Suzie Ketcham Of 'Basketball Wives' Reveals Why She Returned

After officially announcing her exit from Basketball Wives Suzie Ketcham had a change of heart. The fun loving, free spirited chatterbox has decided to return but she’s a lot more low key and says she has learned to stay drama free⎯ for real, this time. VIBE caught up with her to figure out where her head is for season three. ⎯Starrene Rhett

Why did you decide to come back to Basketball Wives after making the big announcement about leaving?

It’s kind of funny. Originally I thought I wasn’t going to do it. Even when they started filming I wasn’t a part of the plan to be in it again. And then one of the producers wanted me to film some cameo scenes with Royce. And I think because we already have chemistry⎯me and Royce have known each other for some time now⎯that they liked how we were popping off on camera and I know that they had some other people that they were testing I don’t think they worked out. So, they brought me back and it was kind of easy for me because I was eased in to it and I didn’t think that it was going to be that bad, which it wasn’t. It’s been pretty easy so far, a lot easier than last season.

Speaking of last season, a lot of the tension has trickled over and it seems that “the circle” is divided. It’s like Shaunie, Jen, and Evelyn on this side and you, Tammy and Royce on the other side. Will you guys come back together or are you guys on the brink of an explosive argument?

Evelyn and I come back together, Shaunie wants us to meet back up. Royce has a lot of tension going on between them now, there’s a little meeting that they actually show that in the super trailer⎯we have a meeting with Jen, Evelyn, Royce and I and that is as you can see ends up being very explosive. There is a lot of explosive things that happen this season. But for us who have been in since season one, we are starting to know the game a lot better, its just become a lot easier. You can get through it.

You seem a lot more low key. What lessons have you learned from going through this whole experience?

After Season one. The whole thing with throwing water on Sandra was great TV but then the backlash that you would deal with, like I would go to my daughter’s school and have little kids come up to me telling me they saw me throw water in this girl’s face and why did I do that. I was thinking, “Oh my god! I’m a mother. I can’t be like this.” And then during the beginning, I went to jail for that, it was just a big mess. She was trying to sue me. I was worried about her suing me and then I would have to get attorneys, it got really messy. So I learned that I can’t go running around smacking people or throwing water, or doing anything like that anymore. It was a big headache for about eight months because California has eight months to file charges against me. It would have been like five years probation so for me, that made me realized that this isn’t a joke and she could have gotten hurt. I don’t want to live my life like that anymore. All is clear now. It was up until October 15th [last year]. The whole time we were filming my attorney was like, “Don’t do anything stupid, don’t throw anything, don’t lay your hands on anyone. You’re in the public eye so California might try to make you an example. So you have to be careful that you don’t do anything stupid again” [laughs].

Last season you talked about wanting to fulfill a career as a TV correspondent. How is that going? Will we get to see some of your outside endeavors on the show?

I am so busy with my regular life and my regular job, which of course I need to keep. And with the kids it’s like I am trying to fit in the classes too. Everything is happening so fast with the show filming that it’s really kind of hard to fit anything else in the mix right now but I still want to pursue it. Right now, my head is spinning so it might be on hold for now. But I can’t complain. I’d rather my life be crazy and hectic than boring and be complacent.

What would Suzie now tell old Suzie who was about to start taping Basketball Wives?

I would have told myself to do my own makeup and don’t go to the MAC girls [laughs]. I would go to the MAC counter and be like I have no idea how to do make up for TV and they would put dark makeup on me. My face is really pale and my hair is dark and they would put dark eye makeup, dramatic eye make up on my eyes and I would look crazy on TV. I think learned a lot of stuff like, to have a thick skin too. People on Twitter⎯we have so much love and support but it’s just those one or two who send you a nasty message and you think about it all day. I would of told myself don’t take that so seriously and try not to read everything that’s out there. I don’t read the blogs, I’ll skim through my replies and I can tell which ones are the nasty ones and I skip them. So try not to be as sensitive as I was because it’s very hard. It’s a learning experience. I don’t think you know until you do it, because we go through a lot.

Considering the growth you talked about, who is Suzie Ketcham this season?

