Madelyne Woods(BET Hostess edition)

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Madelyne Woods was always a favorite of mine.  I loved watching her interview famous singers and rappers  on Video LP.

Madelyne Woods is a cable television personality who appeared on BET throughout the 1990s. She completed undergraduate at University of Maryland at College Park graduating in 1986. She completed her master’s degree in Human Communication, graduating in 1987.

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Not long after joining BET, she was anchoring the “BET Newsbriefs”, one-minute news updates that aired during program breaks. Over the span of her career at BET, she was assigned to various news / interview shows, including the opportunity to host Video LP as Sherry Carter transitioned into hosting Video Soul, the flagship prime-time entertainment program for the network.

 

Germany Kent

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Germany Kent, an LA-based former award-winning college administrator and corporate executive, author, entrepreneur, turned successful Hollywood commercial actress, and media personality, has interviewed Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globe, and Grammy-winning performers, this in addition to the other power-players, and newsmakers she has interviewed from across the globe.

Prior to moving to Los Angeles in 2011, Germany was a Human Resources Director for Fortune 500 Company Starwood Hotels. Before her Starwood post she was a Human Resources Manager and Recruiter, for Fortune 500 Company MetLife. Prior to that she was a college administrator having leadership positions at The University of Houston, The University of Tennessee, and The University of Alabama. Germany has a very diverse portfolio as she can count training, staff development, and morale boosting as her passions while in the traditional workforce.

With more than a decade of experience, she has enjoyed a successful consulting/coaching business with clients ranging from all walks of life. Germany is a dynamic speaker and captivates audiences with her down-to-earth, entertaining speaking style as she tackles timely topics regarding optimism, social media branding, and self-empowerment, outlining what people need to do to thrive in the global market. She is a foremost expert on providing hope strategies and motivational concepts. She has been awarded multiple times for speaking. She was previously listed in Who’s Who Among Young Americans.

As Germany’s brand has grown, both domestic and internationally in it’s scope, she has picked up more than a few fans who remain interested in her status. This has catapulted her into a category of respected power and influence, especially on social media, where she has been cited as a top influencer.

Germany has authored ten self-help books, The Hope Handbook Series (StarStone Press); and Her new book, You Are What You Tweet, May 2015 (StarStone Press), is a self-help guide offering up effective tools, key secrets, tips and strategies needed for a positive social media experience.

She has appeared nationally on The Drs, The Food Network, NBC, CBS, ABC, Disney, MTV, and BET, just to name a few. Germany was selected to participate live on the world-famous Apollo stage. To her credit, she has been victorious in many pageants, and often voted on by her peers as Miss Congeniality.

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Germany has been featured in numerous print media. She has had a string of good luck with the Film/TV world, especially noting that she was hand-selected by J.J. Abrams to be featured in a STAR WARS movie. Germany made her television debut in GRACELAND, in which she portrayed a crack addict, of all things. How ironic? Especially considering that one of her platforms is speaking out against teens and drugs.

 Germany is dedicated and committed to giving back to the community. She has been involved with the Red Cross, The United Way, The Salvation Army and many local charities.

Germany’s desire to give back and be involved in the community is a direct result of her humble beginnings being a member of a globally-impactful organization, her sorority. She also credits her sorority with teaching her how to mentor and reach back to help others, another platform that Germany is immensely committed to. She counts philanthropy as the thing closest to her heart, other than her husband and kids of course!

Tracey Cherelle Jones(Fine Sistas from the 90’s)

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Actress, writer, artist, designer, and TV personality, Tracey Cherelle Jones is the epitome of a contemporary renaissance woman. Tracey began acting at the tender age of 8 years old after nailing her very first audition, a national McDonald’s commercial. This inspired her, and she went on to do several more commercials and print work. Working as a child instilled in her a supreme confidence that has carried into adulthood.

After graduating from college with a degree in Pan African Studies, Tracey landed the leading female role in the smash hit “Don’t be a Menace to Society While Drinking Your Gin and Juice in the Hood”, also starring Shawn and Marlon Wayan’s, directed by Paris Barclay. Following the success of Don’t be a Menace…”, Tracey also starred in “The Players Club”, directed by Ice Cube, “Baby Boy”, directed by John Singleton, and several other studio films. Her TV credits include the series regular role of Cassie Coleman on “Good News”, a recurring role on “Men, Women, and Dogs”, and countless guest starring roles on hit shows such as “Family Matters”, “The Wayan’s Bros.”, and “The Jaime Foxx Show”.


