SUITE 16: SPOTLIGHTING AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN
Gabrielle Union was born in Omaha, Nebraska. She the daughter of Theresa and Sylvester Union, both worked as managers for the telecommunications company and her father also served in the military as a sergeant. Gabrielle is the middle child of the three daughters. Later, her father was transferred and moved the family from Omaha, Nebraska to Pleasanton, California, a predominantly white suburban neighborhood in northern California.
Union attended FootHill High school. She was very athletic, she played soccer, ran track and played basketball (all-star point-guard). Union had a father-figure in her life, which tons of young girls would love to have. Her father encouraged her to improve in what she is weak at. She recalled to Clarissa Cruz of Entertainment Weekly the type of lecture she often heard from her father: “You are the only black person in your whole class. You’re gonna have to prove to them everyday that you’re just as smart, if not smarter. Just as good, if not better. Just as fast, if not faster.” Union graduated from FootHill High School and attend to University of Nebraska for one semester before moving to Cuesta College, she later attended University of California in Los Angeles majoring in Sociology.
In 1992, Union started working for Payless Shoes Store. A horrifying incident occurred at her job. That evening she was held at gunpoint, beaten, and raped. Traumatized by the attack, she began meeting with a group of other sexual assault survivors, and for many years she gave talks in support of other victims. She is currently a advocate for victims of sexual assault.
Union graduated in 1996 from UCLA. She was later asked to signed a modeling contract with the model agency, where she interned her senior year of college. Saved by the Bell: The New Class was her first appearance. Over the next few years, Union guest roles on popular television shows such as Moesha, Sister Sister, Smart Guy and ER. She had a recurring role on Seventh Heaven, and in 2001 made a landmark appearance on the long-running sitcom Friends.
After making a few appearances in numerous of television shows, later she had minor roles in movies such as 10 Things I Hate About You and Love And Basketball. In 2000, Union was gained more exposure from her role of Isis as a cheerleader in Bring It On. She later received her first leading role in film, Deliver Us From Eva and played the leading lady in Bad Boys 2 and Breaking All Rules. Union did a lot of other successful films and also was awarded mostly for being Best Actress and Supporting Actress.
Gabrielle Union is one hard-working woman. She stands for more than what we actually think she stands for. Union carry herself with respect and class, regardless of previous rumor of being the “other woman” in NBA’s Dwayne Wade’s previous marriage to ex-wife, Siohvaughn Funches. We all should idolize Union dues to the fact that she have came along way from her traumatize and abusive past to the Hollywood’s Red Carpet. She not only acting on her daily schedule, she take time to support and give back to those who are victims in sexual assault and being a positive role model.
Cited: Wikipedia, Starpulse, and Notablebiographies
Amerie Mi Marie Rogers was born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. She is the daughter of a Korean Artist, Mi Suk and African-American Chief Warrant Officer, Charles. She has a younger sibling. Amerie spend most of her childhood traveling and living in many places, such as Korea, Texas, Alaska, Germany, and Virginia. Her family finally settled in Arlington, Virginia, where she attended Georgetown University to study literature. She also joined the Navy ROTC to help pay for her college tuition and later quit. She graduated with a Bachelor in English and a minor in Fine Arts in 2000.
While she was pursuing a degree at Georgetown University, She befriended a club promoter who eventually got her in touch with Rich Harrison, a Grammy Award-winning Record Producer and Songwriter from Washington, D.C. They begin to work on a demo, and it led to her first record deal with Rise Entertainment in collaboration with Columbia Records. In 2002, Amerie released her debut single, “Why Don’t We Fall in Love”. The single reached number 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 and top 10 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Pop Songs. Her Album, All I Have, went Platinum and has sold 957,000 copies.
Amerie did a covered song “I’m Coming Out” by the Original Diva, Diana Ross for the soundtrack to the film, Maid in Manhattan. She was awarded for Soul Train Award for Best R&B/Soul or Hip-Hop Artist. She was nominated for many more in 2002.
After her success with her first album, Amerie collaborated with other artists, such as LL Cool J (Paradise), DJ KaySlay (Too Much For Me), Bowwow (To My Mama), and even did a soundtrack for the film, Honey (When I Think Of You).
She released her second album, Touch in 2005. The album earned herGrammy Award nominations in 2006;Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for it hit single, “1 Thing” and Best Contemporary R&B Album.The album sold 904,000 copies and went Platinum. “1 Thing” was her biggest hit, which the song became platinum after selling over 600,000 units downloads. The single, “1 Thing” earned her several nominations and awards.
In 2006, Amerie released her third album, Because I Love You. The Album did not succeed in America as it did in Europe. “Take Control” became her hit song following by “1Thing”.Because I Love You made it to number seventeen on the UK Chart Music in 2007. She eventually receiveda silver certification from the British Recorded Music Industry for more than 60,000 copies issued. “Take Control” was nominated for Best Song at the MOBO Awards. Amerie’s second single “Gotta Work” reached the top forty and was played into an Asia-wide advertisement campaign for cable provider AXN’s tenth anniversary. Later, Amerie reportedly left her label, Columbia Records.