I am the most passionate one of the group. I think people view me as space cadet because I like to be happy and I want everything to be drama free. I am always trying to keep the peace but it doesn’t happen. I know people love to watch drama, but I want people to take away that we are all really good people in the end. We actually are real people and they only see a portion of what we are. I am trying to show people that I am a better person. I am not some horrible person who runs around throwing water on people. I am sensitive. I care about people. I think that’s a much bigger part of me than that chick who was running around throwing water on people.

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In 'The Chi' Season Finale, Everyone Puts Together A Life With Broken Pieces

“I ain’t no perfect man. I’m trying to do the best that I can with what it is I have.”

Before the title screen appears or a single character on The Chi utters a word, Mos Def’s airy vocals from “Umi Says” permeate the on-screen montage of characters settling into the lives they’ve constructed. Brandon happily serves customers out of his food truck. Emmett tries getting in contact with Tiff, the mother of his third (and possible fourth) child, while at his job. Ronnie puts up positive affirmations on his fridge. Then, their lives smash into the fragments of moments and lessons that they’ve been this whole time.

Ronnie finally confronts his estranged father, who he lived across the street from his entire life, in an emotionally unnerving scene. In his heart-wrenching monologue, Ronnie tearfully explains to the man who created him that his son is nothing more than a lost child who grew into a broken adult by scavenging for pieces of a man to make himself whole. He says he “needed some things from you that I’ve been searching all over the place for.”

In that one scene, Ronnie’s alcoholism, and subsequent criminal history, can be tied to his never-ending search to fill the holes left by an absentee father. Ronnie is roughly 40 years old and a 1993 study conducted by professors June O’Neil and M. Anne Hill concluded kids who grow up in a household without a father had the highest incarceration rates than other groups of children. The feeling of abandonment by a parental figure is often cited in studies as a reason children grow up to disrespect authority figures and indulge in illicit substances.

In a flashback sequence from earlier in the season, Ronnie opines about feeling out of place returning to Chicago from the military because had no sense of direction or what to do everyday. His time in the military had detrimental effects on his mental state and nearly drove him to suicide but, also gave him the sense of family and purpose that Ronnie yearned for from his father. In essence, his father being absent from his life drove Ronnie to seek the structure of a military environment that became so integral to his well-being and perception of life that being removed from caused irreparable damage.

You never really know which people are shards of a broken life until you see the cracks. For the better part of two seasons, Brandon was an upstanding member of society who unwaveringly stuck to his morals. Yet, after revealing he had knowledge of Perry’s involvement with 63rd Street Mob to Jerrika, Brandon flips out on her over her disapproval. Jerrika thinks Brandon is falling into the same trap as others who have got involved with gangs. Brandon vehemently refutes that, seeing his work with the gang as a way for him to escape his past of staring into empty fridges, begging random people on the street for money to eat and pulling his mother out of pimps’ cars. Brandon didn’t knowingly join a gang, but due to an unflattering past bubbling under the surface of his positive demeanor, he sees being affiliated with an illegal organization as making the best out of the cards he was dealt.

The National Gang Crime Research Center (NGCRC) surveyed 4,000 gang members in a 1996 study which concluded that only 25 percent of them join gangs to make money. NGCRC director at the time, Greg Knox, and longtime juvenile probation officer, Tom Schneiderl, agree that for most young gang members, the central appeal is having protection from a group of peers who validate your life choices. Knox goes as far as to deduce from his research that “the deeper a kid’s involvement in a gang, the more dysfunctional his/her family life.” Perry validating Brandon’s ambition, the on-demand protection he could call on from Reg and the ability to escape his impoverished standing in life are primary reasons for Brandon reconciling his gang involvement with the content of his character.

In this episode, Ronnie is the long-term effect of a broken home, Brandon is the initial acknowledgement of those effects and Jake is the beginning of those effects. Perry tells Reg that “Jake needs to be insulated from the trappings of the block” by taking him from the trap house to working in Perry’s legitimate pizza business. That way they can prevent Jake from having a criminal record that would draw police attention when he gets older, and presumably, more active in the gang. Jake’s father has not been in the picture the entire series and we learned earlier this season that his mother is a recovering drug addict who Jake has never met. So, when Perry decides Jake’s future for him with his brother Reg, he’s doing so with the only parental figure in Jake’s life.

This is why Jake goes back to selling drugs outside of school even after his friend Kevin got suspended, or why he lived in Chicago his entire life but had no idea about Lake Michigan. Who he is, is the nature he has been given, just like the scorpion that bludgeons the frog helping it cross the water.

