Celebrities hit the red carpet for the 2019 Breaking Barriers Awards Gala at the Los Angeles Convention Center on August 4 in Los Angeles hosted by actor/producer Obba Babatunde’. The awards gala was produced and presented by fashion designer Stormyweather Banks. Celebrity attendees included Ogom “OG” Chijindu (VH1’s Basketball Wives; Lingerie Football League), Tonya Banks (Reality TV Star “Little Women LA”), Aaron Frazier (HBO’s Ballers), Jordyn Curet (Disney Channel “Raven’s Home”) and many others.
This year’s event highlighted the achievements of those who have broken barriers in the fashion industry. Honorees included Academy Award Winning Costume Designer Ruth Carter, Supermodel Beverly Johnson, andCross Colours Clothing Line Founders Carl Jones & TJ Walker. Beverly Johnson received the “Icon Award”, Carl Jones & TJ Walker received the “Influential Award” and Ruth Carter received the “Triumph Award”. Walker received Carter’s award on her behalf in her absence. Actress Kellita Smith was in attendance to present the “Icon Award” to Supermodel Beverly Johnson.
Immediately following the awards gala, LA’s emerging fashion designers showcased their ready-to-wear pieces during the gala fashion show to a crowd of fashion goers and enthusiast, hosted by 102.3 KJLH Radio Personality Adai Lamar.”
“What is better than one billionaire?” Jay-Z spoke his fate into existence when Forbes announced on June 3rd that the rapper turned business mogul had officially surpassed $1 billion in net worth.
Jay-Z’s success did not happen quickly nor easily. After starting his rap career at the young age of 26, Jay began investing the money he made from music into profitable ventures. What made him stand out from his peers at that time is that he chose to start his own businesses, rather than just seeking partnerships from larger entities. Some of his most notable brands includes Rocawear, the clothing that was wildly popular in the ‘00s, and D’usse, a liquor brand he co-owns with spirits company Bacardi. After these big wins, he continued to propel forward, diversifying his assets further by purchasing minority stakes in companies, investing in real estate, and even launching the music streaming platform, Tidal.
While Jay-Z is an inspiration for many, he has specifically paved a way for artists of color. Music moguls, Kanye West and Rihanna, are among two of his protegés, and Rihanna made the list herself as the first female musician to surpass a net worth of $600 million. His wife, Beyoncé, is also worth an impressive $400 million. Coincidence? I think not.
Jay-Z’s legacy will forever be bigger than just himself, as he set a new Blueprint for those to follow.
On Wednesday, March 6, 2019 national bestselling author and filmmaker Leo Sullivan presented the official movie premiere for the feature film, Summer Madness. The event took place at Atlantic Station Regal Cinema 16 and was hosted by Love and Hip Hop Atlanta star and business mogul Rasheeda Frost. In addition to the official media sponsor, Rolling Out, dozens of media outlets covered the premier including Kontrol Magazine, Essence Online, and Radar Live to name a few. The red carpet event was attended by some of Atlanta’s elite, celebrity attendees and cast members.
Among the attendees were: Justin Poage, producer, Anthony Dalton, whose character is Detective Bryce Wilson, Andrew Fortinberry who plays Jack Crawford, and many more. Written and Directed by National Best Selling Author, Leo Sullivan, Summer Madness told the story of a twisted psychological thriller involving a hundred million dollar heist, which leads to mayhem, murder and mystery, all under the guise of love. After spending time in prison, where he falls for the sexy vixen, Summer, Jack Crawford is released and given back his life. When he is then accused of a vicious double homicide, one of the victims being Summer’s husband, the last person in the world he would expect comes to his defense, his nemesis, Detective Bryce Wilson. Determined to prove Jack’s innocence, Bryce finds himself snared in a deadly cat and mouse game as he races against time only to discover that an intricate web has been woven to entrap him as well.
Leo Sullivan, founder of Sullivan Productions, has written multiple bestselling novels which he plans to convert four into movies. Sullivan Productions produces both films and literary works. Since its inception, Sullivan Productions has grown to be one of the nation’s largest urban publishing companies. Summer Madness will be the first featured film to be released in 2019. More titles will soon be announced.
About Leo Sullivan
Leo Sullivan is a movie director and national bestselling author who has written multiple best selling books over a span of 8 years. In 2011, Leo started his own company, Sullivan Productions, LLC (Sullivan Productions), which produces both films and literary works. Since its inception, Sullivan Productions has grown to be one of the nation’s largest urban publishing companies. Leo Sullivan has been featured in such magazines as Essence, Don Diva, King, and XXL just to name a few. He decided to enter the movie industry after writing several screenplays and working with independent movie studios and producers.