After studying with some of the best in the business, and feeling a lack of opportunity for diverse roles for minority actors, Tracey decided to write the stories and create the characters she would like to see on the big and small screen. She has penned two pilots and a feature length film. She also produced and hosted a pilot titled “Living Large”, which is a contemporary, urban version of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”.

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Tracey has always been a student of art, and has a passion for Design and all things beautiful. She started Designing spaces and dressing rooms for friends in the entertainment industry for fun. After years of Designing as a hobby, she wanted to become a professional Designer which lead to her current enrollment in Grad school studying for a second Bachelors Degree in Interior Design. She has designed homes, offices, and even a school for her many celebrity friends, family and referrals. She is in the process of forming a non profit company that will address “Aging Design” for the “Baby Boomer” generation who may have fallen on hard times, and can’t afford to have their residences upgraded to accommodate their various health concerns. Tracey has a soft place in her heart for the disabled, aging and elderly, and has made it a goal to beautify and make their spaces comfortable.

Tracey’s drive, tenacity, and strong work ethic has allowed her to become a power house in all that she does. Through her creativity, education, and experience she continues to make her goals a reality. She is an inspiration and a true renaissance woman!

Vanessa Williams(Fine Sistas from the 90’s)

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I thought Vanessa Williams stole the show in New Jack City.  She was beautiful but so deadly in the film.  She held her own with Wesley Snipes,Ice-T and Mario Van Peeples. I’ve always thought she was an underrated beauty.  Williams was born on May 12,1963.

Born and raised in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York, Vanessa Williams became a member of the New York City Opera’s Children’s Chorus at age 11. Vanessa then signed with a talent manager and booked her first audition, a commercial for Frito Lay. Her pattern for success clearly set, her winning streak had only just begun.

After graduating from New York’s famed High School of Performing Arts she earned a Bachelor’s degree in theatre and business from Marymount Manhattan College.

A member of all three actors unions, Vanessa kept busy striking a balance as a professional actress and college student. When she landed a recurring role on The Cosby Show (1984) as (Theo’s scene partner in a school play), a high-strung student/actress named Jade Marsh, she made a friend and fan of “The Cos” Bill Cosby. So impressed with her work, “Mr. C” asked her back to play yet another role, Theo’s girlfriend Cheryl Lovejoy, a sweet young thing from Barbados.

Her New York stage credits grew to include the Lincoln Center production of Death and the King’s Horseman and the Broadway productions of Sarafina and Mule Bone, the Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston collaboration. The opening night celebration for Mule Bone packed a double punch of pleasure, as New Jack City (1991) was released in theaters nationwide that same evening. In this, her first feature film, Vanessa plays Keisha, the gun toting head of security opposite Wesley Snipes as drug czar Nino Brown.

Vanessa arrived in LA in September of ’91, “just to check it out.” A month later she was cast as single mother Anna-Marie McCoy in the Gothic horror film, Candyman (1992). She made her west coast move official in January of ’92, and became a media darling when she hit the media radar as one of the stars in the Fox TV hit Melrose Place (1992).

After residence on Melrose Place (1992) Vanessa traveled to Spain to sing and host the variety show Grand Fiesta on the Telecinco network in Madrid. Back from Europe she was immediately cast as a series regular in Steven Bochco’s critically acclaim television drama Murder One (1995), where she earned her first NAACP Image Award Nomination.

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She appeared opposite Lisa Kudrow in the Albert Brooks feature Mother (1996), then went on location in South Africa to star in A Woman of Color (1997), a film written and directed by Oscar nominated director, Bernard Joffa. She followed these projects with a ten-episode arc on Chicago Hope (1994), where she was again nominated for an NAACP Image Award.

Vanessa starred in two BET original made for TV movies: Incognito (1999) and Playing with Fire (2000), and as guest star on Total Recall (1994), The Pretender (1996), NYPD Blue (1993), The Steve Harvey Show (1996), Malcolm & Eddie (1996), and Living Single (1993), Cold Case (2003) among other others.

She starred (opposite her soon to be Soul Food (2000) costar Rockmond Dunbar) in Punks (2000), the award-winning feature film directed by Patrik-Ian Polk, which premiered at The Sundance Film Festival in 2000.

