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Sheree Whitfield on Becoming a 'Singer,' Portrayal of Black Women in the Media

In part two of our chat Sheree Whitfield she shares her thoughts on images if Black women in the media, why some artists need to be more respectful to women with their lyrics, the joy of her South Africa Trip and whether she'll make more music. You can check out part one here if you need to catch up first but if not, enjoy:

What’s going on with you music, it sounded like you could actually hold a note?

I can’t sing but ok, thank you [laughs]. I was actually just having fun. I was just flowing or whatever and it was definitely me stepping outside the box because this is something I never wanted to do or thought about doing, but when the guy hit me on twitter about doing the song—he hit me two years ago but he stayed consistent about asking me to do it. Every day he would check my twitter line and there were so many people saying “who gon’ check me boo,” I can’t live it down. And so, I told him to make it relevant to what I’m going through today and he did. We attached it to a program for inner city youth out of Chicago, and their mission is to not only educate the kids academically but also artistically and culturally, so for me to get out and do this—hopefully this can inspire other people who actually want to do this and step outside that shell and dream big and never limit themselves, so I’m glad I was able to show my kids that I can step outside the box and do something different.

Are you going to make another song now that you’ve seen the response?

I don’t know. I just fell into this but I’m trying to put together a promotional tour right now and we’ll see how it goes.

And if it goes well, you’ll be enlisting Kandi’s help, huh?

I wont say never. Kandi does a fair share of—I mean—I’ve heard her on the last episode pretty much say that she didn’t want to work with us anymore, which is fine with me. I get it; it’s the same Phaedra and I mixing business with friendship we had to stop.

Are you still friends now?

Absolutely! We’re still friends. It didn’t work out with her being my attorney but I like her as a friend.

Are Kim and Kroy getting their own show?

I would love—the story is just amazing. For her to meet this guy at my fantasy event, have a baby, move into a huge house, get married—all of that should have been documented. That’s a story within itself because a lot of women think it can’t happen and Kim and Kroy are proof that it does. I don’t know if that would happen with all they’ve got going on, on this show but it would be interesting to see.

What would your spinoff be about?

I’d probably tailor mine toward something in health and fitness. We need to get America healthier, especially the kids, so it would be related to health. And I know people say Sheree and Lawrence should get their own show, I think it would be funny because we do have great chemistry that’s genuine.

How do u feel about the images of Black women in the media?

On TV, I think that of course, it’s sad that the portrayal is always, or seems to be negative like, we’re always angry and fighting and there has to be drama involved when it comes to black women but I think with a lot of the songs [in hip-hop], these guys and maybe some of the girls too—I don’t really listen to it because I listen to more R&B—but the words that they call the women or how they portray women in the videos and things like that—I think people are looking at it like if they don’t respect their women then why should we respect American women. Maybe African American men should be a lot more respectful to the women.

What can we expect from your South African trip and the rest of the season in general?

Going to south Africa was a wonderful experience. I experienced probably every emotion one could have over in South Africa. Watching it, you guys are gonna be laughing, maybe almost crying. You’re gonna be sad you’re gonna be happy—it was really, really touching. I think the people are gonna appreciate it. That was my first time going. It was an eye opener; it was a great experience. I don’t know how many episodes it’s gonna run but it’s definitely gonna be great for TV, and for the rest of the season we got a bunch of crazy girls on this show so of course there’s more drama. And with me, I think—my storyline was more about my family, which I love.

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Police Conducted Welfare Check On Wendy Williams Over Alleged Poisoning

Police reportedly conducted a wellness check on Wendy Williams at her New Jersey home earlier this year after an anonymous caller claimed the TV personality's husband, Kevin Winter was poisoning her, People reports.

The incident reportedly occurred during Williams' television hiatus in Jan. 2019. According to the police report obtained by People, police arrived at Williams' residence shortly after the call was made. Hunter reportedly answered the door, claiming his wife was recovering from an illness.

Authorities noted that Hunter was "hesitant" to let the police inside the house but eventually did. There, they found Williams in bed with a "blanket covering her from neck to toe." Williams told the cops she was recovering from a broken shoulder.

Williams reportedly "became tearful" when they asked if there was any truth to the poisoning allegation, but she ultimately denied that any wrongdoing was taking place. Police said Hunter "then responded saying something to the effect of there had never been any calls to his house regarding domestic violence."

While the couple might not have received calls to the house, there have been rumors of domestic abuse. Many assumed that was one of many reasons why Williams filed for divorce against Hunter earlier this month. Even so, the Williams maintained that she was leaving on good terms.

"I am going through a time of self-reflection and am trying to right some wrongs,” he said a recent episode of her self-titled show. "No matter what the outcome is or what the future holds, we are still The Hunter Family and I will continue to work with and fully support my wife in this business and through any and all obstacles she may face living her new life of sobriety, while I also work on mine."

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'The Chi' Recap: Ep. 3 Shows The Effects Of Childhoods Being Stolen By Adults

A child can die and still grow up. A child can die from growing up. In The Chi, where humanity is hustled and children face their mortality, childhood is a luxury few are lucky enough to keep let alone enjoy. Adults traffic in stolen youths, trading in childhoods that never belonged to them. Some use them to make their lives easier, others use them to advance their careers, but they all snatch away the childhoods of young black boys and girls in order for them to navigate adulthood better.

