Tisha Campbell, Tichina Arnold, MJ Rodriguez start the party at the BET Soul Train Music Awards 2019

All Photos and Article by Jovanna Reyes

Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold open the BET Soul Train Awards 2019, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas.

Tisha Campbell and Tisha Arnold welcomed viewers to the House of Cellulite and Menopause with MJ Rodriguez of “Pose” for the opening of the BET Soul Train Music Awards 2019. The dance number was set to a medley of Janet Jackson’s house/dance songs with the hosts singing live in leather body-con suits and with exaggerated comedic genius expressions. They are more than ready for their own variety show…Tyler Perry ya’ listening?

Keyshia Cole and Tank present the Best R&B/Soul Female Artist at the BET’s Soul Train Music Awards 2019, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas.

This year’s Soul Cypher, Keyshia Cole, presented H.E.R., along with Tank, the award for BestR&B/Soul Female Artist. The always lovely and conservatively dressed, compared to her counterparts, gave an inspirational speech in comparison to admitted social anxiety disorder sufferer, Summer Walker. Ms. Walker, obviously elated, gave a quick thank you after presented with the Best New Artist award by the crew of Tyler Perry’s “The Oval”.

SIR and his brother, D Smoke, performed at the BET’s Soul Train Music Awards, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas.

K. Michelle soulfully performed her single “Rain” with an all white platformed background which was striking with her vibrant hair. The new Radeo record label owner, Issa Rae, introduced her new artist, TeaMarr. The Haitian rapper/singer crooned her single, “Kinda Love”, on the My Black is Beautiful stage with the Adam Blackstone Allstar Band while sipping from her teacup. Her obvious signature move repeated on the blue carpet.

K. Michelle performs “Rain” at the BET’s Soul Train Music Awards 2019, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas.

After K. Michelle and TeaMarr, Tichina Arnold introduced Doctur Dot, Tiana Major9 and Johnny Venus of Earthgang, where the spoken word was introduced before “Collide” was performed. The stage was drenched in color, flowers and silver rims to represent the theme from the new movie “Queen and Slim”.

BET’s Soul Train Awards 2019 host, Tichina Arnold, at the Orleans Arena, Las Vegas.

“American Soul” actor, Sinqua Walls presented the king of non traditional gospel, Kirk Franklin, with the Best Gospel/Inspirational Award. Mr. Franklin inspired those beginning their careers to be patient and allow things to ‘marinate’ because not everyone has a microwaveable career that is easily attained.

Boyz II Men and Stokely performed a medley of the ballads from their greatest hits for the Legend Award Tribute to Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Wanya, Shawn and Nathan belted out falsettos for “Tender Love” and “On Bended Knee” while Stokely flamed the fire with “Breaking My Heart” and “Pretty Brown Eyes”.

Stokely performed for the Legend Award Tribute-Ballads at the BET’s Soul Train Music Awards 2019, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas.

Ari Lennox appeared in good spirits when introducing her friend, Pink Sweat$, who performed his hit “Honesty” on the My Black is Beautiful stage. Wale was joined by Jermih for “on Chill” and Kelly Price, looking super sexy in all black leather, for “Sue Me”.

Ari Lennox introduces her friend, Pink Sweat$, at the My Life is Beautiful stage for the BET Soul Train Music Awards 2019.
Queen Naija performs her hit “Good morning text” at the BET Soul Train Music Awards 2019, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas.

Queen Naija sang her hit “Good Morning Text” on the Orleans Arena stage before Kirk Franklin presented Yolanda Adams with the BET Soul Train Music Lady of Soul Award. Ms. Adams thanked everyone with a special mention for her daughter and performed seven of her top hits. She was so in the moment, Ms. Adams continued singing as she walked offstage. Luke James(who was giving Prince vibes on the blue carpet and onstage), Ro James and BJ The Chicago Kid performed “All your love” and “Go girl” in their matching red outfits.

Luke James, Ro James and BJ The Chicago Kid perform at the BET’s Soul Train Music Awards in Orleans Arena, Las Vegas.

The theme of the evening were the living legends, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis’ music compilations. From the first scene with a Janet Jackson medley, to Boyz II Men and Stokely ballads, the next set was mind blowing. Sounds of Blackness reunited with Jamecia Bennett and Ann Nesby and their pipes are still fresh. Mary Davis and Abdul Ra’Oof of the S.O.S. Band hit all the right notes and Alexander O’Neal joined Cherrelle, who outsung Alexander and looked fabulous doing it. The final Legend tribute act deserves their own award, Morris Day and Jerome Benton made the audience get on their feet and groove with the Time. They were also joined by Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis and Babyface.

Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold dressed like the Legend Award, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis at the BET’s Soul Train Music Awards, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas.

Adam Blackstone and the BBE Allstar Band finished off the night with Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold thanking Connie Orlando, BET V.P. Original Programming. The performers joined the hosts onstage for a Soul Train line with Cherrelle and Ann Nesby hitting high notes on the way out.

The BET Soul Train Awards 2019 Finale, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas
Mary Davis(S.O.S. Band), Tisha Campbell, Tichina Arnold and Ann Nesby at the finale of The BET’s Soul Train Music Awards, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas.
Babyface, Abdul Ra’Oof(S.O.S. Band) with Tichina Arnold at The BET Soul Train Awards 2019, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas

All photos and article written by Jovanna Reyes http://www.jovannareyes.com @jovannareyesphotography

Comcast welcomes two more Multicultural channels to their roster, ‘Afro’ and ‘Cleo TV’ with a celebration at the Newseum in D.C.

Photos and article by Jovanna Reyes

On Thursday, March 14, Comcast celebrated the new media additions to their cable systems, Afrotainment’s ‘Afro’ channel and TV One’s ‘Cleo TV’. The event held in Washington D.C.’s Newseum was hosted by Comcast, represented by Keisha Boyd, Executive Director of Multicultural Products and featured Urban One founder Cathy Hughes, Urban One President and CEO, Alfred Liggins III, Michelle Rice(General Manager of Cleo TV), Yves Bollanger(CEO/founder of Afrotainment channels) and talents from both channels.

Comcast’s David Cohen, Afro Channel CEO and founder Yves Bollanger, Urban One founder Cathy Hughes, General Manager of Cleo TV Michelle Rice, Keisha Boyd, Comcast Executive Director Multicultural Products and guest.
Urban One President and CEO, Alfred Liggins III
Rahsan Rahsan Lindsay, TV One EVP, Ad Sales & Marketing

Comcast made a commitment to include ten multicultural channels as part of their 2011 acquisition of NBCUniversal. Those channels include Revolt, El Rey, with Afro and Cleo TV rounding out their fulfillment. Michelle Rice was the lead to bringing Cleo TV to fruition. Her goal was to create a channel that fully engages Black women 24/7. “Cleo will offer content that defies negative and cultural stereotypes.” Yves Bollanger shared the goal of his ‘Afro’ channel. “We are excited to showcase all shades of the Black culture…:”

Here are some of the offerings available on the ‘Afro’ and ‘Cleo TV’:

‘Cleo TV’ http://www.mycleotv.com:

Sister Circle, a live mulitplatform talk show featuring Rashan Ali, Trina Braxton, Syleena Johnson

Tough Love, NYC millenials navigating love in the city.

Lens of Culture with Tai Beauchamp

Just Eats with Chef JJ with host JJ Johnson

New Soul Kitchen with Jernard Wells

Cleo Speaks with April Reign

‘Afro’ http://www.afros.tv:

The Lowdown, a late night show with James Yon

POINT OF VIEW-A talk show for women hosted by Erika Washington, Kaya Chihombori, Sandy Laborde, Candice Cruz and Sisaundra.

KAYA CHIHOMBORI @KAYA_DAILYH

SANDY LABORDE @SANDYLABORDE

HSISAUNDRA @SISAUNDRA

CANDICE CRUZ @CANDICE.TALKS

Style Check-featuring Katrina Lee and CL Freeman

KATRINA LEE @STYLESBYKATRINA

CL FREEMAN @CLTHEBRAND

 Information below provided by PR for Cleo TV and Afrotainment.

For more information on CLEO TV, visit CLEO TV’s YouTube Channel and check out exclusive, behind-the-scenes content on www.mycleo.tv. Viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on CLEO TV’s TwitterInstagram and Facebook (@mycleotv) using the hashtag #CLEOTV.

About Afrotainment
Afrotainment, a Florida-based company edits, operates and distributes eight networks from its state-of-the-art film and television studios in Orlando and Queens, New York. Afrotainment channels are available in the US and Canada via cable, satellite, fiber-optic and OTT platforms. Visit www.afrotainment.us for more information.

For Colored Girls Who’ve Considered Suicide when the Rainbow is Enuf

Many years ago, I was the Lady in Orange, for the choreopoem, For Colored Girls Who’ve Considered Suicide when the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange.

It was an experience that I will never forget and one that has influenced the way I deal with my emotions and my right to express those emotions.  I beg all women, black or white, from all cultures to see this movie and if you can, read the book.  It’s a fast read and one that will touch you deeply.