american soul recap episode 8 season 1 bet
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‘American Soul’ Episode 8 Recap: The Crossroads

This week, our younger American Soul characters decide which road to take next in their lives, and the older characters confront the impact of their past choices.

Tessa is back, and not only do we finally get the tea on her backstory, but it’s also a full tea party.

Still focused on reclaiming her dance career before she’s too old, Tessa prepares for an audition and comes face to face with her former best friend and former fiancé—the very people who drove her away from dance years ago. We learn that she didn’t just lose her dance career, she lost an entire life—including a baby. And then, she met Patrick. Over the course of the episode, Tessa has long overdue conversations with Prescott, her former fiancé, and Evelyn (Nikeva Stapleton), her former friend. Even though Evelyn played Tessa back in the day, she drops some gems and asks her if she’s really moving forward, or trying to hold on to what was. Tessa ponders the question and, in response, delivers a final audition routine she created during her old dance life in Germany, updated with moves influenced by the Soul Train Gang—a reflection of her new life. After finally having an honest, vulnerable conversation with Patrick, it seems Tessa is ready to genuinely move forward, whatever that may mean.

JT’s brothers in the Continuous Revolution in Progress offer him a chance to “prove (his) worth,” after Detective Lorraine set him up to look like a snitch (which we still don’t understand). Of course, that means participating in another illegal endeavor. We really don’t like Reggie, nor can we understand why JT feels such a staunch loyalty to him, but peer pressure—and thinly veiled threats—are real.

When JT gets “home,” he faces another course-altering decision. After finding a random street character holding his little sister while his mom is in a mid-drug nod, JT finally makes the difficult call to have her committed. We’d be relieved and excited about what this means for him and his little sister if he hadn’t just become more deeply entangled with Reggie and the CRIPS.

The Clarke siblings are ready to assert their independence. Kendall is taking his John Denver albums and moving out (with Flo? Already?); Simone is bucking up to her mom about JT (Simone, your mama might be right on this one); and Encore gets a surprise half-off deal at the studio to record their demo. We owe JT—who we realize is not a real person—an apology for assuming he was going to lose the studio money. He had it in his sock. Smart man. But holding the money might be the only role JT plays in Encore’s recording. While the Clarke siblings are stanning over Lionel Richie and getting ready to go in the booth, JT is at the hospital with his mom. We have a feeling his path will only take him further away from both Kendall and Simone for the last two episodes of the season.

Brianne comes face-to-face with the old life and dream she buried out of necessity for the life she chose to have with Joseph. At the beginning of the season, Joseph mentioned Brianne’s former singing career to Simone, and Simone was shocked even as her mother deflected. But she clearly never let it go—seeing a reminder of her singing days sends Brianne into a rage. Not because something terrible happened (that we know of, yet), but because she’s still so hurt over sacrificing such a big piece of herself. When Nate asks her if she wants to cut the visit to San Diego and her brother’s nightclub short, she says she needs to do something first. Is Brianne going to let the music back in?

Don already made one choice: Soul Train over his family. Now, he faces a fight for the show to survive against Dick Clark’s Soul Show, which airs on ABC, one of Don’s essential syndication partners. The next decision is whether to trust the protest and boycott methods suggested by his friend Conrad Johnson (Todd Anthony Manaigo) or take a more ruthless route with Gerald. Frustrated when the civil course doesn’t seem to be working quickly enough, Don lets Gerald off the leash to execute an alternate plan. But when he realizes Gerald’s tactic—placing plants at the Soul Show protest to start a fight—Don’s bothered. Especially when Conrad’s method ends up yielding results. Don will always be in conflict because he’s rarely comfortable with his decisions. When he operates in the straight and narrow, he feels like he’s being taken advantage of; when he plays dirty, he worries about his public image. When Don tries to detach himself from Gerald’s antics, Gerald checks him. He’s already peeped Don’s struggle between being the respectable negro and being a street dude when the situation requires. “It ain’t like you didn’t know, you just chose not to.”

Don’s hot-and-heavy relationship with Ilsa has fizzled out, Tessa’s quit, Brooks doesn’t see the big deal about a competitive show, and Gerald’s idea of being supportive is sketchy at best, highly illegal at worst. Don has presumably slayed the Hollywood dragons that tried to take him down and should feel victorious. Soul Train is a hit, is officially greenlit for a second season, and is still his. But Don’s realizing he doesn’t have true, close allies around him (Clarence Avant once said of Cornelius in real life that you could fit all his friends in a phone booth, and still have room). Delores is not only ignoring his phone calls—more phone calls than we’ve seen him make the entire season—she’s busy with plans that involve separate bank accounts. Don calls his wife one more time to plead for their marriage on the brand new answering machine he bought her. As he hangs up and the episode closes, he collapses—an early glimpse of the brain trauma that plagued him for the remainder of this life.

What the episode got right: Conrad “CJ” Johnson represents young Jesse Jackson, who partnered with the “Godfather of Black Music,” Clarence Avant, in successfully pressuring ABC to take Clark’s Soul Unlimited off the air.

What we could have done without: The scene with Gladys and Don in the lounge. While it was great to see Kelly Rowland reprise her role as Gladys Knight, and we recognize that she’s supposed to serve as some kind of conscious/guide/good luck charm/something for Don, that conversation didn’t move the plot forward in any real way.

What we absolutely don’t believe: That a black mother in the 1970s—the old school black mama prototype—let somebody call her daughter an “uppity b**ch,” then let the same daughter get in her face and slam doors in her house without some hands flying, somebody getting cursed out, or that door coming off the hinges.

