Gabrielle Union in 'Being Mary Jane' Gabrielle Union in 'Being Mary Jane'

Successful, Sexy and Searching: Why We're Hopeful for 'Being Mary Jane'

We've seen the story told over and over again: a woman who seems to have everything spends her life searching for love. This is the basic idea that anchors BET's newest scripted drama Being Mary Jane. Produced by Akil Productions (The Game) and starring a seemingly ageless Gabrielle Union, the TV film doubles as the extended preview of a tentative series set to launch in January. Backed by an equally talented cast (Margaret Avery, Lisa Vidal, Tika Sumpter), BMJ could be another coup in the quest for black leading women in television.

As part of a network known for churning out original material that is both good and mediocre, we were concerned that yet another portrayal of African American women would be wrongly executed. However, it's the schizophrenic turn of events throughout Mary Jane's life that make this potential series so intriguing.

For starters, Mary Jane Paul is a thirty something television news anchor trying to balance a career, family and love (or lack thereof). From the beginning, we see that the latter will prove to be most difficult as she goes from a steamy night in with her lover (played by the sexy Omari Hardwick) to kicking him out after finding out that he is married with children. Later on, things take a turn for the worst when Mary Jane decides to matter-of-factually alert his wife of their ongoing affair, forcing us all to think if there's ever a right time to deliver bad news.

Mary's relationship with the men in her family is also a roller coaster. Sandwiched between a sensible older brother and pot smoking baby brother, the three are constantly at odds over the care of their ailing mother.  There's also MJ's teenage niece, who is eight months pregnant and seeks her (childless) aunt's help as she prepares for motherhood. Between this and the romantic dilemma, it's hard to imagine how she makes room for work-related drama.

Although she's the face of a news channel, MJ still struggles with the fact that her hard work constantly goes unnoticed.

"Black women aren't ugly; we're invisible," she declares as she brings to light the sexism that still lingers at the workplace. Combined with a brief clip of the Dark Girls documentary on her computer screen, we're happy that BMJ will also explore what it means to be a black (and Latina) woman outside of her relationships.

More than anything, it's Mary Jane's complicated demeanor that connects her to the viewer. Her anger (and inability to really cry) come from a place of love—knowing that she can't solve everyone's problems and still take care of herself. It's her reaction to a commercial showing mothers and their children that make her human just when you think she's a complete bitch. It's her back and forth relationship with a former love that prove even the smartest women sometimes make ill-advised mistakes. It's all of these things that make us realize being a career woman not only means being able to balance, but also sacrificing the things you want the most.

We may not have Mary Jane's movie star looks, dream house or big time job, but we can still see ourselves in her. Like other shows written by black women about black women, we hope this story continues to build momentum when it returns next year. We'll be waiting.

Photo Credit: YouTube

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Singer Whitney Houston is seen performing on stage during the 2004 World Music Awards at the Thomas and Mack Center on September 15, 2004 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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Whitney Houston's Close Friend Robyn Crawford Details Romantic Relationship In New Memoir

Whitney Houston's personal life has been explored ten times over since her untimely passing in 2012 but one of her closest friends wants to share with the world the Whitney she knew and ultimately fell in love with.

In excerpts to People Wednesday (Nov. 6), Robyn Crawford presents a strong bond between the two in her new memoir, A Song For You: My Life With Whitney Houston. The singer and Crawford met in their youth while working at a summer camp in East Orange, New Jersey. From there, their friendship blossomed into something more romantic. With homophobia running rampant in the 80s, Crawford says they never looked at labels but enjoyed the experiences they shared together.

“We never talked about labels, like lesbian or gay,” writes Crawford. “We just lived our lives and I hoped it could go on that way forever.”

As their journey continued, Whitney's star began to rise which put allegedly put their romance on ice. “She said we shouldn’t be physical anymore,” writes Crawford. "Because it would make our journey even more difficult. She said if people find out about us, they would use this against us....and back in the ’80s, that’s how it felt. I kept it safe. I found comfort in my silence.”

Whitney's relationship with Crawford was mentioned in the 2018 documentary Whitney. Created by the singer's estate, the film focused on the singer's legacy and didn't include first-hand accounts from Crawford. Family members were weary of their special friendship.

"I’ve never seen them do anything but I know that she was something that I didn’t want my sister to be involved with," Whitney's brother Gary stated in the documentary.

But Crawford is finally ready to tell her own story while "lifting" Houston's legacy.

“I wanted to lift her legacy, give her respect and share the story of who she was before the fame, and in that, to embrace our friendship,” she tells People. "I'd come to the point where I felt the need to stand up for our friendship. And I felt an urgency to stand up and share the woman behind the incredible talent."

A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston is expected to hit bookshelves this fall.

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Keke Wyatt Announces That She's Pregnant With Her Tenth Child

Keke Wyatt has news to share that concerns expanding her family tree. On Monday (Oct. 14), the "If Only You Knew" singer revealed that she's pregnant with her tenth child.

"My husband Zackariah Darring and I are so happy to announce that we are expecting our new bundle of joy!" she wrote on Instagram. "We are excited to welcome the 10th addition to our beautiful family."

The vocalist continued to state that fans can follow her pregnancy journey on her YouTube series The Keke Show where she gives an intimate look at how she balances her career and motherhood.

 

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My husband Zackariah Darring and I are so happy to announce that we are expecting our new bundle of joy! We are excited to welcome the 10th addition to our beautiful family. Stay tuned for the release date & information for my new YouTube Series “The Keke Show” where you will see me balancing Wife, Mommy and Artist!!! Trust me.. it’s never a dull moment with my family. Love ya sugars💋💋💋 photo credit: @keever_west Styled/Designed by: @keever_west Asst: @freddyoart

A post shared by Keke Wyatt (@keke_wyatt) on Oct 14, 2019 at 4:43pm PDT

In an interview with The Christian Post, Wyatt said she believes she has "an anointing with motherhood" and looks at her children as fuel to keep striving in her career.

"I just don't believe in shutting down. I believe in that's what the Lord had for me," she said. "Babies don't get in the way of careers, we get in the way of careers. If that's what the Lord had for me from the very beginning, there's nothing nobody can do and nobody can say."

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Summer Walker's Debut Album Inspires Drake To Write New Music

Summer Walker's debut album Over It has everyone's heart aflutter, including Drake.

Off the heels of her debut project, the Atlanta songstress shared Drake's admiration for her project Sunday (Oct. 6) which included collaborations from Jhene Aiko, Usher. 6LACK and Bryson Tiller. Drake had a strong reaction to "Fun Girl," a track that speaks to the acoustic aura of her precious project, CLEAR.

Sharing his love with more than a few emojis, the rapper reveals the song inspired him to pen two new songs at the crack of dawn.

 

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So I guess fun girl is his favorite song on the album, mines isss... BODY🥰 what’s yours ?

A post shared by Summer Walker (@summerwalker) on Oct 6, 2019 at 3:02pm PDT

Summer and Drake worked together for the remix to her breakout hit, "Girls Need Love." In Billboard's  “You Should Know” series, the singer says the two met via Instagram after he gushed about her visuals to the original track. "He said, 'I saw your video on a bowling alley monitor. Thought it was cool,'" she recalled. She added it was Love Renaissance's Justice Baiden who talked her into asking Drake for the remix. The singer is signed to the label along with Grammy-nominated singer 6LACK.

Things have been looking great for the singer. Her album has topped Spotify and YouTube since it's release Friday and is expected to make a nice debut on Billboard's 200 charts.

Get to know the men behind Love Renaissance in our feature, LVRN's Reebok Collaboration Showcases Atlanta's Influence In Fashion.

 

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