Boy Buh-Bye to Love & Hip Hop Hollywood

Well, well, what can I say…If you’ve watched part 2 of Love and Hip Hop Hollywood, you’ve seen the messiness and the tea. If not, well let me spill it for you. 

We open with a few of the cast on the couch. The host ask if Mr. Ray could be cordial with Zell. (This is Love and Hip hop no one is just cordial). Well, Mr. Ray said, “I don’t want to be cordial with him.” Well that must have sparked something off in Zell because instead of giving Mr. Ray a hug like he looked like he was attempting to do, he sneaks a couple punches in and is escorted off the set and into a car. He doesn’t return to the set. 

Meanwhile, Mr. Ray is backstage crying and trying to understand why he was punched; why he’s bleeding. A1 tries to sympathize with him and once Mr. Ray comes back on stage all of the case has pretty much taken up for Mr. Ray and said Zell was wrong for hitting him the way he did. Although, they themselves have been doing the same thing all damn season.

Alexis was caught laughing at Mr. Ray although she denies it. 

Later, Ms. Nikki Baby and Masika get into it for some comments she made that weren’t even directed towards Masika. But Nikki this time wins as the clap back queen when she said to Masika, “You live like you’re in a struggle and you look like one too.,”,and “My heels are higher than your whole self esteem.”

A none bothered Masika lies on the floor, taunting Nikki to come swing at her. Of course nothing happens, they break for commercial and all is well with the cast. 

Keyshia Cole was the perfect example of unbothered. We finally get to the love triangle of Brooke, Bridget and Booby. Keyshia not here for the drama gets off the couch and joins the rest of the cast near the audience. Clearly, Brooke never really wanted Booby and was clearly using him to make Marcus jealous. Booby, on the other hand may have been feeling her but not so much he brought Bridget on the trip to Catalina island with him. Bridget was left looking like a used up rag as usual. Her ex stating that he felt he dodged a bullet. But when Keyshia performed, her latest song, Incapable, you could see the love or perhaps some form of feelings or expression there for Keyshia. Perhaps, he’s still in love?!?

Later, we get to see Tearia discuss her alcoholism and the intervention that took place and lead her to rehab. Tearia calls out Cisco for playing her and of course he denies it but later apologizes for it. 

Lyrica, the orange hair queen who’s been dipping her nose in everyone’s business all season discusses why she was so upset her husband A1 would even consider working with other female artists that aren’t her because she’s so talented and the women aren’t even on her level.  Later, A1 says he does it all so there’s no need for his wife to work with other producers. Um, there was no point of y’all being on the show but yeah ok.

We close the show out by watching Safaree get emotional because he’s leaving Cali and going back home to New York. Hmm, just in time for the New York season to start. Chasing a paycheck suppose? This wouldn’t be the first time a Love and Hip Hop cast mate has jumped ship to another state for the show. 

Well anyway, another season is dead and gone so let us get ready for Yandy, Remy Ma, MariahLynn, and joining the cast is Superwoman, Lil Mo’ for season 8 of Love and Hip Hop New York. Get ready for more ratchetness to begin next Monday, same place, same time. Vh1 at 8pm. Get your popcorn ready!

justice or else

Do Black Lives Matter Anymore?

Recently, the nation united for the Justice or Else, Million Man March in Washington, D.C., to discuss racial injustices within our society for all of the police brutality that has taken place with our men and women. This was such a historical event but yet it failed to receive nationwide television coverage. Especially, from major predominantly African American television stations.

So this lives me to wonder if black lives important? Do we matter in this world?

I have created a poem that honors our lost ones in society due to injustices.

It is entitled Do Black Lives Matter Anymore?


victorian woman

The Struggle for Education in the Victorian Era

By Joshua Elkridge

victorian schoolAfter 4 years of staggering through the cold desert we call high school, my mother incessantly urged me to enroll for my first semester at Consumes River College. Coming from a family that stresses the importance of education and me being indecisive about the idea, my mother took me by the hand and enrolled me herself. To insure my success, she signed me up for DIOP, a program/club within the school that catered to Black-American subjects. I attended this classes for barely a month before dropping out to pursue a job. If I could go back and tell myself to stay in college and finish the program, I would.

Being a person of color these days has its ups and downs, but that struggle had a lot more push to it back when America was blanketed with the curtain of suffrage and slavery. Although blacks struggled more in the south during the Victorian-era, suffrage was practiced all over the United States and it hit closer to home than one would think. In the year 1850, the first census of California counted 962 Black-Americans in the state with 240 of them residing in the young and developing city of Sacramento. The Black-American population stayed low during the mid-1800’s due in part to the fact that California Homestead laws were in place to dissuade blacks from moving there. Despite the anti-Black-American legislation that sat over Sacramento, the black community in Sacramento were determined to provide education not just for them but for future generations.

During the 1850’s, most Black-Americans in Sacramento lived between 3rd &6th, I &J streets. Black Americans were only granted citizenship so that they could pay taxes. Despite paying taxes, the Black American community in Sacramento didn’t see a single cent from the tax fund as the money was used solely for the purpose to benefit all-white schools. The Black community methodically petitioned the all-white Sacramento City council to build a school for the colored to no avail. It wasn’t until 1854 when Elizabeth Thorne Scott, considered by some as the pioneer in education for colored children in California and educator Rev. J.B. Sanderson established a private school in Ms. Thorne’s home dubbed, “The School for children of African descent‘. They were the only two teachers at the school despite Ms. Thorne’s inability to receive certification due to her being a black woman. Sanderson, a black man, received certification later on. Their salaries were paid by an improvised Black-American Sacramento community. The community also funded school materials.

