‘House Party,’ ‘Baby Boy’ star visits Houston; talks career and going back to Africa

By: N. L. Preston


HOUSTON – There isn’t a teen from this generation or from three decades ago who does not know the choreographed dance moves set to Full Force’s “Ain’t My Type of Hype” in the iconic movie, “House Party,” where Tisha Campbell and Adrienne-Joi “AJ” Johnson battled it out with the original high top fade wearing rappers, Kid ‘N Play. The movie is celebrating its 30-year anniversary.

And there isn’t a single-mother to a son around who can’t relate to Johnson’s character in “Baby Boy,” also starring Ving Rhames and Tyrese Gibson, which is now at its 20-year anniversary.

African-American News&Issues met the Hollywood actress as she visited Houston promoting her new series, and had a down-to-Earth chat, getting a much-needed dose of spirituality and a reminder about embracing our ancestry.

First Johnson allowed us to take her down memory lane, telling us how it felt to be a part of Black movie history.

“I look at it as I was privileged and blessed to be a part of Baby Boy and House Party, and what I think has made them iconic projects is that they were shot from a collaborative spirit; the producers, the directors, the studios, the actors,” she said.

This year, she’s excited about her latest acting project, playing a publicist in a new romantic dramedy, “Stuck with You.”

“It is an amazing story that covers a celebrity couple who are #RelationshipGoals in front of the door, but behind the door, they have the most troubled, dysfunctional, tumultuous relationship ever so we watch them navigate what’s real, what’s life and love,” Johnson said. “Are they chasing the money and celebrity, or are they chasing their peace and true love?”

Tammy Townsend, Timon Kyle Durett, Jessica Obilom, Terrence Green, Tiffany Black, former Danity Kane member D. Woods and R&B singer, Shanice, also star in the new series, which will be paying on UMC (Urban Movie Channel), the first and largest subscription streaming service dedicated to Black film and television from AMC Networks’ privately-owned subsidiary, RLJ Entertainment.

And about peace and love, Johnson enlightened us about another project near and dear to her heart: Ghana, a place she feels we all need to visit.

“Oh, my goodness. My visit to Ghana over the last year changed my life. My passion for learning my true history, and understanding my purpose calling of bridging African Americans and Africa helped me create an organization From Bridge to Better,” she said. “I don’t believe that we were supposed to be separated over 400 years ago through the Transatlantic Slave Trade anyway, but now that we are separated, we must bridge the gap. Bridging food, language, fashion, music and entertainment. The truth is, is you are of African descent, we may be related. We are brothers and sisters, so instead of promoting the separateness, why not promote the connection?”

Johnson has partnered with the US Embassy in Ghana to help promote the mission.

“One of the things that fascinates me is just as we have a story as African Americans who came over from Africa in the slave trade, they also have a story of the Africans who were left behind. We have to learn our history and start talking about what they feel and what we feel. That’s been part of the divide, if more of us get a chance to go over there, there’s no way we can come back to America unchanged.”

Speaking of change, Johnson is also a life coach, helping others improve their lives, through spirituality and positivity.

Gabrielle Union shared that Johnson helped change the way she communicated with other women, helping her to remove the negativity she was carrying.

Johnson’s advice to others? “We need to stop operating from the standpoint of ‘What about me?’ Be the blessing that you want to receive and watch what happens.”

She went on to add, “I want everyone in this month and this year to remove the limits, because the limits are not defined. Limits are something we give ourselves. We limit ourselves with age, employment, parenthood and none of that stuff has rules we have to live by. I am living a limitless existence. The life you want to live can be yours.”

Johnson is also a fitness guru. You can learn more about THE AJ ZONE, Inc. at www.theajzone.com. – AANI




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October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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