Black News, Entertainment, Style and Culture - HuffPost Black Voices
iOS app Android app More
October 21, 2014

High Number Arrests For Low-Level Offenses

Andrew Burton via Getty Images

Missouri State Senator Arrested During Ferguson Protests

Jamilah Nasheed
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Man On Death Row Because In Texas, Being Black Means You're Dangerous?

Black Man Prison
Erika Kyte via Getty Images

Michael Rapaport Squashes Beef With Spike Lee

Michael Rapaport Spike Lee
James Devaney via Getty Images

Can Rand Paul Get 30 Percent Of The Black Vote In 2016?

Rand Paul
ASSOCIATED PRESS

How Becoming The First African NBA General Manager Inspires Masai Ujiri To Give Back

Nba Cares
NBA

Reggae Legend John Holt Dies

John Holt Reggae
David Corio via Getty Images

Nigeria Is Officially Ebola-Free After Containing Virus

Ebola Nigeria
PIUS UTOMI EKPEI via Getty Images

Why Are Black Women Dying of Breast Cancer, Even Though More White Women Are Diagnosed?

Tiffany Jones Pink
Andrew H. Walker via Getty Images

40 Contemporary African Artists Take On Dante's 'Divine Comedy'

Wangechi

For Battered NFL Wives, A Message From The Cops And The League

Ray Rice Janay
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Congressional Hearing On Ebola Was 'Shameful,' Janet Napolitano Says

Capitol
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Russian Tennis Czar Insults Williams Sisters

Serena Venus Williams
Elsa via Getty Images

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Pens Scathing Dissent On Texas Voter ID Law

Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The Washington Post via Getty Images

Liberian Leader Warns Ebola Risks Causing A 'Lost Generation'

Ebola Liberia
John Moore via Getty Images

Obama Moves Into Campaign Mode

Obama
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Joanne Borgella Dies At 32

Joanne Borgella
Neilson Barnard via Getty Images

Why Vonderrit Myers Matters

Vonderrit Myers Family
Scott Olson via Getty Images

NIH Official: Budget Cuts Can't Be Blamed For Lack Of Ebola Vaccine

Ebola Outbreak
ZOOM DOSSO via Getty Images

Michael Dunn Sentenced To Life In Prison

Michael Dunn
ASSOCIATED PRESS

I Am a Liberian. I Am Not a Virus.

I Am Liberia
Let Girls Lead

Darren Wilson Says He Feared For His Life: Report

Michael Brown
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Supreme Court Allows Texas Voter ID Law

Supremes
Getty

Stacey Dash: Minorities Feel 'Worthless,' 'Uneducated' Under Obama

Stacey Dash
YouTube

Greatest Magazine Cover Of 2014?

Lupita
Courtesy

Cliven Bundy Challenges Eric Holder In Video Endorsing Black Congressional Candidate

Cliven Bundy
David Becker via Getty Images

Nigerian Girls' Hometown Cautiously Hopeful For Their Release

Chibok
PIUS UTOMI EKPEI via Getty Images

Kobe Bryant Calls ESPN 'A Bunch Of Idiots'

Kobe Bryant
Jeff Gross via Getty Images

Stop And Frisk Linked To Trauma And Anxiety In Young Men

Stop And Frisk
ASSOCIATED PRESS

From Civil War In Sudan To The Silver Screen

Ger Duany Emmanuel Jal
Eric Charbonneau/Invision/AP

Still No Charges 3 Months After Eric Garner's Chokehold Death

Eric Garner
STAN HONDA via Getty Images

Facebook Fight Allegedly Led To 3-Year-Old's Fatal Shooting

Amiracle Williams
WDIV-TV

GOP Congressman Gets Boost From Racially Charged Ad

Ashford
NRCC

Ebola Panic Reaches College Campuses

Ebola University
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Do 'Stand Your Ground' Laws Benefit Black Defendants?

