Black News, Entertainment, Style and Culture - HuffPost Black Voices
iOS app Android app More
September 19, 2014

What It Means To Be A 'Real Mother' In 21 Gorgeous Photos

Real Mother
Alyson Aliano

Even Supporters Of Spanking Think What Adrian Peterson Did Should Be Illegal

Adrian Peterson
Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery via Getty Images

Bloomberg: Detroit Is Just Like 1970s New York, And That's A Good Thing

Detroit Skyline
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Ohio Business Groups Push Schools To Drug-Test Students

Marijuana
David Ramos via Getty Images

Police: NFL Player Head-Butted Wife For Refusing Sex

Jonathan Dwyer Cardinals
Christian Petersen via Getty Images

White Officer Kills Innocent Black Girl; Jury Told To Disregard Ferguson

Aiyana Stanleyjones
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Report: 8 Ebola Health Care Workers Found Dead

Ebola
Getty

Punishment Or Child Abuse?

Child Abuse
New York Times

DEA Chief Michele Leonhart Struggles To Explain Position On Drug Sentencing Reform

Michele Leonhart
ASSOCIATED PRESS

The NFL Domestic Violence Firestorm: "There Are No Sidelines, Only Sides"

Drphil Blog
Dr. Phil

How A Police Officer Shot A Sleeping 7-Year-Old To Death

100518130198
ASSOCIATED PRESS

In New York, Justice 'Only Available To Those Who Can Afford It,' Says Report

Jail
Caspar Benson via Getty Images

No, Charles Barkley, Spanking Kids Isn't A Black Thing

Charles Barkley
Noah Graham via Getty Images

4 Black People Receive the MacArthur ‘Genius' Grant

Steve Coleman Jazz
Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images via Getty Images

Officer In Michael Brown Case Testifies In Front Of Grand Jury

Darren Wilson

Americans' Trust In Media Is At An All-Time Low Again

Obama Tv
Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

#WhyICare: Sandy Survivors Demand Action On Climate Change

Hurricane Sandy
Vimeo

What #MyBlackFamily Looks Like

Myblackfamily
Twitter

Obama Insists U.S. Forces 'Do Not And Will Not' Have Combat Mission In Iraq

Barack Obama
MANDEL NGAN via Getty Images

Happy Citizenship Day! Are You 'American' Enough To Pass The Test?

Citizenship
Scott Olson via Getty Images

Panthers Star Removed From Active Roster Amid Domestic Violence Case

Greg Hardy
George Gojkovich via Getty Images

Ezell Ford Wrongful Death Lawsuit Seeks $75 Million

Ezell Ford
KTLA

High School Football Players Say They Were Victims Of Racist Prank

North Plainfield High School
CBS 2

Vikings Reverse Course On Adrian Peterson, Place Him On Exempt List

Adrian Peterson
Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery via Getty Images

Never Once Have I Imagined My Daughters Ever Going To Prison

Prison
Andy Sacks via Getty Images

Chicago Police Shoot 3rd Black Man In 3 Weeks, Protests Continue

Chicago Police Shootings
eliwise2/Twitter

Los Angeles Law Enforcement Officers Kill About One Person A Week

Lapd

Uninsured Rate Drops To Lowest Level Since The '90s

Obamacare Uninsured Survey
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

WATCH
Witnesses To Michael Brown Shooting Tell The Same Basic Story

Michael Brown Darren Wilson
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Follow HuffPost

    1. HuffPost
    1. HuffPost
    1. Most Popular on HuffPost
    2. Latest News
    3. View all RSS feeds

'A Different World' Cast Reunite 20 Years Later

Own Oprah Where Are They Now A Different World
George Burns/Harpo Studios

Mathew, You ARE The Father!

Mathew Knowles
Carlo Allegri via Getty Images

Directors Guild Finds TV Diversity Hiring Stalled

Shonda Rhimes
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

'A Different World' Cast Reunite 20 Years Later

Own Oprah Where Are They Now A Different World
George Burns/Harpo Studios

'Django Unchained' Actress 'Is Lying,' Says Cop

Daniele Watts
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Apparently 'Blunt Roller' Is A Job And It Pays $50,000 A Year

Waka Flocka Flame
Chelsea Lauren via Getty Images

Shinique Smith Is The Renaissance Woman Of Contemporary Art

Bright Matter

Mapei's New Album Is The Soundtrack To Your Next House Party

Mapei
Courtesy of the artist

'Sesame Street' Characters Confirm: Michelle Obama 'Gives The Best Hugs'

Michelle Obama Sesame Street
Alex Wong via Getty Images

30 Years Later, 'Cosby' Kid Is Busier Than Ever

Malcolmjamal Warner
Getty

Why The Ashish Runway Show Is Much More Than A Kimye Sweatshirt

Ashish Spring 2015
John Phillips via Getty Images

Lost Interview Of Michael Jackson Talking About His 'Destiny' Resurfaces

Michael Jackson Destiny Tour
Ebet Roberts via Getty Images

NYC Jazz Musicians Fear Poverty In Retirement

Jimmy Owens
David Redfern via Getty Images

The Most Beautiful Women We Spotted On The Streets Of London

London Fashion Week Street Style
Getty Images

This Is What Viola Davis Really Thinks About 'Mammy-ish' Roles

Viola Davis How To Get Away With Murder
ABC

Lupita Nyong'o's 'Sesame Street' Bit On Skin Is Truly Wonderful

Lupita Sesame Street
Sesame Street

So, How Exactly Do Employees Pull Off Stealing $400,000 Worth Of Clothing?

