Jordan Peele & Iyanla Vanzant Take Audiences on a ‘Sharp Turn, Best Life’ Ride that’s Filled with Ooh’s and Aah’s

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The countdown is underway for the next big events on the pop culture calendar. Some fans can’t wait for the NCAA March Madness team selection. Others are looking forward to the iHeartRadio Music Awards. But in the meantime there’s Jordan Peele and Iyanla Vanzant taking fans on a ‘sharp turn, best life’ ride.

For Peele it’s in the success of his movie Get Out which won at the Oscars for Best Original Screenplay. It’s the first time that’s happened for an African-American. The movie is part horror, part thriller and part comedy. It starts out with a car making a sharp turn on a local street as the plot unfolds.

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It was a different kind of March Madness in the season opener for Iyanla’s ‘reinvention show’ on OWN. Things didn’t work out the normal way where the guest accepts the chance to find a path towards their best life. Peele and Vanzant generally put their gifts to work on their first audience.. which is themselves.

They know the road to redemption or achieving aspirations usually starts on ‘Self Street.’ Oftentimes how we reach higher is an extension of our comfort with self. Peele and Vanzant turned what appeals/reveals to self as a formula for a successful movie or unscripted TV show that could have been counted out.

In a recent ‘Oprah at the Apollo’ interview Peele gave an inside look into the steps he took in moving his dreams in the right direction. Vanzant often shares hers by saying that she had to do the work to achieve the healing before her place of shining. Their first audience of success started out by taking:

  1. Preparation Steps

Before celebration there’s always preparation. That’s true whether planning a party or going after your dreams. Before becoming a computer engineer I took preparations steps in college. Before going after my dreams in business I took preparation steps as a novice-in-training. These steps help put us in the game.

  1. Production Steps

It’s been said that people can have beginners luck when playing a game for the first time. Things kinda come your way even without trying hard. Where beginners luck ends is where production steps begin. It can be a surprise to do things well the first time. But you build production value doing it again and again.

  1. Breakout Steps

We expect to eventually have breakout steps along the way. The ‘Get Out’ movie is a sort of breakout step for Peele after leaving his Comedy Central gig. Vanzant had her breakout step when she first hosted a daytime talk show. They’ve used breakout steps in taking a risk or setting out as a trailblazer.

  1. Comeback Steps

They’ve also shown they can turn setbacks into comebacks. It’s something we’re teaching our daughter who’s been dealing with a leg (hamstring) injury. Each time it seemed like she was ready to return to her sport she’s had to pull back. Comeback steps help us with raising our game and elevating our dreams.

The journey of a 1000 miles begins with the first step. Whether we choose to walk, run or drive there can be lots of oohs and aahs on the ride. Steve Harvey reminds us that things might go south or get rough as part of God’s plan. But those who get back up keep things moving because they have dreams to celebrate.

Tip: The dream journey of a 1000 miles starts with preparation steps that might set us on a path as trailblazers taking breakout steps.

Talkback: Is it drama or trauma that makes things come alive in Get Out or on Vanzant’s TV show?

Tracks: Drake – God’s Plan – https://youtu.be/xpVfcZ0ZcFM

T.I. ft Chris Brown – Get Back Up – https://youtu.be/B9qZz-m6BL4

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Oprah Winfrey Speaks Out and Usain Bolt Jumps In With Their New Year’s Resolutions to Make a Run

2018 Theme
The Year of ‘Got Shine?’:
Where The Things You Know and How You Flow Bring More Star Power for Sure

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Looks like Red Carpet watchers and sports fans got a back-to-back treat in primetime. At the 75th Golden Globes, celebs came out in force to honor great movie productions. As if right on cue 24 hours later, the College Football Championship game between Georgia & Alabama had its share of great performances.

For the Globes, this year brought a new dose of social activism to the festivities. Oprah had her standout moment of course. While for football fans there was biting suspense as the game went down to the wire. And scrolling on the bottom of the TV screen during the game was news of Usain Bolt doing soccer.