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Bill Cosby Receives Backlash For "America's Dad" Father's Day Post

Bill Cosby caused quite the frenzy on social media this past Father's Day (June 16). Although the comedian and actor is currently sitting behind bars, he managed to make a number of people upset with his latest Twitter message.

"Hey, Hey, Hey…It’s America’s Dad," he tweeted. "I know it’s late, but to all of the Dads… It’s an honor to be called a Father, so let’s make today a renewed oath to fulfilling our purpose —strengthening our families and communities. #HappyFathersDay #RenewedOathToOurFamily"

Many Twitter users took issue with Cosby labeling himself, "America's Dad." While he has previously been considered as such due to his pivotal role on The Cosby Show, many felt it was inappropriate due to the countless accusations of rape and sexual assault made by more than 60 women throughout his career. Furthermore, Cosby is currently serving a three to 10-year prison sentence for three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

So, between Cosby's Father's Day post and O.J. Simpson's newly-launched account, it's turning out to be a weird month for Twitter. Check out Cosby's full message and the reactions below.

Hey, Hey, Hey...It’s America’s Dad...I know it’s late, but to all of the Dads... It’s an honor to be called a Father, so let’s make today a renewed oath to fulfilling our purpose —strengthening our families and communities.#HappyFathersDay#RenewedOathToOurFamily pic.twitter.com/6EGrF87t6G

— Bill Cosby (@BillCosby) June 17, 2019

Bill Cosby, disgraced father and husband, still in denial that he got busted. Maybe he and OJ could get a shared account.

— Fif de Florence (@DrFifiRx) June 17, 2019




— Michael Peters (@peteydallas) June 17, 2019


— Posa (@justposa) June 17, 2019

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Mike Coppola

The Cast Of 'SHAFT' Talk Family Traditions, Power And The Film's Legacy

Back in 1971, Richard Roundtree became the face of the legendary crime/blaxploitation film SHAFT. His influence in the role paved the way for a new generation of black detectives filled with a gluttonous amount of swag, clever one-liners, and action-packed scenes. Samuel L. Jackson followed suit in the franchise’s 2000 installment as he took over the streets of Uptown Manhattan and Harlem filling in for Roundtree’s original character.

Fast forward to 2019, and SHAFT’s legacy has risen to higher heights, incorporating Roundtree and Jackson together with an extension of their detective prowess. Director Tim Story created a familial driven movie centered around three different generations of SHAFT men. Roundtree plays the grandfather; Jackson plays the dad—and Jessie T. Usher plays the son. All three embark on a mission that’s laced with dirty politics, Islamophobia, and highflying action in efforts to solve a seemingly homicidal death.

The dynamics between all three are hilarious and dotted with lessons learned from past paternal influences. On a recent sunny Friday afternoon at Harlem's Red Rooster, the trio shared some of the traditions and virtues the paternal figures in real life have taught them. Most of the influence passed down to them was centered on working hard.

“People say to me, ‘Why do you work so much?’” Jackson said. “Well, all the grown people went to work every day when I got up. I figured that’s what we’re supposed to be doing—get up, pay a bill, and take care of everything that’s supposed to be taken care of.”

“For my family, it was cleanliness and masculinity,” Usher added. “The guys in my family were always well put together, very responsible especially my dad.”

In spite of the SHAFT men's power, the film's story wouldn’t be what it is without Regina Hall and Alexandra Shipp’s characters. They both play strong women caught in the middle of the mayhem created by the men they care about. Both are conscious of the power they exhibit as black women off and on screen, yet are aware of the dichotomy of how that strength is perceived in the world.

“It’s very interesting because I think a lot of times as powerful black women we are seen as angry black women,” Shipp says. “So it’s hard to have that voice and that opinion because a lot of times when we voice it; it becomes a negative rather than a positive. In order to hold that power, it has to be poised. It has to be with grace, I think there is strength in a strong but graceful black woman.”

“People have an idea of what strength is and how you do it and sometimes it’s the subtleties,” Regina adds. “Sometimes our influence is so powerful and it doesn’t always have to be loud I think a lot of times how we navigate is with conviction and patience.”

VIBE chatted with the cast of SHAFT about holding power, their red flags when it comes to dating, and why the SHAFT legacy continues to live on. Watch the interviews below.

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