Todd Rutherford South Carolina
ASSOCIATED PRESS

These 5 Scary Obamacare Predictions Were Dead Wrong

Obamcare Fact Check
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Walmart Yanks Ammo From Shelves Of Stores Near Ferguson

Walmart Ferguson
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Ebola Outbreak In Senegal Is Officially Over

Ebola Sierra Leone
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Arizona Same-Sex Marriage Ban Declared Unconstitutional

Gay Marriage
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Report: Nigeria And Boko Haram Reach Cease-Fire

Shekau
AP

Blake Griffin: 'Donald Sterling Didn't Care If We Won'

Blake Griffin
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Exonerated Man David McCallum On How The World's Changed Since He Went To Prison In 1985

David Mccallum
JEWEL SAMAD via Getty Images

Ebola Epidemic Could Lead To 'Hunger Crisis Of Epic Proportions' For West Africa

Liberia Ebola
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Laverne Cox Weighs In On Trans Writer Debate

Laverne Cox
Brad Barket via Getty Images

These Are The Celebrities Stepping Up To Fight Ebola

Celebs Take On Ebola
Ebola Survival Fund

He's A Veteran, A College Student And Homeless

Military Veteran College
DON EMMERT via Getty Images

Meet One Of The Thousands Of Drug Offenders Hoping Obama Will Shorten Their Prison Terms

Donel Clark
c/o Donel Clark

Follow HuffPost

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

Macy Gray Says She Was 'A Massive A**hole'

Macy Gray On Where Are They Now
OWN

Afroman: 'After Marijuana Is Legalized, I'm Not A Criminal'

Afroman
HuffPost Live

North West Heads To A Pumpkin Patch In Leather Pants

North West Pumpkin Patch
Instagram

Tyra Banks Proves You Can Be A Feminist And A Runway Model

Tyra Banks
Michael Tran via Getty Images

Beyonce Dons A Floral Romper For Night Out With Adele

Beyonce
Keith Hewitt via Getty Images

Jada Pinkett Smith Brought A Man On A Leash To Her 'Gotham' Audition

Jada Pinkett Smith
Nomi Ellenson via Getty Images

'SNL' Nails Important Point About Aid Programs In Africa In Hilarious Sketch

Saturday Night Live 39 Cents
Saturday Night Live / YouTube

Drake Shoots Hoops, Becomes Jimmy From 'Degrassi' Again

Drake
C Flanigan via Getty Images

LeBron James Returns To Akron

Lebron
Beats by Dr. Dre

Here Are The Most Progressive 2 Minutes Of TV This Season

Viola Davis How To Get Away With Murder
Craig Sjodin via Getty Images

Jordin Sparks Wants You To See Her Without Makeup

Jordin Sparks
Slaven Vlasic via Getty Images

How One Artist Is Single-Handedly Changing The Way We See Death Row

Elkins

WATCH
Chris Rock's New Movie Gets A Really Funny Trailer

Top Five Trailer
Paramount

Sheryl Lee Ralph Breaks Down Her 24th Annual 'DIVAS Simply Singing!'

Sheryl Lee Ralph
Paul Archuleta via Getty Images

Iggy Finally Gets An Apology From Snoop Dogg

Iggy Azalea
Gary Miller via Getty Images

PHOTOS
Fly Rudeboys Remind Us What Cool Looks Like

Bevan Agyeman
Dean Chalkley

Nick Cannon Responds To Amber Rose Relationship Rumors

Nick Cannon
Tommaso Boddi via Getty Images

Let Kerry Washington Be Your Guide To 'No Makeup' Makeup

Kerry Washington
Instagram

The Best Worst Answer Ever On 'Family Feud'