The after-show buzz was if Oprah would run for President in 2020. Plus it seems Bolt wants to make a run at playing soccer on the big stage. It’s not clear if Oprah will seek higher office as a next chapter. But she’s down for the women’s cause. At least they’re open to taking their shine to a new level or new grind.

Oprah’s decision to speak out and Bolt’s decision to jump-in give clues for making the most of our new year’s resolutions. Whether it’s about a new level or new grind, their success shows us that to breakout from a slump, breakthrough from a setback or break barriers like the glass ceiling, it helps to:

  1. Know Your Game

Oprah spent 25 years on TV hosting her talk show. She then went from daytime queen to cable network mogul. Now she’s on Forbes’ Billionaires list. No one can question if she knows her game. A key to her brilliance from one game to the next is in how she builds-on her skill and grit during the learning curve.

  1. Know Your Groove

Knowing your professional game can sometimes feel boring, monotonous or be on auto-pilot. Oprah and Bolt saw how it can feel like not much of an effort or like you’ve lost your groove. Well, keeping your mojo or getting your groove back means keeping your results ‘on point’ around more passion and purpose.

  1. Know Your Grow

I can remember as a child on those days travelling with my dad to his farm. There were different types of crops which meant different techniques to help them grow. With different types of games professionally, it’s good to know what makes you grow to get your best stuff to flow at work, play or in the marketplace.

  1. Know Your Goal

Bolt wants to play in Europe for die-hard fans. Oprah wants to give young girls hope for tomorrow and the tools to achieve. A goal gives our dreams legs to stand on and a path to becoming the best we can be. And in the words of Oprah, “the biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.”

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Oprah and Bolt have already reached great heights in their careers. They really don’t have to prove anything more to be secure. Their dreams have taken them east, west, north and south as if travelling the four corners of success. They give us a kind of GPS roadmap for making something of ourselves.

The new-year can be a good time to look at starting over. It seems Bolt’s doing that as an athlete. It’s also a good time for kicking things into higher gear. That’s what Oprah’s speech did for many who posted messages on social media. They’ve already shown us what it takes to ‘shine on’ and become legendary.

Tip: Taking your professional shine to a new level of brilliance or new grind means knowing how to work your game and hit your groove so that how you grow helps to push your goal.

Talkback: What’s it gonna take for Oprah make a run or for Bolt to become soccer’s new son?

Tracks: Welshly Arms – Legendary – https://youtu.be/Z2CZn966cUg

Jussie Smollette ft Bre-Z – Shine on Me – https://youtu.be/FAA4AdxEm34

Serena Williams, Jennifer Lopez: Found Love on a Two-Way Street and New Dreams on the Big Stage

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The baseball World Series is here and fans are psyched. Often seen as America’s pastime, the players look forward to starring in their October surprise. Those times can be some of the most excitement-filled highlights in sports. They leave a lasting feeling of working, playing and rising to the occasion.

Serena Williams and Jennifer Lopez are two ladies who have a knack for big moments. Recently, they’ve found love on a two-street and keep striving for new game & dreams on the big stage. Williams found hers giving birth to her first child. She’s also looking to return to the pro tennis circuit early next year.

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Word is J-Lo’s making plans to move in with former baseball slugger A-Rod. After organizing fundraising efforts for Puerto Rico’s hurricane relief, she’s ready to share more love and affection at home. With Williams it’s a focus at home and on the court while for Lopez it’s one of taking care of home and abroad.

When you think about their rise up the ranks it’s on different career tracks. But they might share similar things about achieving new game at work, play and the everyday. Plus, they know when you dare to dream you learn the greatest lessons from having more empowering moments in the daily grind of life.

It’s the kind of aha you might get from watching an Oprah Super Soul Sunday. She’s good on interviewing guests who help us bring more awareness from things we go through. What you’ll find common in those stories as well as that of Williams and Lopez is how they impress with talent and express with gift.