On the insidious side, Ronnie’s lawyer Kimberly Hendricks (Kimberly Hebert Gregory) uses Kevin’s youth to both intimidate and discredit the only eye witness to Ronnie’s murder of Coogie Johnson in Season One. She orchestrates this by employing a white man with a purported history of dealing with black youths testifying in court to tell Kevin’s family about the untold dangers that can arise from his testimony against Ronnie in the courthouse. All the while, Hendricks sits nearby surveying the scene of her own making, knowing the preservation of Kevin’s precious youth would be his mothers’ first thoughts when hearing of these “consequences” and force them to not have Kevin testify.

Not too long after that, Hendricks calls into question the validity of the 12-year-old eyewitness account, since she claims the accounts of adults are typically unreliable and Kevin having experienced trauma from shooting Ronnie makes his account even more shaky. Soon after, we find out Hendricks’ motive for using Kevin’s young age to get a murderer out of jail is not based in some warped view of justice, but instead in her desire to advance her own law career by making partner at her law firm.

The Chi drives home the severity of what Hendricks’ actions could do to the future of a child like Kevin. Before Kevin and his family are intimidated by Hendricks’ flunkie in the courthouse, Kevin mentions how some of his knowledge of the criminal justice system comes from long-running TV drama Law & Order. Mere seconds later, a young black boy, who looks no older than Kevin, is escorted in handcuffs by police officers while wearing grey prison garbs. This idea of adults snatching away black boys’ youth through the legal system is an all too common reality in a city such as Chicago, where judges go against local ordinances banning the detention of children under 12 years of age at the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center.

Beyond Chicago, adults within the American legal system have had transactional relationships with black youths. Between 2000-2007, judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania received financial compensation from the owners of juvenile detention centers for filling their detention centers with young offenders through excessive sentencing for minor infractions. The ordeal is referred to as the “kids for cash” scandal, a title that could easily be the name of an episode of The Chi.

But, just like in episode two, where Jerrika appeared to sell out of her blackness for the advancement of her career, nothing is ever clearly good or bad in The Chi. In one of the more heartbreaking scenes in the early part of the season, Kevin discovers his classmate Maisha (Genesis Denise Hale) hasn’t been coming to school because she has to watch her siblings while her mother works. Her mother is robbing her daughter of a traditional childhood by having her assume parental roles over her siblings versus focusing on school. As Kevin sits in her living room surrounded by her siblings and their toys, Maisha’s usual calm but condescending demeanor is replaced with irritable fatigue. You can see her face struggle to contort into a smile when joking with Kevin.

Neither Maisha nor Kevin make any mention of Maisha’s father, so it’s safe to assume she lives in a one-parent household, like more than 11 million other American households, according to 2016 Census data. Of those more than 11 million households, more than 80 percent of them are headed by mothers. Those same mothers have to spend upwards of 70 percent of their annual income on child care. Without Maisha sacrificing a piece of her childhood, her siblings may not have one of their own.

When Maisha somberly asks Kevin if she’ll see him tomorrow after school—she’d asked him to bring her each day’s homework—the look in her eyes is one crying out for a connection to her peers’ leisurely, carefree lives. That’s what people see when they look at him: the purity of childhood. It’s the reason why Jake wouldn’t let Kevin be part of his illegal candy resale scheme in episode two. So much of The Chi involves making sure this one black boy doesn’t get swallowed by the streets.

Despondent themes aside, the episode is not without its silver lining. There is a humorous side to children growing up too quickly in The Chi. Papa, Kevin’s best friend and the most mature kid in the show, participates in the school’s candy drive in order to win a flat screen TV for his man cave. But instead of a “man cave,” he calls it a “Papa cave.” Humorous displays of otherwise depressing topics, such as black youths growing up much faster than they should, gives The Chi’s commentary a bit more realism, showing that there’s good in the bad, and vice versa.

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DMX Joins Cast Of Upcoming Film 'Chronicle Of A Serial Killer'

DMX has some major deals lined up. The artist has reportedly signed on to join the cast of an upcoming thriller film, entitled Chronicle of a Serial Killer, according to HotNewHipHop.

The film reportedly follows the story of Henry Brolin, a serial killer who targets women who he thinks will eventually turn out just like his mother. DMX will reportedly portray one of the lead detectives on the case. X joins a cast featuring Tara Reid and Russian Doll's Brendan Sexton.

Steve Stanulis, the film's director said DMX was a "perfect fit" for the role. "When my casting director suggested DMX it immediately resonated with me as a perfect fit," Stanulis said. "I have no doubt he is going bring a different dynamic to the role and I'm excited to have him part of this talented cast. I'm looking forward to working with him and everyone else this summer."

According to previous reports, the new gig is just one of many opportunities that X has in the works. He's also rumored to be working on a several other box office films and a new album.

Chronical of a Serial Killer will reportedly begin filming in New York City in June 2019. It's unclear when it will hit the box office at this time. Stay tuned for more details.

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