Penis
Family Feud

'Real Housewives Of Atlanta' Star Confirms Pending Divorce To Husband

Phaedra Parks
ELLEN

Afroman Updates 'Because I Got High' For Legalization

Afroman
YouTube

LOOK
Pharrell Channels Michael Jackson On 'Dear Girl' Tour

Pharrell Williams
Courtesy of Swarovski

Erykah Badu Made This Much Singing On NYC Sidewalk

Erykah Badu Singing
Karl Walter via Getty Images

Harlem Globetrotters Ride The Subway; Passengers Have A Ball

Globetrotters
AOL/Huffington Post Video

Major Decision Made In Teddy Pendergrass Estate Battle

Teddy Pendergrass
Ebet Roberts via Getty Images

Quvenzhané Wallis Has Her Fingers Crossed For Another Oscar Nod

Quvenzhane Wallis
Evan Agostini /Invision/AP

Rappers with Cameras

Thig Nat
Thig Nat

North West Is Even Cuter With Little Cat Ears On

North West Kardashian
Bertrand Rindoff Petroff via Getty Images

'The Book Of Negroes' Adapted Into Miniseries For BET Debut

The Book Of Negroes
BET/eOne

Painting the Desert: Urban Artists In The Navajo Nation

Desert

Who's That Girl?: Julia Pace Mitchell Shines With Hearty 'Young & Restless' Role

Comments (24)

There's an increasing number of black actors landing choice roles on daytime soaps. And they're not serving anyone, playing anyone's best friend or struggling in secondary roles.

From the Hubbard family on ABC's 'All My Children,' the Evans clan on 'One Life to Live' and the Winters family on 'The Young and the Restless,' the actors have primary parts and are showcasing their skills.

Take Julia Pace Mitchell, who plays the feisty Sofia Dupre on 'Y&R,' the former right-hand woman to billionaire Tucker McCall and fiancée of Malcolm Winters.

In the few months that Mitchell has been on the show, she's shown toughness and vulnerability. Her performance has garnered an NAACP Image Award nomination for outstanding actress in a daytime drama series. And we are rooting for her.

As the daughter of actress Judy Pace and actor Don Mitchell, and stepdaughter of baseball great Curt Flood, the Los Angeles resident definitely has the genes to make it in this tough business.

"I've always been an actor," Mitchell told BlackVoices.com earlier this week. "That's been my trade. I was in the theater in New York. I've done Broadway, lots of regional theater and then my first feature that got a lot of talk was 'Notorious' where I played Jan. I was Biggie's baby mom. I've always pursued my love for the arts. I've been dancing on the table since I was little. That kind of thing."

Between filming 'Faster' with Dwayne Johnson and doing theater in Los Angeles, Mitchell found herself a steady gig where audiences can see her blossoming skills. BV recently caught up with Mitchell. Excerpts from the interview are below.

It's very rare to see a casting call for a black actress to be on a soap opera. How did you land the gig?

Julia Pace Mitchell: Honestly, I was just as surprised when I got the audition because a lot of times, from my type, you don't even get the opportunity to audition for soaps. So at first I was like, "Really? Okay." Then I went in, and I kept getting called back, and it kind of clicked for me on the third time that I might really have a chance to book this job. I was so grateful that CBS opened a door for me to be able to represent a different kind of woman on the soap. They have, I think, five or six actors under contract right now.

Prior to your casting, were you a fan of the show?

JPM: Oh, I was. My sister was an even bigger fan. She was like, "Oh, my God!" She was telling me the whole Neil and Malcolm back story, so she talked me through it. I'm a really big fan now.

How would you describe Sofia?

JPM: I would say that she's actually been changing just in the seven months that she's been on the air. I hate to use the word "bossy," but I definitely think that she's bossy. She's a big boss. She's running things in her relationship and in her business life. She recently got fired from the company, but I think she might be trying to get her way back into her job through her relationship with Tucker. I'll describe her as sensitive. A lot of black women on television get to play one note a lot. Either you're sassy and bossy and that's it. But you get to see Sofia's soft side with her fiancée.

You get to act with some veterans who have been in the game for more than 20 years. What's the joy of learning from Stephen Nichols, Kristoff St. John and Darius McCrary?

JPM: The one thing that I can say about Kristoff is that he will be acting so silly and playing around right before the take and as soon as it's time to shoot, he just drops into his character so fast and is so professional that he's like a completely different person. His personality is very different than Neil's and it's just really great to see him transform. I've been soaking it all up. It's really an honor to be a part of it and bring what I bring to the group.

Besides this group of guys, 'Y&R' has also brought other new blacks on the show with the casting of Angell Conwell and Evan Parke.