She earned a Daytime Emmy Nomination for her extraordinary work in Our America (2002) a Showtime original movie directed by Ernest R. Dickerson, which also premiered at Sundance the following year.

As hot mama, Maxine Chadway, in the hit Showtime series Soul Food (2000), Vanessa secured the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series.

Vanessa is also a talented writer who has written a collection of poetry and prose titled Shine. Her poems and essays have also appeared in Essence Magazine.

As filmmaker, Vanessa wrote, directed, and produced the short film, Dense (2004), which aired on Showtime Television and is a favorite among film festival-goers.

As a singer/songwriter, Vanessa performed her original melodies in the films Dense (2004) and the award-winning short Driving Fish (2002). She recently performed “The Vagina Monologues” along with Star Jones and Sherri Shepherd (from The View (1997)) in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, “Harlot Poetry by Vanessa Williams” at Artpeace Gallery in Burbank, California and “Stories in Song: an evening with Vanessa Williams” at the Temple Bar in Santa Monica, CA.

Bruklin Harris(Fine Sistas from the 90’s)

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The first time I saw Bruklin Harris was in the film Juice(1992) with Tupac Shakur.  I always thought she was beautiful and should’ve been a bigger star. Bruklin Harris was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her real name is Idina. She was born on September 20th and began acting in films in 1992. She’s been in films like Dangerous Minds(1995)Girls Town(1996) and A Map of the World(1999). She co-starred in the controversial film “Zebrahead” as the character Nadine. She is well-known for her excellent characterizations and distinctive features. Her name is a unique phonic play on the city of her birth.

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Patra(Fine Sistas from the 90’s)

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Reggae singer Patra was really big in the 1990’s.  She was a big in the dancehall scene and a huge sex symbol.  Her real name is Dorothy Smith.  She was born in Kingston,Jamaica  on November 22,1972.

In a 1994 essay, Patra wrote: “I am a country girl. I grew up in the church, which instilled morals and values in me. I was raised by my mom along with my four brothers–I am the second child. My father died when I was three, so my mother has been my example of a very strong Black woman, and I know that I have her strength.”

Patra first began singing in her church choir and later tried her hand at deejaying. At age 15, she began to realize that music really could be her life. “I always enjoyed music, but up until then I didn’t really think about my goals,” Patra explains. “In addition to many Jamaican artists, I listened to Tina Turner, Patti LaBelle, Sade and Alexander O’Neal. And Michael Jackson, of course–he really taught me how to dance!”

Patra first made her mark in the U.S. with two notable guest appearances, dueting with Mad Cobra on a track called “Really Do It” and adding her wicked ragga-rap to Richie Stevens “Body Slam.” But the American audience got its first taste of Patra’s true gifts with the Epic Records Group re-lease of her underground 12-inch single “Hardcore.” In October, 1993 came the debut album Queen Of The Pack, and the single and video “Think (About It)”–which teamed Patra with Lyn Collins and the P-Funk Horns for a dynamic dancehall update of Lyns 1972 Top Ten R&B smash.

Each of Patras next three videos–“Queen Of The Pack,” “Worker Man,” and “Romantic Call” (featuring Yo-Yo)– became a Top 10 favorite on The Box. At the 5th Annual Caribbean Music Awards (held March, `94 at the Apollo Theater in New York), Patra was named Best Female Artist for “Worker Man.” At the 13th Annual International Reggae Awards in Chicago, she walked away with Best Female DJ and Best Crossover Song (for “Family Affair,” from the Addams Family soundtrack). In Canadas Reggae Music Awards, Patra was again named Best Female DJ.

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By July, 1994 Patras Queen Of The Pack had spent 13 consecutive weeks at #1 on Billboards Top Reggae Albums chart–the longest run at #1 in the history of the chart. The following December, the album was certified gold for sales of more than 500,000 copies. In addition to her own album, Patra embarked on successful collaborations with C&C Music Factory (“Take A Toke”) and Gurus Jazzmatazz II set (“Young Ladies”), as well as joining in the all-female superstar recording “Freedom” for the soundtrack of Melvin Van Peebles film Panther.

“Jamaican dancehall music has its first international queen of the genre,” wrote Vanity Fair, “and her name is Patra!” In 1995, she rules once more with Scent Of Attraction.