Lil Jon has been expanding his philanthropic efforts outside of the U.S. for some time now. His most recent venture was breaking ground on what will shortly be his second school in Ghana.
The rapper partnered with Pencils of Promise, a nonprofit dedicated to providing education to children.
His first Ghanaian school opened in 2017, and was dedicated to his late mother. However, the rapper stated his goal was always to fund two schools, not just one. The plan was to get the first one up and running before turning his attention to the second.
“Rappers blow so much money on frivolous things sometimes and I think we can take some of that [otherwise thrown away money], and use it for some good in communities,” he said in a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Hopefully others will follow Lil Jon’s example in using their wealth to make a positive impact!
Are you healing his people? Are you leaving a trail of negativity? I believe we all have been on both paths. Yet, some of us figure out how to stay on the side of healing.
Recently, Rapper T. I. lost his older sister Precious. Even though I’m not family, her death hit me hard. I was blessed to see her often while working. She always had a beautiful smile and positive things to say. I was going through a rough time then. She would tell me to stop letting others walk over my Taurus heart. I kept those words.
I truly believe God speaks to us through others. The devil does too! We have to learn to pay attention to when it’s truly HIM. The words just seem to hit your spirit. It sticks to you like bad words can, but have an up lifting spirit. It follows his word in the bible. Later I realized she told me those words because I needed it to give my heart to him fully first. Something as a Preacher’s child I thought I had already done so.
As I scroll on social media I can’t help but to see her face. See all the positive words and experiences while she was here. A couple words from her stuck in my soul, so I can only imagine how it hit others close to her. She was a God-fearing servant.
When my of grandfather passed away I was broken-hearted. Yet I heard a room full of Pastors say how we should celebrate servants, and that they have done so much for God’s people. That he would welcome them with open arms. What are you leaving God’s people with? After reading this what have you decided you want to leave? I know God welcomed precious with so much love and the words “well done”. She did her job of loving his people.
Slim Thug and the BossLife Foundation hosted the 6th annual BossLife Ball on the evening of January 20, 2019 at The Post Oak Hotel. The BossLife Ball was created in 2013 to celebrate local and national entrepreneurs, leaders, and those that are excelling in the community. This event is also to raise funds for community initiatives, scholarships, and toy drives for local kids in Houston. The 2018 BossLife Ball supported the BossLife Foundation’s efforts to give away a home to a family who lost their home during Hurricane Harvey!
The evening started with a star studded red carpet experience hosted by Isiah Carey of The Isiah Factor on Fox 26 which consisted of the 2019 honorees, sponsors, and familiar faces such as Houston’s own Mayor Sylvester Turner, comedian/ artist Lil Duval, TV Johnny, Chamillionaire, Former Miami Dolphins player Alphonso Roundtree, Television Hostess Julissa Bermudez, Singer Tobe Nwigwe, Justin Martin of IJustGotHit.com, and a host of others.
“Ready to Love” was a new dating series that premiered in October 2018, from film producer Will Packer, on OWN TV. It was a journey of real-life dating interactions of successful African American men and women in the 30’s and 40’s, who were looking for authentic love and relationships.
On the day of the season finale in December 2018, we had the pleasure of speaking with cast member Ashlee about her role on the show, upcoming business endeavors, and more. Watch the full interview below.
VEU– Give a short introduction for those who may not be familiar with you. I’m a George Lott, Actor, Artist, Writer, & CEO of #T8FLIGHT Entertainment. I am from the “itty bitty” Plant City, Florida.
VEU: How did you start your journey in acting? I started in The Drama club in school growing up which introduced me to theatre. I’ve done numerous of stage plays…but there was something that attracted me about TV/FILM so I moved to Atlanta to break into the industry.
VEU– You are easy to find in anything you do. Describe your style in 3 words? Peculiar Original Fearless
VEU– Did you enjoy working with the cast of your new movie LITTLE? What did you learn from the experience? I had an amazing time while I was on set. I learned to always be prepared..you never know when an opportunity may come. I was originally brought to set as a “Featured Extra” but the director Tina Gordon Chism saw something in me…she put me on the spot, I delivered and she upgraded me..and I became apart of the cast.
