Hollyhood Book Cover

"A daring, realistic and unapologetic depiction of how it is to be black in "La-La" land.

“In Hollyhood, Valerie Joyner delivers all the juice that's fit to print. She craftily untangles the lives of Hollywood's rich and so-so famous with enough sass, smarts and savvy to make you care for these sometimes twisted souls from beginning to end.”

"Hollyhood is a masterfully told story about Hollywood from a unique African America perspective. Valerie Joyner takes you into the world of being a sitcom writer with an unforgiving honesty and truth filled memorable characters. I dig it!"

Hollywood Goddam!

Every so often a biopic role of a lifetime comes along and if properly executed can change the trajectory of an actors career and we forever see them as that character. Think Jamie Fox as Ray Charles, Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash, Denzel Washington as Malcolm X. Halle Berry as Dorothy Dandridge. (I know, I’m stretching it here.) Diana Ross as Billie Holiday. Ben Kingsley as Ghandi, Liam Neeson as Schindler. I won’t bore you longer. You get the point.

The Carter's: Holly Repping the Hood

During Black History Month I watched a lot of documentaries and was reminded of the roles artist played in the Civil Rights movement. Nina Simone, James Baldwin, Sam Cooke, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Mahalia Jackson and so many more. Black artist were compelled to lend their voice to the cause.

So, it's easy to understand why Harry Belafonte would call into question the lack of activism of todays artist. In a 2103 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Belafonte said, “And I think one of the great abuses of this modern time is that we should have had such high-profile artists, powerful celebrities. But they have turned their back on social responsibility. That goes for Jay-Z and Beyonce, for example.” Ouch.

Surprise! Oscar Lacks Diversity

My uncle once told me, black people can get a false sense of belonging. They become high earners, their circle of business associates and friends are white and their color no longer seems as prevalent as their money.

The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete

The title of this film tells you the characters are going to lose, that whoever Mister and Pete are they would not win the lottery or ride off into the sunset. Yet, none of this prevented me from rooting for Mister (Skylan Brooks) and Pete (Ethan Dizon) throughout the film. It didn’t stop me from hoping against hope, crack, poverty, neglect and abuse that these kids would somehow, some way win.

Oprah is Back to Black

Few people would have predicted Oprah’s newly established OWN Network would not be an instant success. After all, her show, production company, magazine and school were extremely successful. Who could doubt her Midas touch?

For decades Oprah dominated talk show television and enjoyed exceedingly high ratings. Her core audience, white females, welcomed Oprah into their homes every afternoon like an old friend. Her crossover success transcended race, morpihing Oprah from Black to money green as she aggressively courted and pandered her white audience.

How to Raise a Holly-Hood Baby

Dear Kim Kardashian,

Congratulations! You will soon be the mother of a biracial baby. Raising a Holly-Hood child is a great responsibility , so here are a few suggestions that might help.

1. Buy some grease. Your hair doesn’t require this secret ingredient but your child’s will. Grease and a little bit of water goes a long way on curly hair. May I suggest Carol’s Daughter products or Kinky Curl’s. Buy wide tooth combs and maybe a pick. If the hair grows too big and puffy, try not to panic and Lord, don’t take her to a Beverly Hills salon. This will make matters worse. Call Bey or Solange. They’ll know exactly what to do. Again, call Bey or Solange. Not Venus and Serena.

Beauty and the Beast

Whenever I see photos of Rihanna with Chris Brown together, I am eerily reminded of my cousin, Crystal. As a young lady in her teens, Crystal was in love with a young man who beat her, leaving her body bruised and battered many times in the same manner Chris brutally handled Rihanna. Crystal was very good looking, confident and smart and though her boyfriend had a history of violence (he beat his other girlfriends), no one could convince her to give him up, let him go.

Hollywood Ex-travaganza

Don't ask me why but for some reason I had high expectations of Hollywood Exes . I thought, finally a group of so-called friends who like each other, who have some etiquette, if not class. This new pack of exes appeared to be above the mentalities of project Basketball Wives and the Nee Nee’s of Atlanta, and those heathens on Love and Hip Hop. Here were five women who, at some point, have lived the type of luxury lifestyle most Americans know nothing about.

Sadly, it only took about four episodes of this reality show to snap ME back to reality. Yeah, I was dreaming. I was also hoping for some positive images of black women to contradict all the bad ones.

Here’s a breakdown of the Desperate Hollywood Ex-travaganza:

Welcome Back to Sweetie Pie's

The new OWN Network has struggled to find its audience in the cable market. But the one diamond that has surfaced from the rough start is “Welcome to Sweetie Pies,” a reality show which actually feels natural and authentic. Sweetie Pie’s is a family run restaurant in St. Louis, MO. Unlike the Braxton’s, T.I. and Tiny, The Kardashian’s and many other family reality shows, there are no wannabe stars or wannabe clothing designers. The Montgomery Family are hard working folks with strong community roots. They have dreams but none seem willing to sell their souls to the devil for them.

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