People have been following the journeys of Williams and Lopez from the streets of Compton and blocks of the Bronx. As they found their ‘it’ factor they developed talent into their ‘hit factor.’ Williams became a star on the tennis court. Lopez as a performer became more than just eye-candy on TV & movie screens.

Where their current work is taking them now is to a new level in ‘grand – slam – glam’ for social causes they champion. From a Super Soul viewpoint it’s creating personal/professional flow in the work you do as a calling, on purpose and with passion. This raises your degree of shine as you express with your gift.

In my own ‘journey of love’ at home and in biz I realized why calling, purpose and passion help us make a difference. Think of ‘calling’ as the way you make ‘Big G-o-d’ look good. Purpose is how you serve some earthly good. And passion is how you ‘do you’ as people say about Williams or Lopez ‘damn she’s good!’

Said one way, “you can’t get much more ‘gooder’ than that!” It’s how we reach towards being our best self. On the tennis court Serena brings passion in every swing. On the recent telethon we watched J-Lo bring purpose to the relief efforts. And in serving with their presence or essence they reflect true calling.

Williams and Lopez know the importance of working on their game. Fans at the recent Brooklyn concert saw Lopez perform on stage in full-effect mode. Seeing Williams back on the court again will sure be exciting from watching her juices flow. Rising to the occasion can come with such memorable moments.

Tip: Some of the most empowering moments in the daily grind come from how we impress with our talents and express with our gifts.

Talkback: What about J-Lo for the Superbowl halftime show?

Tracks: India Arie – Do You – https://youtu.be/qXpaJMg3q8I

Pressure – Love and Affection – https://youtu.be/KHVQVVNmh1U

Oprah took 15 minutes, Jordin Sparks Took 3 minutes to Go ‘Back in Stride’ with Career Goals and Breakout Dreams

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By now kids have settled into a new school year. There’s probably been a review period to get them up and running with topics they should know. Then things will shift into learning new stuff. Recently, Oprah took 15 minutes and Jordin Sparks took 3 minutes to show us what ‘back in stride’ in business looks like.

Oprah returned to a role she mastered in her earlier career. As a new contributing host on the CBS program 60 Minutes she said it felt like ‘coming home.’ She moderated a panel discussion on current affairs in a way that would disarm those on the ideological ‘right’ and charm those on the ‘left.’

For Sparks it was a chance to sing the anthem at Monday night’s NFL game on a national stage. She’s been working her way back into pop culture venues after a period of being off the radar. It’s been 10 years since she won American Idol and a lot longer than that since Oprah worked as a news reporter.

What does their return to primetime tell us about reaching a new breakout stage in career goals or biz dreams? There’re things they’ve done which remind us about going from career hold to career gold, from career grind to rewind, from dream seed to dream shoot. In part, it’s in what they did to channel their flow.

After doing daytime talk for 25 years, Oprah decided to launch the OWN Network. She saw it as a next-chapter step in her life’s work. To understand that journey from start to destiny is to see her professional shifts from job to career to vocation. But it’s not always that ambitious or straightforward for everyone.

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In the case of Sparks, she kinda disappeared from the scene after injury to her vocal cords. She says it was a close call of possibly not being able to sing professionally again. She took time off for rest. What happened for her in the downtime and for Oprah in the meantime was what they did in ‘service to grow.’

To understand this, think about the story of the Chinese bamboo tree. When the seed is first planted there’s a period of no visible change or growth. This goes on for three or four years. Then suddenly after a while the bamboo tree can grow to heights of 70, 80, 90 feet or more in the space of a few weeks.

While nothing visible was happening it was still doing things in service to grow. That’s what Oprah did as she became cable channel OWNer. There was a period of ifs and buts. It’s what Sparks might also have done when it seemed like her career lights were about to go dark. I’ve been there a time or two as well.

But you realize that when surprise moments come your way that it’s not really a surprise to life. We see this on NBCs The Voice every so often. A contestant starts singing while the judges are turned away in their chair. After hitting the buzzer they turn around to see a face that doesn’t match the voice.