VEU– Who is your favorite person to work with so far? The Director, Tina Gordon Chism…her energy was amazing!! it was an honor to see a beautiful black Queen running the set. I had never seen it before…Black Girl Magic. ….also I cant pick just 1 lol….I have to give a special s/o to Marsai Martin…she pitched the movie at 11 years old..3 years later it happens… not only is she starring in it…but she’s a Executive producer…and is now the youngest executive producer in Hollywood!!
VEU– Name some people on your bucket list to work with?
Will Smith, Angela Bassett ,Viola Davis, Sandra Bullock, Meryl Streep, Jamie Foxx, and Denzel Washington
VEU– What Actor do you admire the most? Will Smith All dayyyy….I grew up watching him..I relate to him in so many ways…I’m naturally goofy and like to make people feel good. I have my heart set on being in Bad Boys 3..someway some how.
VEU– It is often said that creating is healing. How does working as an Actor your spirit? It allows me to be transparent…and dig deep within myself…and if there is anything I wasnt aware that I subliminally dealing with..I’m forced to address it. As an actor you cant tell someone else’s story…unless you stand in your Truth.
VEU– What encouraging words do you have for others entering your field? Jump….and build the parachute on the way down. You have what it takes..but it’s going to take everything you got.
VEU- Anything else you would like the world to know? I’m a dope photographer….I shoot headshots for other actors. And I also do brand consulting for those in the Entertainment business looking to make a name for themselves
How did you start your journey in acting? While attending high school in Bridgeport Connecticut, we had a substitute teacher who was an aspiring actor. That teacher’s name was Michael Jai White. As his career began to unfold, it made me consider that there were other possibility for brothers in the hood besides rapping, sports & being on the other side of the law. Around 10 years after that, I auditioned for & booked a few roles in New York. My employer relocated me to Atlanta in 2009 & in 2011 I shot my first project as a co-lead in a Studio 11 short film entitled “The Promise” which was co-directed by LisaRaye McCoy, who along with actor Mel Jackson, featured in the short. That experience is what gave me the confidence to continue.
What character do you play on The CWs Black Lighting? My character’s current alias is Slim, but he started off on season 1 as a lieutenant for the 100.
Do you relate to your character? I can absolutely relate to Slim. Slim has done a lot of dirty work to climb the ladder of the 100. He started as a runner, who was eventually promoted to lieutenant. From lieutenant, he worked his way up to Capo. Stay tuned, because Slim may be working his way up again!
What is it like working with an amazing cast? Phenomenal! Not only are you working with some great talent, but you’re learning as you watch them in action. Also I must say, the crew is top notch!
Were you familiar with the Black Lightning comics? There weren’t many black super heroes to admire back when I was growing up, so he was one of a few that me & my friends could pretend to be as kids.
What is one role you would love a chance at playing? Definitely the Pharaoh Akhenaten, the African King Memnom or an action film like Predator where I can give an alien/monster this work!!
What actor do you admire? I can’t just name one to be honest. Michael Jai White, Lawrence Fishburn, Samuel Jackson, Morgan Freeman, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ed Norton, Terry Cruz, Matt Damon, Jim Carrey, Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, John Travolta, Bill Murray, Joe Peshi, Robert DeNiro, Steve Martin, Dwayne Johnson, Cress Williams, William Catlett…..those are just SOME of the actors I admire….my list of actors I admire is just as extensive!
It is often said that creating is healing. How does being an actor heal your spirit? Acting forces you to step outside of your own personal experience to explore the what if’s & ebbs & flows of an alternate persona. Not only can that be gratifying at times, but it also makes you reach down deep into your core in order to find out who your character is & during that process, you can also learn about yourself.
What encouraging words do you have for inspiring actors? Belief is the 1st tool in your toolbox for success. Next is DO THE WORK! Study your character, learn your character so you can do whatever is necessary to bring that character to life. Also, hard work is not just exclusive to being in front of the camera. Take your health seriously. Lastly, be PROFESSIONAL. That includes set etiquette, being reliable & being personable. These things go a long way in this industry.
What else can we look forward for you? There is a lot on deck for me in 2019! NDA’s limit what I can share, but what I can say is stay tuned & I will drop hints when the time comes! IG: @aqenatenIMDB & Facebook: Alphonso A’Qen-Aten JacksonWebsite: www.aqenaten.com
Anything else you would like the world to know? I’ve been locked up, I’ve been homeless, I’ve been hopeless, I have been my own worse enemy for more times than I can count. But in addition to all that, I’m also a father, a fighter, a role model & dammit, I’m a King who will not rest until I achieve my goals!