From left: "Sister Circle" co-hosts Trina Braxton, Rashan Ali and Quad Webb-Lunceford (Courtesy photo)
From left: "Sister Circle" co-hosts Trina Braxton, Rashan Ali and Quad Webb-Lunceford (Courtesy photo)

Singer and reality star Trina Braxton (“Braxton Family Values”) has landed a “gig” as co-host of the “Sister Circle” talk show, which airs weekdays on TV One and TEGNA networks from noon – 1 p.m. EST, reaching over 60 percent of the households in the U.S.

“I’m so excited I don’t know what to do with myself,” said Trina, who holds a bachelor’s degree in communications, about her new job.

The talk show premiered Sept. 14 and its returning co-hosts include actress Rashan Ali (“Being Mary Jane”), Grammy Award-nominated singer Syleena Johnson and reality star Quad Webb-Lunceford (“Married to the Medicine”). “Sister Circle” is produced by TEGNA from its Atlanta-based WATL station.

“When talk show hosts have to take off they call in guest hosts,” Trina explained. “One left for three weeks … now with the whole thing with ‘Braxton Family Values’ it kind of fell into my lap.”

Trina Braxton, the youngest of the sisters, isn’t new to the limelight. In 1989, along with her sisters Toni, Tamar and Traci, she signed to Arista Records by Bryant Reid as The Braxtons. Reid was head of A&R at the time. While there the group failed to release an album, but her sister Toni recorded songs for producers Antonio “L.A.” Reid and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds before signing to their Arista-distributed label LaFace. Bryant moved to Atlantic Records and took Trina, Tamar and Towanda with him as The Braxtons in 1993 and released the “So Many Ways” album.

The Severn, Maryland, native wants the world to see her as more than a Braxton sister but as an actress, business woman, singer, journalist and one who holds a college degree. As an actress her credits include “Meet the Browns” and Broadway’s “Dreamgirls” as Deena. Let us not forget her talents as a singer. In 2012 she released her solo album “Party or Go Home” (Soltri Entertainment).

“I’m a new comer in the group,” Trina said about working with three other professionals on live television. “I hope I get the support of a cast but still be an individual. I want to make sure we form a bond. I have always been interested in independent journalism, as well as business. This way I ended up in both worlds.”

Lisa Ruffin Goes After Her Dreams

“They are not afraid to go after their dreams…and I am so happy that Lisa Ruffin is still doing this 25 years later,” said actress Ella Joyce (“My Wife and Kids”) about the 6- to 12-year-old contestants of the Little Miss African American Pageant (LMAA). The scholarship pageant, founded by actress/choreographer Lisa Ruffin (“The Raven,” “The Steve Harvey Show”), was recently held in Los Angeles at the Nate Holden Theatre.

Ella Joyce was one of the pageant judges along with James Pickens Jr. (“Grey’s Anatomy”), Professor Ron Brewington and actress/comedian Roz Ryan (“The Rickey Smiley Show”).

When I asked Roz what she hopes the young contestants get from the pageant, which provides a scholarship to the winner, she said “To understand how special they are. Our girls are growing up to believe they can be who ever they want.”

With the scholarship from the pageant one of them will have help getting to where they want to go. The 25th annual Little Miss African American Pageant was hosted by actress Penny Johnson Jearld (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) and reality star Claudia Jordan (“Real Housewives of Atlanta”).

“I started at a pageant. Then I was Miss Rhode Island and then to Miss USA,” said Claudia about her journey to being a reality star on such high-profile reality shows as “Celebrity Apprentice” and “Real Housewives of Atlanta.” “After that I came to Los Angeles with $500 in my pocket. These girls are so talented. To see them do their monologues … makes me so proud. Those little 5- and 7-year-olds … it is so cute.”

The LMAA pageant offered a media-filled red carpet arrival and performances by Neo-Soul vocalist Janice Freeman and last year’s Little Miss African American winner Krista Campbell. The nonprofit program is an educational one, that through the pageant not only will one get a scholarship to further their education, but all contestants receive education through their participation.

“Grace, poise, hope, pride,” said Ella (Preachers’ Kid) about what she saw in the contestants last year. “The way the presented themselves…all the girls are going to fore fill their dreams. They are not afraid to go after their dreams.”

The pageant provides the young ladies with an introduction to the arts, experience in public speaking and it stimulates their drive to go after their dreams. All of the high-profile entertainment experts there that day seemed genuinely excited with the chance to help provide that experience.

“I am very hands-on,” said Claudia as she gave me her social media name (@ClaudiaJordan) so young people who read this can reach out to her. “I got you.”

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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