It might surprise the judge, but it’s not a surprise to life that the contestant can ‘sang.’ It was a surprise for some to see Oprah on 60 Minutes or Sparks doing the anthem. But it wasn’t a surprise to life to have that part of their dreams get the green light. They channeled their flow and are reaping what they did sow.

Tip: When you channel your passion’s flow, you’ll reap what you sow as you ‘service your grow.’

Talkback: Who was Oprah ‘channeling’ in her 60 Minutes debut as old-school news reporter?

Tracks: Frankie Beverly – Back in Stride Again – https://youtu.be/waSM0rXDLys

John Legend – Green Light – https://youtu.be/o-AbEO6J8s0

Oprah Winfrey & Michelle Obama Take Power Lunch & Power Crunch to Fun-Time Places #BigTimeUniversity

#BigTimeUniversity – “Small Talk, Street Dreams, Next Level”

This production of “Wise-up Weekly” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST

LOL Tube – Got Funny? (Or Just Fun!)

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Hotstepping’ – Get Jiggy, Get Woke!”
A Cool Way for Flexing Style, Game & Soul in How We Roll (Old-School Flava)

These days many sports fans are glued to the screens and screams of NCAA March Madness. The upsets have been dropping top teams out the picture. But TV fans are happy to see that Oprah and Michelle are back on the scene. They’re taking power lunch and power crunch to fun-time places.

Obama recently appeared as-then First Lady on Master Chef Junior as she gave some ‘recipe for life’ advice to young chefs about “getting an education, doing their best and pushing themselves towards their highest self.” Her tips were like the kind a coach gives athletes before signing day or sweet-16 game time.

Formal education is one thing but Oprah and Michelle got game in bigger things too. They’ve achieved ‘firsts’ in ways that make you wanna cheer them in bursts. They might say it takes a mindset that puts purpose and passion in focus. Plus, the lifestyle they enjoy is related to the life shifts they employ.

Oprah’s busy re-kindling her acting chops. Her role in Greenleaf on OWN has her on the small screen. But it’s the work in her latest ‘justice project’ that’s getting attention. She plays a part in telling the story of Henrietta Lacks’ cancer battle and how her cells were used in future treatment without family consent.

Michelle’s been out taking spring walks with her dogs. She also took time for a power lunch with friends. Meanwhile Oprah might be doing her power crunch with her Weight Watchers drills. The combination of mindset, swag and celebration they bring help us see more good life options for not being the ‘lost ones.’

Groove-Track: Lauren Hill – Lost Ones – https://youtu.be/7siVSslHPMQ

Theme:–The Year of ‘Hotstepping’ – Get Jiggy, Get Woke!”
A Cool Way for Flexing Style, Game & Soul in How We Roll (New-School Flava)

Many fans glued to their TV sets. Watching to see about tourney bets. Screams and cheers all over the room. As star players dunk and zoom. Game upsets have teams dropping like flies. While others glad to see Oprah and Michelle’s styles. With timeout for a power lunch. And doing fun things after power crunch.

Obama as-then First Lady and wife. Giving Master Chef Junior a recipe for life. Advice to young’uns doing their best. Using education as springboard to pass the test. Pushing towards their highest self. So that nothing’s left on the shelf. Tips a coach might try to give. Before signing day or sweet-16 game they live.

Formal study is one thing you do. But they got game in bigger things too. Achieved high standard in a few ‘firsts.’ Makes you wanna cheer them in bursts. They might say put purpose and passion in the bag. This way your focus won’t lag. The kinda lifestyle they certainly enjoy. Related to the life shifts they employ.

Oprah busy rekindling acting chops. Her role on OWN’s Greenleaf a real pop. Like taking the small screen by storm. Where excellence is her norm. More to see in ‘justice project’ work. With public attention a fresh perk. Story of Henrietta Lacks’ cancer dare. And how her cells were used by others without care.

Michelle’s seen on recent spring walk. Her dogs on leash like a bean stalk. Power lunching with the gals. Oprah’s power crunches with Weight Watchers pals. Combo of mindset, passion and celebration. From their personal and professional creation. Helps us see good life options. On avoiding ‘lost ones’ positions.