Saks
Getty

Tommy Davidson Talks 'Black Dynamite' Season 2

Black Dynamite
Cartoon Network

New Whitney Houston Album In The Works

Whitney Houston Live Her Greatest Performances
Legacy Recordings

VANESSA WILLIAMS: The Good, The Bad & The 'Ugly'

Comments (154)

By Karu F. Daniels, AOL Black Voices

Versatile entertainer Vanessa Williams is the epitome of resilience after enduring professional and personal obstacles.Last year around this time, Vanessa Williams was doing the rounds promoting 'South Beach,' the new splashy UPN drama --produced by Jennifer Lopez-- many thought would be a ratings juggernaut.

Ummmm, no!

The ambitious series barely made it through the full run of its only season before being yanked off the air. And just as news surfaced of the network folding into what is now known as The CW, it was announced that Williams has been cast in 'Ugly Betty,' an auspicious ABC primetime series revolving around the fashion industry.

Produced by Salma Hayek --another powerful Hollywood Latina-- and featuring rising star America Ferrera ('Real Women Have Curves') in the title role, the one-hour comedy is based on a famous Latin American soap opera ('Betty La Fea'), and has the feel of a lighter, more maleable version of the best-selling book turned box-office hit 'The Devil Wears Prada.'

Williams, in all of her splendid glory, portrays Wilhemina Slater -- the reigning ice queen of the fictional top selling fashion magazine 'Mode' -- on the series, which has been an instant hit for the network.

"When you work, show up and you got a job to do, you're all pretty insulated from it," she said referring to all the buzz surrounding the show. "I don't realize it until I get out there ... and when I'm in the airport, it's a lot of people who are really enjoying the show."

"It's great to be able to do something that I love, and have people tune in and watch, and love it," she added.

Williams, one of the most versatile entertainers of her generation -- garnering acclaim in film, television, music and theater, has a penchant for turning tragedy into triumph.

When you look up the word "resilient" in the dictionary, her photo should show up -- because her career path has epitomized that.

Vanessa Williams: Then & Now (l-r) in 1983 after making history as Miss America; in 2006 as a lead character on ABC's hit series 'Ugly Betty.'As a pageant queen, she reached the pinnacle of her field when she made history as the first black Miss America in 1983. Because of a nude photo scandal, the Chappaqua, New York native relinquished her crown in 1984 amidst media frenzy.

This all seems like ancient history now, but it is important to note that a lesser-willed individual would've faded into obscurity (like many Miss Americas before and after her).

"It's a matter of being a survivor and not being a flash in the pan, or a one hit wonder," Williams told The BV Newswire. "There's a reason why people have longevity and it's more than one thing. It's community, family, being professional, being good and what you do and loving what you do, and I'm just happy to keep doing it."

And speaking of pageants, the topic of the whole "Donald Trump vs. Rosie O'Donnell Miss USA Scandal" comes up. News media outlets have been in overdrive with the Tara Conner fodder over the past few weeks.

Like me, Williams wonders whether or not it was really worthy of all the hub-bub. "I don't know as much as you might know, but what is the scandal?"

"It's a different organization," she said, referring to Miss America. "One is involved with talent and scholarship money for school and USA I think is kind of just a beauty pageant that goes to Miss Universe. So it's a different set of standards."

"I think it was a lot of hoo-ha," she quipped.

Giving up the Miss America glory isn't the only disappointing dilemma the 'Soul Food' actress had to endure in public. Her second marriage to basketball star Rick Fox ended when he filed for divorce in 2004. As a newly single mother of four children, Williams said that she maintains "good relationships" with both of her former husbands. (She was married to her then-manager Ramon Hervey, II from 1987-1997.)

"We talk everyday, we share meals, we go to church together," she revealed. "It's almost like some things have changed and some things will never change. And our family and our kids together will never go away and will keep us bonded."

"Life is way too short to be filled with resentment and regret and everyday that you are consumed with that, you lose a day of your life. So why?"

Great way to deal -- especially at the start of a new year.

"Certainly, healing is a big process but you have to do it and you have to feel it in order to get to the other side," she continued. "So I'm happy to feel fantastic and grounded and have great relationships."

Is she keeping hope alive about love and marriage for a third go round?

"I don't even know," she answered about the possibility of another whirlwind romance. "You know the best things happen when you least expect it. I'm just living my life, commuting every weekend and at this point, I barely have time for myself let alone a relationship."

On the music front, the Grammy Award nominated singer told of plans her forthcoming recording project; a Brazilian-inspired project pairing her with music legend Sergio Mendes, whom she spent time with during his annual New Year's Eve concert celebration.

"It's going to be a bit of jazz, a bit of Latin, kind of an earthy departure," she said. "I always loved [Brazil], always loved the music, the melody lines always made me feel relaxed and connected and it's the music that I listen to unwind."

Essence Magazine, January 2007. Clockwise from top: Patti LaBelle, Vanessa Williams, Nancy Wilson, Wendy Raquel Robinson and Kelly Rowland. It is the fifth time Williams graces the cover of the best-selling Black women's magazine.Williams currently graces the cover of the January issue of 'Essence' magazine, as part of its "Ageless Beauties" edition. This is her fifth time gracing the cover of the best-selling Black women's' magazine. Because she works at her craft and has mastered her connectivity with audiences --be it in Max Factor commercials or hawking ProActiv acne solution during late night infomercials.

Or just continuing being the beauty she is and emanating her light.

"If you are honest with people, they'll respect you. And they will hold you in high regard," she said. "If you try to BS somebody and skirt around the issue, that's when they come in for the kill. And at this point in my life, at 43 years old, there's nothing that I haven't said, that haven't been said and nothing I've never heard before."

Comments: (154)

Add a comment

Page 1 of 16