What we don’t understand: The relationship between Brianne and Private Nate Barker. He’s fine and all, but what’s his purpose? Maybe there’s more to come in the next episodes.

We’re excited to learn more about Brianne Clarke in the next episode; she’s been an underutilized character so far. There’s a lot to cover, still, in the remaining two shows of the season: Is Simone going to pursue a career in NY? Is JT going to get his foolish self arrested or worse? Is Kendall going to end up with another baby he can’t support? (We feel like Flo has more sense than that, thankfully). Is Brianne going to get it poppin’ with Nate? Is Don going to somehow end up on Gerald’s bad side? We do know Don is getting a divorce, we just don’t know when. Let’s see what happens next.

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'The Chi's' Tiffany Boone Shamed Over Jason Mitchell Harassment Allegations

The Chi actress, Tiffany Boone is being publicly shamed on social media after she accused her co-star, Jason Mitchell of sexual harassment.

The offensive comments rang out in the comments section of her photos on Instagram. While we rather not highlight negative remarks shaming a victim of sexual misconduct, it's safe to say that the comments are pretty tasteless.

Despite the negative feedback, Boone has also been swarmed by fans who are defending her. "The simple fact some people are attacking her, is f**king ludicrous to me, one Instagram user wrote. "Some of y’all are asking , why did she get Jason Mitchell fired? Really? He got his own a** fired! If he would’ve conducted himself like he was supposed to, his a** would still be on the show!

As previously reported, Boone, who plays Jerrika on the Lena Waithe-produced drama, accused Mitchell of making sexual advances toward her on set. Boone allegedly felt so "unsafe" that she asked her fiancé, actor Marque Richardson, to be on set with her when Mitchell was around, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Boone was not the only one to complain about the star. Multiple women have come forward to speak up about similar interactions with the actor. As a result of the recent reports, Mitchell has been dropped from The Chi along with his talent agent UTA, his management team and an upcoming role in Netflix’s movie Desperados.

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The Notorious B.I.G. To Be Honored With "Christopher Wallace Way" In Brooklyn

Tuesday (May 21) marks what would’ve been the late Notorious B.I.G.’s 47th birthday, and in efforts to commemorate the legendary rapper, The Christopher Wallace Memorial Foundation revealed that the intersection where Biggie called home will be named after him, Billboard reports.

The naming will take place on June 10 at a ceremony being held for the “Juicy” rapper. Wallace’s family is expected to attend the gathering, which will be held at the intersections of Gates Avenue and St. James Place. The crossroad will reportedly be named Christopher Wallace Way in the forthcoming month.

The news arrives days after Wu-Tang Clan's Staten Island street-naming ceremony. "I'm happy that NYC officials are finally giving the city's indigenous 'hip-hop' music the respect and recognition that it deserves," culture advocate LeRoy McCarthy told Gothamist in 2018. "It took a long time and lots of hard work to advance the Christopher Wallace Way & Wu-Tang Clan District street co-naming, but ya know what, Hip Hop Don't Stop."

Biggie's upcoming ceremony will be open to the public and will start around 12 p.m. ET. His mother, Voletta Wallace, his children, and close friends will be present in his honor.

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Nessa Confronts Janelle Evans Over Kaepernick Slander At 'Teen Mom 2' Reunion

If one thing is for sure, don't talk about Nessa Diab's family. The media personality and activist used her platform for good when she schooled Teen Mom 2 star Janelle Evans about hateful comments she made towards Diab's partner, Colin Kaepernick. 

The incident, which was intended to be a healthy conversation between the two aired Monday (May 20) during the Teen Mom 2 reunion. Throughout the season, Evans was reportedly upset about Teen Mom OG star Amber Portwood speaking about her husband David Eason on social media. Surprisingly, Evans orchestrated the same behavior when she made a Facebook post about Kaepernick and his partnership with Nike. Evans reportedly slammed Nike for working with Kaepernick and allegedly burned Nike gear in protest of their decision.

While Nessa didn't break down everything Evans said, she shared the post on the screen behind them.“When I saw those comments, I did not attack you online, nor did I disrespect you over the years,” Nessa said. “My man uses his platform to peacefully protest police brutality against black people...that is the issue...I would’ve appreciated it if you contacted me.”

Nessa brought up the incident in an effort to show Evans how hypocritical she was being towards Portwood.

Evans denied doing the post and later accused MTV of using her. “I honestly have no idea who your boyfriend is...I would like to see [the comments] because what if it was an ad...was it an ad?” Jenelle asked. “I’m highly confused right now. I don’t know anything about your husband, and I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about. I swear to god, I’m done with this bulls**t. This is exactly why I didn’t want to f***ing come here,” she said. “This is about my storyline, and you want to bring up your issues? Okay. You got your show.”

As Evans stormed off stage, Nessa remained calm and detailed her working relationship with the mother of three.

“I’ve known Jenelle over the years, and I’ve always been fair and just to her," she said. "It wouldn’t have been authentic to who I am to be on this stage with someone who disrespected my family on social media.”

Shortly after the reunion aired, Evans continued to deny the allegations while her husband went on to attack Nessa and mock the death of slain rapper and activist Nipsey Hussle.

If the reunion wasn’t about David Jenelle then why is he already going off and attacking Nessa? The amount this chick lies is seriously beyond incredible 🤣. pic.twitter.com/uIouVOw98O

— Greenwalls4life (@Codybfan87) April 8, 2019

Fans of both women have defended their actions but Nessa has remained mum on what happened. Part 2 of the Teen Mom 2 finale will air next Monday on MTV. Watch the exchange up top.

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