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Tip: The combination of mindset and passion give us chances to celebrate more good life options.

Talkback: What do we learn from Oprah and Michelle about embracing those options?

Groove-Tracks: Pitbull ft Stephen Marley  – Options – https://youtu.be/xALCpLXcIYY

G-Easy & Kehlani – Good Life – https://youtu.be/FG9M0aEpJGE

This production of “Wise-up Weekly” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST

Mahershala Ali & Ava DuVernay Gave Fitting Toasts to Folks and those That Mean Most #BigTimeUniversity

#BigTimeUniversity – “Small Talk, Street Dreams, Next Level”

This production of “Wise-up Weekly” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST

LOL Tube – Got Funny (or Just Fun)?

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Hotstepping’ – Get Jiggy, Get Woke!”
A Cool Way for Flexing Style, Game & Soul in How We Roll (Old-School Flava)

Another big moment, another tear jerker! That could easily describe some of the highlights from this year’s Oscars. With more black nominees in the running, it was a more diverse picture. There were a few special moments too. Mahershala Ali and Ava DuVernay gave fitting toasts to folks that mean the most.

Ali did it while accepting his Best Supporting Actor award. DuVernay shared hers during a Red Carpet moment. On his wife’s support Ali said “I want to thank her for being such a soldier through this process and carrying me through it all.” Hey hot shot, that’s the look & stock of a leader, hook & heart of a winner.

DuVernay is one of the newest producers in Hollywood circles. As the brains behind OWN’s Queen Sugar, she’s giving new talent the opportunity to rise and shine. The thing about leaders like her is that they can separate the diamond from the dust. They know where the dust ends and the dynamo begins.

Ali has been working his way up the acting charts with a recent role in the movie Hidden Figures. His approach to the acting craft was drilled into him by teachers and industry mentors. By his own words of ‘serving the characters’ he shared the accolade and the hook for winning of turning lemons in lemonade.

When asked about advice Oprah has shared with her that stuck, DuVernay gave some ‘Pop Sugar’ saying Oprah once told her “When something’s not going your way, don’t think why is this happening to me, but think why is this happening for me.” No problem: think like a leader and have heart like a winner.

Groove-Track: Karen Young – Hot Shot – https://youtu.be/zRwu-ld3jSU

Theme:–The Year of ‘Hotstepping’ – Get Jiggy, Get Woke!”
A Cool Way for Flexing Style, Game & Soul in How We Roll (New-School Flava)

Big moment on Oscars stage. Could have turned into rage. Tear jerker and crowd pleaser. Unforgettable show-stopper. Highlights of what was seen. More black nominees on screen. With special moments to boot. Breakout movies taking the loot. Ali and DuVernay on set. Maybe we ain’t seen nothing yet.

Good toast accepting his award. Best supporting actor applaud. Her moment on Red Carpet quiz. On doing it in showbiz. Ali thanking wife for being good soldier. A class act about being a shoulder. Through ups and downs thick and thin. To praising her with the win. Hot shot with look, stock and leader’s pin.

DuVernay new producer in the mix. A Hollywood circle of chics. As brains behind OWN’s Queen Sugar. Giving new talent chance to think bigger. Rise and shine towards the stars. In how they lay down their cards. To separate diamond from dust. Where dynamo begins is a must.

Ali working his way up. To key roles and filling his cup. With recent Hidden Figures role. Keeping it moving on his sole. Approach to acting craft well set. By teachers, mentors and life’s bet. ‘Serve the characters’ to get paid. Sharing the love and accolade. Winning by turning lemons into lemonade.

In terms of Oprah advice she keeps. Or wants to share with us peeps. About something not going your way. Just think and sometimes pray. What’s happening not about rain. But about turning things into gain. No problem, thus says the leader. Or those who have heart like a winner.

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Tip: The look and stock of a leader might show up in advice they give and in the confidence they live.

