each other.
It's always a pleasure to speak with a fellow St. Louis native even when the interview is conducted via a phoner well after 10:00 p.m. This article appeared in the December 2017/January 2018 Power issue of EBONY.
I am Dr. Margena A. Christian aka DocM.A.C. Some folks feel my way with words, so I thought I would drop a few random "soul lessons" with a little bit of this and a whole lot of that. Keep the faith and always trust the process.