Late into the year of 1854, after many conventions and petitioning, a driven group of Black-American women obtained a deed for an empty lot that was sold to them by a white man named John Prentice. Their plan was to build an official school house for the Black community of Sacramento. They passed the deed on to a board of black trustees and the black community, led by the church leaders and clergy men, held fund raisers and successfully obtained the money to build a school house on the empty lot. The community was beginning to overcome, however, support from the all-white Sacramento council was needed for the school to continue functioning. It wasn’t until 1856 when the school finally received the funds from the Sacramento Council that it desperately needed to continue operating. With 25 dollars a month, most of the money went to the salary of the teachers. The sum was meager, even for the time, but it was a step forward in the right direction.

By the 1870’s, after many years of racial tension and prejudice, California passed laws ending Anti Black-American legislation. Black men were able to vote and the schools in Sacramento became desegregated. For the first time, Black students were able to obtain the same benefits in education as white ones had. The biggest accomplishment for Black Sacramentans, came in 1894 when Black-American educator, Sarah Mildred Jones, became the first black woman in Sacramento to become principal of fully integrated Freemont Primary School, located today at 24th and N Street. The school, mostly white with an all-white staff was under fire by white parents for the move and 36 of them petioned to reverse the decision to the Sacramento school board. In turn, ninety-eight petitioned to support Sarah Jones. Speaking for herself in front of parents, staff, and the school board, Ms. Jones calmly stated her credentials and asked to be judged not by her skin, but by her abilities and accomplishments. That day in East Sacramento, the board upheld their decision to give Ms. Jones the job as a trial, based on her qualifications and success. A huge positive note for the City of Sacramento.

When I think back about deciding to drop out of school, I think about this information. We need to take advantage of the education provided to us that is scarce in some places of the world today. The Black- American community in Sacramento during the Victorian-era, went through great lengths, hardship, and sacrifice just so future generations wouldn’t have to. The ability to successfully receive your education, whether you’re White, Black, or Asian, would give them the justice they so well deserve.


CEO Jeff Clanagan Talks Success, Films & Being Black In Hollywood

Jeff Clanagan pic


By Randall Rydell Russell

It’s 11:55, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. The funny thing about this is that I am almost two hours into my shift as the footwear lead at Sports Authority in Citrus Heights, and I am about to conduct an interview with Jeff Clanagan, if you don’t already know the name, he is the CEO of one of the best black film corporations in Hollywood, CodeBlack Entertainment, which includes feature film production, film distribution, worldwide DVD and digital assets distribution AND several TV shows in syndication.  This company was founded to change the way African Americans are treated in Hollywood.

Codeblack Films (CF), a division of leading global entertainment company LIONSGATE®, is a vertically integrated film production and distribution company focused on providing independent studios, filmmakers, globally-recognized celebrities, intellectual property rights holders and brands cross platform monetization solutions. Entertainment industry veteran Jeff Clanagan founded Codeblack Films in 2012.

Me being an aspiring filmmaker and screenwriter, I jumped on the chance to take the job of interviewing someone I aspire to be like now and in the future. Around 11:58, I grab my phone out of my locker at work, run to the office of my store manager, sit at her desk and call Jeff’s always nice assistant Candice Wilson, to patch me through to Jeff himself.

Young Urban Voices: How did the idea of CodeBlack Entertainment come about?

JEFF CLANAGAN: Based on the fact that black filmmakers are not present in Hollywood. There are no African Americans on the production end who have say. I wanted to be able to change that.

YUV: Did you first begin your career as a music producer?

JC: No. I used to promote music then spoke with some people and wanted to try my hand at film production.

YUV: How did you get started with your deal producing movies through Lionsgate?

JC: I had a few connections through some executive in the industry and pretty much did my homework and from there I continued to learn and use what I already know.

YUV: How are you able to stay on top in the film production world?

JC: It’s like this, you have to approach it from a business standpoint. You have to always be willing to upgrade. Silicon Valley is nothing but people always upgrading and creating. You have to look at it like that.

YUV: Do you feel like you have to work harder being an African American in Hollywood?

JC: Oh yeah. That’s always. You only get one chance when you are trying to get in an industry like this one. There aren’t any second or third chances.

YUV: What advice do you have for aspiring business leaders and entrepreneurs following in your footsteps?

JC: You have to stay educated on technology, what’s hot. You have to understand and learn the business. I can’t stress that enough.

YUV: Why do you think your brand stands out above the rest and continues to succeed above expectations?

JC: You have to approach everything regardless if it’s a movie or TV or comedy show as a business. You have to really look around. You have to base what works in the market and go from there. You have to let personal opinions go.

YUV: With numerous TV shows, films such as “Civil Brand’ “Laugh at my Pain”, and projects bringing in 150 million in revenue, what do you consider your biggest accomplishment?

JC: Setting up the company first but putting the Kevin Hart movie out. That just really changed things.

YUV: How was teaming up with greats like Master P with No Limit Films, being President of Manderlay Urban Entertainment?

JC: You learn from every aspect. You learn what do and what not to do.

YUV: What are your future plans. Any future projects:

JC: I want to keep upgrading.   It really helps when you’re trying to do things beyond America. It’s when you have movies and DVD’s and shows being seen and bought internationally. That’s when word of mouth spreads and more of your stuff gets noticed.

YUV: What is the underlying message your brand has that has kept CBE targeting the sophisticated urban generation through it’s channels such as theatre, video and film?

JC: I want to develop for all platforms. Someone is always watching something, and I want to be able to be the one to entertain them.

Jeff also left me with some advice and to continue making my short films until something gets noticed and go from there. After that 15 minutes is up, I have to leave the office and go back on the floor and continue selling shoes, but  I‘m left with the fact that I interviewed someone who makes me want to aspire to be better and never stop pursuing film and all of it’s avenues. Codeblack.

You can find out more about the many projects Codeblack Entertainment has produced at the following website