JPM: Yeah, and the funny thing is that Evan and I met just the other day in the dressing room. I hadn't seen them at all because we live on two different sides of Genoa City. Hopefully our stories will start to intertwine a little bit, but I can't give too much away. Angell is just beautiful.

Your story line is starting to grow, which is great because in a short period of time you've been given a lot to do.

JPM: Things have heated up a little bit between Sofia, Malcolm and Neil. Me and Malcolm are on the outs, and that's all I'll say.

Your parents are well known for the work they've done. What kind of influence did they have on?

JPM: My mother has been super-supportive. My sister has been super-supportive. Basically it's just a business. It's like the family business. It's not a hobby. This is what we do for a living. So the level of respect for it. I'm not really a partier or hanging out too late when I know I have to shoot the next day. I take it just like my job, and I've always had that respect for it. Even my stepfather, he played professional baseball – Curt Flood. He looked at his job in the same way. He said, "I have to put on my costume." That was his baseball uniform. It was about the business of playing baseball. So, everyone is an entertainer.

Looking at your background, I see that you are one hard working woman! How do you find the time to do films and theater?

JPM: This year I have decided not to go on the road. It's the first time since I was 16 that I've been still, and that I've been in one place for this long. I haven't done any other projects in a while. I'm doing the show and my play that I wrote, 'The Hills Above the Hood'. I decided I'm just going to chill out and focus on 'Y & R' for as long as they'll have me. If anybody wants to let CBS know they're happy about having all of us brown people on, they can go to CBS.com and send letters and tell them because I really do think that they listen to the fans.

Congratulations on your recent nomination. Are you excited about the Image Awards ?

JPM: I am so excited. I'm very excited that I get to meet all the other nominees. I don't know what I'm going to wear. It's like every young actress's dream to get to put on the beautiful dress and just be recognized for the work.

What do you tell your actor friends who are still looking for work and may want to consider doing soaps after seeing the success you've had so far?

JPM: I'd say the average things, like get an agent, send in your head shot and resume. For any person, I would say study your craft. When I was auditioning, I started watching the shows on YouTube.com. When you're audition for 'The Young and the Restless' it's different than when you audition for 'CSI.' TV shows have styles, and you have to kind of learn the style that you're going in for.

http://xml.channel.aol.com/xmlpublisher/fetch.v2.xml?option=expand_relative_urls&dataUrlNodes=uiConfig,feedConfig,entry&id=777580&pid=777579&uts=1260310364
http://cdn.channel.aol.com/cs_feed_v1_6/csfeedwrapper.swf

Black Actors & Their Daytime' Jobs

Black Soap Stars: An Intimate Look
Believe it or not, soap operas can be a good breeding ground for some of the greatest actors in Hollywood. From Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman to three-time Emmy Award winning thespian Cicely Tyson, many great black actors have cut their teeth on daytime dramas. While Shemar Moore, Victoria Rowell, Tichina Arnold, Tonya Pinkins, Debbi Morgan and Vivica A. Fox were beloved characters on popular serials, they've done well beyond them. Check them out.

Charles Divins
'Passions' (NBC)
Prior to acting, Divins was a model who worked for Tommy Hilfiger and appeared in GQ, Glamour, Cosmopolitan and Gear. When his attention turned to acting, he took on the role of Chad Harris-Crane on the soap 'Passions,' from 2002 to 2007. The Dallas native left the show when it moved from NBC to DirecTV.

Cicely Tyson
'Guiding Light' (CBS)
A veteran of film and TV, this New York native had a stint on daytime television nearly 40 years ago. During 1966, Tyson also had a recurring role in the daytime soap opera, 'Guiding Light,' which ended its run this month after 72 years. Her character's name was Martha Frazier. Tyson soon went on star in 1972's 'Sounder,' for which she was nominated for an Oscar for best actress. After working with Tyler Perry in 2005's 'Diary of a Mad Black Woman' and 'Madea's Family Reunion,' Perry mention her name as part of his dream cast for his film adaptation of 'For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf.'