Talkback: Who can say they saw this Oscars mess-up coming?

Groove-Tracks: Chance the Rapper – No Problem – https://youtu.be/rgUp1e-2UTM

Childish Gambino – Redbone – https://youtu.be/ezbsbkqoRrs

This production of “Wise-up Weekly” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST

Ava DuVernay is Shaking Things up in Hollywood and Courtney B. Vance is Watching #BigTimeUniversity

This production of “Wise-up Wednesdays” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST

LOL Tube – Got Funny?

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Flashlighting’ – Get Seen!”
A New Way to Shine with Highlights, Insights and Media-bites that’s Exciting (Old-School Flava)

Every day we get to watch history unfold. More often than not its best understood looking backward. But that’s not where we should look for Ava DuVernay. She’s lined-up a $100 million Disney film set to begin shooting this fall. DuVernay is shaking things up in Hollywood and Courtney B. Vance is watching.

This summer DuVernay was quoted in USA Today saying “It’s not the fact that a film can do well, it’s the fact that there’s a community around it, that there’s conversation around it, that a film can push a national moment forward.” She knows others came before her who were breaking glass and kicking…(that’s right).

It’s been a breakout year of sorts as she’s also the brainchild behind OWN’s Queen Sugar. She’s made it this far with the mantra of “do not settle.” Whether in career or relationship this isn’t about being desperate. It’s really about being determined to spark a greater level of awareness reaching new heights.

DuVernay wants to be the story-teller that helps us discuss topics that are tough to swallow. It’s taken her a minute to get to this level of notoriety. But she might be the first to remind us of how not to second-guess or to sellout on the mission. This means sticking to the script that will fulfill profit and purpose.

It’s not clear if DuVernay knows Courtney B. Vance. He took the Emmy for playing Johnnie Cochran in The People v. O.J. Simpson. Vance sees a shift happening in TV that should transfer to movies. He shared pride in his own wife Angela Bassett, showing he feels strongly about women who push it forward.

Groove-Track: Salt & Pepper – Push It – https://youtu.be/vCadcBR95oU

Theme:–The Year of ‘Flashlighting’ – Get Seen!”
A New Way to Shine With Highlights, Insights and Media-bites that’s Exciting (New-School Flava)

Every day we get to watch. History unfold like hopscotch. More often than not it’s in looking back. But that’s not how DuVernay leads the pack. Line-up $100 million Disney flick. More than just being a hot chick. Shaking things up on Hollywood drive. Courtney B. Vance watching her come alive.

Quoted this summer in USA Today pages. About rolling through movie stages. The fact that a film can do well. With community around to help it swell. Conversation that keeps buzz grooving. With national moment forward moving. Knows others came before breaking glass. And doing enough kicking of.. (right!)

A breakout year in full view. For her and film making crew. Brainchild of OWN’s Queen Sugar hit. Made it thus far with “do not settle” or quit. In career or with your honey boo. Not being desperate but being true. Determined to see awareness sparking. Reach new heights and forget the skylarking.

DuVernay with new day story-telling. Topics that are tough and compelling. Her notoriety rising like the sun. In between eat, pray and have fun. Sure to remind folks not to second-guess. Just think about the big ‘S’ on your chest. Not to sellout either on the mission. Stick to script for profit, purpose and vision.

Who knows if DuVernay & Vance have met. There’s still some time yet. He took Emmy for People v. O.J. Simpson role. Playing Johnnie Cochran in heart and soul. Vance sees shift in TV programming. Should transfer to movie distributing. With pride for Angela Bassett his wife. Women who push it forward in life.

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Tip: Breaking the glass ceiling or kicking down the door means switching desperation with determination.

Talkback: How does it feel to see DuVernay making strides on TV and in movies?

Groove-Tracks: Red Fox & Screechy Dan – Skylarking – https://youtu.be/ExEOUTO9lYQ


Craig David – Ain’t Giving Up – https://youtu.be/FC9fc12YYC4

This production of “Wise-up Wednesdays” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST