All posts by PJ

the bluest eye (cover)

Ohio Schools Leader Calls for Ban of ‘The Bluest Eye’

The-Bluest-Eye*Ohio school leader Debe Terhar is pushing for author Toni Morrison’s book “The Bluest Eye” to be banned from the 11th grade reading list, labeling the work “pornographic.”

Although the book has been banned by many places, when Morrison spoke to WCMH NBC 4 she seemed to take Terhar’s remarks personally.

“I resent it,” Morrison told the local TV station. “I mean if it’s Texas or North Carolina as it has been in all sorts of states. But to be a girl from Ohio, writing about Ohio having been born in Lorain, Ohio. And actually relating as an Ohio person, to have the Ohio, what — Board of Education? — is ironic at the least.”

“The Bluest Eye” has previously been banned from a number of school libraries for its inclusion of rape, incest and pedophilia stories. Terhar was just of many to speak out against the book and especially didn’t like to the depiction of the novel’s main character being raped by her father. She feels that the passage is not suitable for school-age children.

The American Civil Liberties Union sent Terhar a letter questioning her presumably personal opinion of Morrison’s novel and her labeling it “pornographic.”

The organization feels Ohio schools should “use controversial literature as an opportunity to improve students’ critical thinking skills and to create open dialogue between students and the community.”

Alabama State Senator Bill Holtzclaw (R-Madison) also called for his state to bar students from reading the book, taking issue with the work’s language and content.


Tamia: On Longevity, MS Diagnosis, Brandy, Performing, More

Tamia Talks Longevity MS Diagnosis Brandy Performing
*After a recent performance, Singersroom caught up with Grammy- nominated singer Tamia to chat about her busy schedule as a wife and mom, the secret to success in the industry, being diagnosed with MS, and her upcoming projects in the near future.

Staying true to form, the R&B songstress blesses us with her inner beauty and divine spirit…check it out.

Longevity in the Industry:

I don’t know if there’s a formula for longevity in the business. I’m just happy to be here. I started when I was 17, well I’m not 17 anymore, but I’m just happy to continue do music that I love and I’m just inspired by it.

Balancing Motherhood and Marriage:

Oh, it’s a juggling act. Sometimes you just drop the ball, but you pick it up and you start where you left off.

Biggest Musical Influences Past & Present:

I love amazing singers, from Whitney Houston, to Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Valerie Simpson, CeCe Winans, Yolanda Adams, I mean those are the women that I studied. All are very different vocally, but there’s something in that voice that drew me to them. That’s what I love about music, it’s heart to heart connection and you feel like they’re singing to you.

Being Diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis):

I’m not shy or ashamed to talk about MS, I’m currently in remission. I’m just thankful and blessed that I can still do the things I love to do, a wife, mom, singer, performer, and a business woman.


I would love to talk about Brandy. She is such a great singer. She’s been in the game for 18 years, gotta give it up. And she’s going to be around for another 18 years. So I congratulate and salute her.

Upcoming Projects:

We’re going to continue to do more shows, live shows and get back in the studio. Don’t want to take too long anymore between albums.

Favorite Songs:

Umm, “Beautiful Surprise,” certainly. You know the great thing about putting out records, songs, albums, or whatever you want to call it or songs you love is that if you get to this point where you have to sing an hour and forty minutes, you still love the music. That’s what it’s about. At the end of the day, it’s about being proud of what you put out and I am. I just love performing my songs for my fans.

Read more at: Singersroom


(Tamia Talks Longevity MS Diagnosis Brandy Performing )
claudette ortiz

Claudette Ortiz: Homeless, Struggling, Reached Breaking Point Before Joining ‘R&B Divas LA’

Claudette Ortiz Homeless Before R&B Divas LA

*Former singer of the group City High, Claudette Ortiz, vowed that she would never do reality TV, but as we can see from her presence on the show “R&B Divas LA,” things change.

It seems at the time the TV One hit show was the only way out of a bad spot for Ortiz. With three mouths to feed, other than her own, and bills to pay she had to do something to change her life for the better.

The singer is best known for her time with the group City High; as well as having relationships with both of her group members. Ortiz hopes that the show will not only bring about a financial increase but also allow her to tell her story once and for all.

Claudette took time out to speak with Bossip in an interview where she opened up about the night she reached her breaking point; right before she got the text to do the show. She also set the record straight on her prior relationships with her groupmates.

Catch a few highlights:

On the decision to do the show 
Prior to the show, I had really hit rock bottom and I was at a crossroads where I just had to [do the show]. All the little odd jobs that I was doing; I was a chef in the kitchen, I tried to open my own businesses, I had my catering businesses and I had a cleaning business but those things were not enough to raise my children. So, I had to make a choice of am I going to continue going this way? Where is this going? I was like man, I guess I’ll just go to the air force reserves. […] I felt like it would pay for school. I didn’t have any degree or anything so….

I was having a rough night. I had to leave the place I was at, and I was driving with the things in my trunk and my kids were asleep and I had nowhere to go. And that night Phil Thorton from the show texted me but that night I was upset and I was crying. I was like “God, I know there are people out there that have it way worse than I have it but don’t forget about me. This is still difficult. That’s was when I got the text. I never wanted to be a part of reality shows because I never wanted to expose my children on anything like that.

On moving from the East coast to the West coast for the show
When I [moved to LA] I had to move my children out of their school. It was a big move from East to West Coast and I had just left my four years of being at rock bottom. Four years of being ridiculed and scrutinized on the internet and four years of having to decide between one bill and the other and having to go to the social services building and your case worker recognizes you and says, “Why are you here?” It breaks you down so I was just coming out of that break down and rebuilding myself and trying to get back into the groove of being in [the] spotlight and being in entertainment. That’s a sadness that I believe women do feel and it does show on your face, but you keep it moving, you don’t cry. You keep your head up and you keep going, even though you do have that consistent worry and heartbreak.