Amerie is signed with Feeniix Rising Entertainment, through the Island Def Jam Music Group. She recorded her fourth album, In Love &War. The first two songs from the album, “Why Are You” and “Heard ‘Em All”reached the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, at numbers fifty-five and eighty.In Love & War debuted at number forty-six on the Billboard 200 and number three on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums with a little radio support.
She is currently working on her fourth album, Cymatika Vol. 1. The album is going to be release spring 2012.
Keshia Knight Pulliam was born in Newark, New Jersey. She is the daughter of Denise and James Pulliam, Sr., a manager. She has 3 younger brothers. Pulliam attended Rutgers Preparatory School in Somerset, New Jersey. After The Cosby Show ended her family moved to Virginia, where Pulliam attended the Potomac School in McLean, Virginia and Foxcroft School in Middleburg, Virginia. She received a bachelor of arts degree in Sociology from Spelman College in 2001. Pulliam is a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority, initiated through the Eta Kappa chapter.
She currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia.
Pulliam became the youngest actress ever to be nominated for an Emmy, at age six for best supporting actress. Even before that – at age 3 – she played Keshia on Sesame Street. Her character on The Cosby Show, Rudy, was known for being the “baby” of the family. She is ranked #19 in VH1’s list of the “100 Greatest Kid Stars”. In a 2008 interview, she revealed that when she read for the role of Rudy, when she was only 5, she kept looking away from the director (Jay Sandrich), who finally asked her what she was looking at. She said when pointing to a monitor, “How can you make me on the TV?” Apparently, the director thought her role would be perfect for her: smart as a whip – cute as a bug, or a goldfish. Throughout the show’s eight seasons, Pulliam had a wonderful on- and off-screen chemistry with Bill Cosby, as the two shared their own friendships, when not filming. She also said of her TV father and her favorite episode of The Cosby Show, “Mr. Cosby and I, we had a competition going on to see who would do a better job at lip-syncing. That was our little inside thing. I think I did a better job.” She also appeared on a 1997 episode of Cosby, playing a different character. Today, she is still friends with Cosby.
Pulliam won a celebrity version of Fear Factor in September 2002. She also won a celebrity version of The Weakest Link and participated in “Celebrity Mole 2: Yucatan”. In 2004, she performed in Chingy’s music video for “One Call Away”. In 2005, she played Darnelle in Beauty Shop with Queen Latifah.
According to an interview on Real Talk with Jeanne Roberts of St. Louis, Pulliam performed in Donald Gray’s play The Man of Her Dreams in the fall of 2006. In 2008, she joined the cast of Tyler Perry’s House of Payne as Miranda, the new wife of Calvin Payne. The role earned her the 2009 and 2010 NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.
In 2009, she portrayed Candy in the film Madea Goes To Jail.
In 2011, commenting on the fact that no Black actors had won Golden Globe Awards that year, she said:
I think that there is definitely work to be done. It can always be more diverse. We live in a very multicultural and global society. More needs to be done to increase the representation of all people and really show the world for what it is. It’s not just one color.
INFO FROM: WIKIPEDIA
Jennifer Williams was raised in South Orange, NJ, an upscale suburb just outside of New York City. Jennifer attended the University of Maryland and Fairleigh Dickerson University and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. After graduating, Jennifer traveled the world experiencing different cultures in Paris, Dubai, Maldives, Thailand, Monte Carlo and various Caribbean Islands. In 2000, she met her future husband, NBA star Eric Williams. Jennifer obtained her real estate license in 2005 and has sold high end property in New Jersey. After living all over the country including Boston, San Antonio and Toronto she currently resides in Miami Beach and NJ. In the summer of 2007, Jennifer married NBA star Eric Williams in a lavish ceremony on Paradise Island, Bahamas.
Growing up Jennifer always dreamed of traveling the world and being an entrepreneur. She is a principal owner of Flirty Girl Fitness. Flirty Girl Fitness is an upscale women’s studio with locations in Toronto and Chicago. Feeling the need to give back, Jennifer also co-founded Project Save the World. This charity supports many different causes such as breast cancer, youth violence and most recently the devastating affects of the earthquake in Haiti. The goal of Project Save the World is to save the world one mission at a time.
Jennifer Williams is a star on Basketball Wives on VH1. The eight -episode series gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the glamourous life along with the challenges of being a professional basketball player’s wife. The ratings of the premiere episode promise Basketball Wives to be a number one cable show.
With casts that include Evelyn Lozada, Stacey Dash, LisaRaye McCoy, Jennifer Williams, Tami Roman and Charity Shea, both ‘Basketball Wives’ and ‘Singles Ladies’ made Monday night the most watch night for VH1 in nearly two years. According to official numbers released Wednesday, both series drew over 2 million viewers each with premieres Monday evening.
“Monday night’s 8:00pm* third season premiere of”Basketball Wives” attracted 1.8 million total viewers. When combined with its 11pm* encore episode, the series brought in 3.5 million total viewers to VH1 Monday night,” VH1 reported Wednesday. “At 9:00pm*, the two-hour premiere of VH1’s first hour-long scripted series “Single Ladies” also drew an impressive 1.2 rating in the key P18-49 demo and 1.8 million total viewers. When combined with its 12am* encore, “Single Ladies” drew in 2.8 million total viewers.”
INFO FROM: WWW.JENNIFERWILLIAMS.COM & WWW.EXAMINER.COM