If I didn't have to write about the death of actress and comedian Yvette Wilson, I would never have to admit that "Moesha" was one of my favorite TV shows. Not because I really loved Brandy, but because I liked the entire cast.
One of my cast favorites was Wilson's character, Andell, the role she was best known for not only on "Moesha," but also on it's spin off, "The Parkers." Wilson died of cervical cancer last week. She was 48 years old.
I landed on the Oxygen Channel recently and watched "Friday," a movie in which Wilson had a short but memorable role. Remember the blind date Smokey was fixed up with by Nia Long's character? She said she looked like Janet Jackson, but Smokey said she looked like Freddie Jackson? That was her. Many who only knew her from TV didn't know that she was also a comedian, as well as appearing on "Def Comedy Jam."
Wilson was actually the fourth cast member from "Moesha" to have died in the last decade. Merlin Santana, who was also a cast member on "The Steve Harvey Show," played Moesha's first boyfriend on the show. He was killed in 2002. Bernie Mac, who played the part of Andell's boyfriend, passed away in 2008. And Lamont Bentley, who played the part of Moesha's friend Hakeem, was killed in a car crash in 2005.
Stax and Brooks
Art & Soul Family Fun Day – a reflection of the budding partnership between the Stax Museum and the Brooks Museum of Art – is set for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday (June 23) at the Brooks.
The fun-for-the-whole-family event is an opportunity to experience African American art, with art-making, music and theater. It is designed to celebrate the exhibition, "The Soul of a City: Memphis Collects African American Art. Admission is free.
The day will include music by the Stax Music Academy, a performance of "Little Red Riding Hood" by Hattiloo Theatre, and artist demonstrations by Anthony Lee and Shove It Designs. Children who bring their drawing of Little Red Riding Hood will receive a free red backpack (as long as supplies last).
Rock The Block
The annual Hattiloo Block Party unfolds on Saturday (June 23) in the rear parking lot of the theatre at 656 Marshall Ave. The fun runs from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. and admission is free.
Featured performers include Michael Joyner, The Glo, C C Hill, Inner City South, Barbara Lester, Red Planet, Jamille "Jam" Hunter, Tonya Dyson, Black Rock Revival, Artistik Approach, and Damion "Yella P" Pearson.
For more information, call 901-525-0009.
Red, White and Jazz!
Come out and celebrate Independence Day early with musical fire-works at Jazz-A-F!RE on Sunday, June 24, from 3-5 p.m. at the Memphis Black Arts Alliance FireHouse, 985 South Bellevue.
The lineup features Naomi Williams Moody, William "Nokie" Taylor, Kent Suggs, Lance Thompson, plus Stephen Lee and James Sexton.
Donations are requested. Bring your own instrument and play!
Call 901-948-9522 for more information. Or visit info@ memphisblackartsalliance.org.
On another note
Thanks to Charlotte Freeman and the fine ladies of Delta Sigma Theta for the opportunity to host "Cater to You: A Gentleman's Way." I had a ball. I had no idea that there would be so much great food. I also had no idea I was capable of eating so much. Thanks again and congrats to all of the winners.
Much love to Families Matters and Carol Jackson for my "Father of the Year" award. I am eternally grateful for being chosen. Thanks to my wonderful children, both biological and non-biological, and also to Roby Williams for nominating me.