On whether she drove her former groupmate Robbie to become an alcoholic
No. Everybody on the show tried to make it seem like I was the reason. No, the reason why I broke up with him was because of [the alcohol.] I didn’t cause him to be that way. I was so young. I was 16 years old. This was before City High was even a group. Once City High was a group, we broke up. My worth was completely broke down to the point where I couldn’t even defend myself.

On her current relationship with former groupmate Toby Ryan
We got divorced. We were separated for a year and half before we got the divorce. I think the divorce was [finalized] in 2010.

We were together for 11 years. It wasn’t like what everyone thinks is a love triangle.

“R&B Divas LA” airs Wednesday at 10/9c on TV One


(Claudette Ortiz Homeless Before R&B Divas LA – Claudette Ortiz Hit Rock Bottom)


Gabrielle Union Excited to Work with Co-stars of ‘Being Mary Jane’

BET NETWORKS GABRIELLE UNION*Actress Gabrielle Union is anxious to show the world what she and her “Being Mary Jane” co-stars have in store.

Gabrielle is all grins about the talent she was fortunate enough to be surrounded by for “Being Mary Jane.” The show’s creater, Mara Brock Akil, revealed the additional stars that would portray her family and Gabrielle couldn’t have been more pleased.

“We were hiking and she told me Suge [Margaret Avery] and Shaft [Richard Roundtree] were going to be my parents,” Gabrielle told BET, “We have so many amazing veterans and so many amazing up-and-comers. It’s a beautiful mix.”

Although the veterans may have left the actress star struck, the “Think Like a Man” star says much of the show’s quality and professionalism has to be attributed to the new faces on set.

“Everybody has something to prove and we bring it every take, every day,” she explained. “They are prepared and amazing and they discover new stuff on every take. I couldn’t have asked for more.”

Taimak Guarriello

Taimak Guarriello ‘Bruce Leroy’ On Life After ‘The Last Dragon’

Taimak Guarriello*For those of you movie heads who remember the cult classic “The Last Dragon,” you might have wondered what happened to Taimak Guarriello aka Bruce Leroy.

Guarriello’s character left a lasting impression on many of us as Bruce Leroy was such a memorable role for the actor. He was able has been able to blend his two loves and skills, acting and personal training, to cultivate a career path that involves both performing and his martial arts expertise.

The 49-year-old actor sat down with JET magazine to talk about his career, his inspirations and what’s up next for him.

JET: Your first name is unique. What is its origin?

TAIMAK GUARRIELLO: I’m Black and Italian, but the name Taimak comes from the Aztec culture. “Teimoc” means striking eagle.

JET: When did you first start studying martial arts and which ones are you skilled in?

TG: I started in Japanese Goju karate when I was 6. I’ve since studied a number of styles including boxing, Tae Kwon Do, Shaolin Kung Fu, Chinese Goju and Brazilian jujitsu.

JET: How often do you train?

TG: Five days a week at Marcelo Garcia’s Academy in New York City.

JET: Are you more passionate about filmmaking or martial arts?

TG: It depends on the context. I love them both equally. Acting and directing can be natural and organic but it’s a business and can be political. With martial arts, what you put in is what you get out.

JET: There have been rumors for years about a possible sequel to The Last Dragon. How real is that rumor on a scale of 1 to 10?

TG: Five. I don’t own the rights to the movie, Sony does. Although I’ve spoken to Sony, it’s still up in the air. Actually, I believe the fans would be the best route to help bring that idea alive.

For more go JET magazine.

veronica & david matlock1

Plastic Surgeon David Matlock Sculpts Perfect Woman then Marries Her

veronica & david matlock

Dr. David Matlock married his patient, Veronica

*Plastic surgeon David Matlock started off giving a consultation and information about his famous vaginoplasty procedure to his patient Veronica and ended up giving her an engagement ring, as well.

The “Dr. 90210″ doctor revealed Barcroft Media that it was “love at first sight.” He was able to persuade Veronica to go under the knife and get his “Wonder Woman Makeover,” which includes liposuction of the chin, arms and thighs, to which she agreed.

Matlock proposed to Veronica on the first and has been using his sculpting skills to make her more beautiful ever since. He’s also  been using the plastic surgery procedures that he pioneered to craft his own perfect body.

Now the pair think of themselves as an aesthetically “perfect” couple. But not everyone in the family is in favor of these artificial enhancements.

“I would never really wanna get surgery, cause it’s not really you. I’d want to be myself,” Veronica’s 9-year-old daughter, Isabella, said.

The Washington Post released an article in 2007 that revealed Matlock was sued for malpractice 10 times in just a decade. He has also been disciplined by the Medical Board of California, which tried to revoke his license in 1998 for negligence, fraud and dishonesty, according to the Wall Street Journal. He settled with the board and was given four years of probation.

The procedure that won him the love of his life is the controversial vaginal rejuvenation. Aesthetic vagina surgeries, like the ones Matlock pioneered, have received a lot of backlash and according to a 2007 statement by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the procedure is “not medically indicated.”

The committee elaborates that, “Women should be informed about the lack of data supporting the efficacy of these procedures and their potential complications, including infection, altered sensation, dyspareunia, adhesions, and scarring.” The organization confirmed to The Huffington Post that it still maintains this position.

Ultimately, however, the Matlocks say their love isn’t about liposuction or botox injections. As Matlock puts it, he’ll care for Veronica “for richer or poorer, till death do us part!” She chimes in: “But not fat!”