Victoria Rowell
'The Young and the Restless' (CBS)
Speculation continues about whether the Portland, Maine, native will come back to the role that she's played on daytime's number-one rated soap opera, 'The Young and the Restless,' for over 15 years. As Drucilla Winters, Rowell has occupied the longest-running African American female soap character in daytime television. She won 11 NAACP Image Awards. Rowell's first run as Drucilla was from 1990 to 1998. She briefly returned in 2000, and then returned on a regular basis from 2002 until early 2007. Rowell also played Dr. Amanda Bentley on the CBS series 'Diagnosis: Murder,' opposite Dick Van Dyke, and starred opposite Samuel L. Jackson in 2007's 'Home of the Brave.'

Darnell Williams
'All My Children' (ABC)
The London actor was one-half of the first African American supercouple on 'All My Children' (along with Debbie Morgan) for his portrayal of Jesse Hubbard, from 1981 to 1988. Before he left the show, Williams won two Emmys. He returned to the soaps as Jesse's look-alike, Jacob Foster, on 'Loving' and 'The City.' In May 2007, Williams joined the cast of 'Guiding Light' in the recurring role of the villainous Griggs. After a 20-year absence, he returned to the role of Jesse on 'Children' in 2008.

Vivica A. Fox
'Generations' (NBC)
Although we've seen the South Bend, Ind., actress make it big in roles in 'Independence Day,' 'Set it Off,' and 'Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2,' many may remember that she headline the first daytime black soap opera, 'Generations,' when it aired on NBC from 1989 to1991. She played Maya Reubens, opposite Debbie Morgan and Kristoff St. John. Fox later had roles on 'Days of Our Lives,' and 'The Young and the Restless.' In September 2007, she appeared in the sixth season of HBO's 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' as the mother of a family displaced by a hurricane and taken in by Larry and Cheryl. Fox last hosted her own VH1 reality series, titled 'Glam God,' in 2008.

Debbie Morgan
'All My Children' (ABC)
In addition to appearing in films such as 'Eve's Bayou' and 'Love and Basketball,' the Dunn, N.C., actress is best known for her role as Dr. Angie Hubbard on the ABC soap opera 'All My Children.' Her role on the show during the '80s was as one-half of the first African American supercouple on the American soap opera (along with Darnell Williams). In 1989, Morgan, in a tie with Santa Barbara actress Nancy Lee Grahn, won the Daytime Emmy for outstanding supporting actress in a drama series. After leaving 'Children,' she had roles on NBC's 'Generations' and ABC's 'Loving' before returning in 2008 to play Angie again on 'Children.'

Charles Divins
'Passions' (NBC)
Prior to acting, Divins was a model who worked for Tommy Hilfiger and appeared in GQ, Glamour, Cosmopolitan and Gear. When his attention turned to acting, he took on the role of Chad Harris-Crane on the soap 'Passions,' from 2002 to 2007. The Dallas native left the show when it moved from NBC to DirecTV.

Dondre T. Whitfield
'All My Children' (ABC)
Recognized as Robert Foreman, the love interest of Tempestt Bledsoe's character Vanessa Huxtable on 'The Cosby Show,' the Brooklyn, N.Y., native grew up and refined his acting skills as Terrence Frye on the ABC daytime drama 'All My Children,' from 1991 to 1994. The role earned him nominations for three Daytime Emmy Awards and two Soap Opera Digest Awards. Married to actress Salli Richardson, Whitfield will next appear in the independent film 'Pastor Brown,' which is directed by Rockmond Dunbar.

Eva Marcille
'The Young and the Restless' (CBS)
As the first black contestant to win the third season of 'America's Next Top Model,' the Los Angeles native honed her acting skills with roles in 'Crossover' and Chris Rock's 'I Think I Love My Wife.' In 2008, the beauty began portraying Tyra Hamilton on the Award-winning soap 'The Young and the Restless.'

Comments: (24)

Add a comment

Page 1 of 3

Add a Comment

Please keep your comments relevant to this blog entry. Email addresses are never displayed but they are required to confirm your comments. When you enter your name and email address, you'll be sent a link to confirm your comment, and a password. To leave another comment, just use that password."