On Thursday evening, I went to a Hollywood Confidential event at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, California. On August 29th a new documentary series called Black Love premiered on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). This show was created by husband and wife filmmakers Codie and Tommy Oliver. Shout out to Codie who is fellow Howard Alumni #HU #Youknow
Producers Codie and Tommy wanted to create this show because people were saying, “black love doesn’t exist and there aren’t many black marriages”. They decided that this statement was false and wanted to showcase black couples who were married and fighting to maintain their marriage despite the odds.
I arrived at the event and immediately saved a seat in the theatre and went to take photos at the photo booth.
They also had another area where they were doing interviews of guest that were going to be on the show.
The event was comprised of a panel discussion with famous African American couples who were on the featured show. They also showed short clips of the documentary that would be airing on television that evening.
The panel consisted of Gospel singer Erica Campbell from the former duet group (Mary Mary) and her husband producer Warren Campbell, Tommie and Codie (producers of the show ), Neil Brown Jr actor on (Insecure and his wife Katrina), DeVon Franklin husband of actress Meagan Good (unfortunately she was on set and unable to make the event), and moderated by actress Yvonne Orji (Insecure).
I really enjoyed Yvonne as the moderator because of her ability to keep the crowd laughing and engaged due to her charismatic and fun personality. A fun fact about Yvonne. She apparently (I have never watched the show but heard) plays a HO on HBO’s Insecure but is a virgin in real life. She often interjected, “It is ironic that she is single and is the moderator of a show with couples who are in love”. She also informed everybody that she was claiming her husband and would hopefully be married soon. I’m rooting for you Yvonne and can’t wait to hear about your future nuptials.
Excerpts from the Panel Participants
Erica Campbell: My husband is a fine chocolate man and a producer. I knew that his role as a producer would have him working with various female artist. Despite his relationship status, some women have various alternatives. When I would see women like this I would let Warren know what I saw and he would brush me off. Now he understands and trusts my judgment. Women have instincts and our partners need to listen to us regarding these types of situations.
Warren Campbell: We had issues in the beginning of our relationship because my mother said,” you can go around the world until you are married”. As a producer, I was used to being around a lot of women so I didn’t take our relationship seriously. Once we were married I took our relationship seriously and agreed to stay until death does us part.
Neal Brown Jr.: My wife Katrina and I knew each other in Elementary School and I proposed to her in High School. We have been together for 20 years and she is still my best friend to this day. I love talking and being with her. I have even brought her on the set of Insecure so she can give me feedback on my acting skills. I know that she will be open and honest about everything I do.
Devon Franklin: Meagan began cooking in the beginning of our marriage but eventually stopped cooking. I wanted her to continue but she sat me down and said, “cooking was not her thing for many reasons such as her busy acting schedule”. We had to come to an agreement and I remembered that my expectations could actually suffocate her. “Will I love her for what she can do or who she is”? I love Meagan regardless of what she can do for me.
DeVon also said,” fusion and atom can create friction every day because you are putting two different people together to become one”. “You have to understand that in a marriage you cant solve everything in one night”.
A unique fact about Devon and Meagan is they are known for their short engagement and their ability to stay virgins until they were married.
Yvonne asked the panelist what advice would they give to people who are single and looking to become married. The response: 1) Throw away the list (Do you know somebody has a long checklist of what type of person they will only date? ), 2) Be positive (Nobody wants a negative Nancy) and Be confident about the type of person that you are.
Black Love Show
The documentary-style show had 4 episodes. 1)Where does Love Begin, 2) Tripping over Hurdles, 3) Fall Down, and 4) Getting to Forever.
Featured couples on the show include actress Tia Mowry Hardrict (most known on Sister, Sister and NAACP image award recipient) and Actor Cory Hardrict, Oscar winner Viola Davis and husband Julius Tennon, Actress Meagan Good and pastor & film producer DeVon Franklin, Gospel singer Erica Campbell and music producer Warryn Campbell, Actress and dancer Vanessa Bell Calloway and husband Dr. Anthony Calloway, Actor Flex Alexander and wife Grammy-nominated recording artist Shanice among many others who discuss their marriage journey.
The first season of Black Love is completed but you can still catch the episodes. Don’t fret they have recently announced that they have been approved for a 2nd season.
What do you do when you are star struck? I glanced to my right and Erica Campbell was standing next to me. All I could say was “Hello”. I wanted to say more but I was unable to form other words like, How are you? Or can I take a picture with you? After the show, I was feeling a bit more confident. I went up to the stage and shook her hand. I informed her that I used to visit her home church Evangelistic COGIC as a teenager. When you see a famous people how do you react?
I walked out of the event feeling super excited about black love and the show. I have decided to do my own interviews with black married couples asking them questions about the good, bad and ugly of there relationships. Stay Tuned for guest interviews.