OCTOBER IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH
*Each year, the month of October brings Domestic Violence Awareness to the forefront. The finale of Investigation Discovery’s (ID) “Impact of Murder” kicks off this important month by profiling Corrinna Martin, who lost two daughters and a granddaughter to domestic violence. The episode called “There’s No Winning in Murder,” premieres Thursday, October 1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
In a phone interview with the EUR, Martin said that while she may not have been ready to tell her story on camera, she knew it was something she had to do.
“I was completely skeptical because we as black and brown women are not treated and depicted the way we should be or respected in the media the way we should be,” Martin said. “But after talking with one of the executive producers, she assured me it would be done very respectfully with sensitivity to myself, my family, and our devastation.”
She continued, “I knew I had to speak on behalf of my daughters (Alyssiah Wiley and Chaquinequea Brodie) and my granddaughter (My’Jaeaha Richardson). But (doing the show) was also to be an example to women that we have to be extremely careful (with dating and domestic violence), especially our black and brown women.”
Hailing from West Haven, Connecticut, Martin’s harrowing story began in early 2013 when her daughter Alyssiah, who was in college, was murdered and dismembered. After it was discovered that Alyssiah suffered from a pattern of abuse by a boyfriend, just a few short months later Martin set up the domestic violence program Mothers of Victim Equality (M.O.V.E. Inc.) to help other victims.
“When Alyssiah was murdered, I vowed that she would not be another black woman forgotten,” Martin said.
It was hard to find justice for Alyssiah’s murder because due to a lack of physical evidence against the suspect, two trials resulted in hung juries. Just weeks before the third trial, an additional tragedy struck – another of Martin’s daughter’s (Chaquinequea) and granddaughter were killed in yet a second domestic violence situation. What keeps Martin going is having faith in a higher power and the memory of her family members.
“It’s their spirit, drive, and tenacity they had for life – that’s what’s driving me,” Martin said. “It’s not going to stop.”
Ironically, Chaquinequea was serving as the Vice President of M.O.V.E. when she was killed.
“The most dangerous time for a woman is getting out of a volatile situation,” Martin added. “I had to continue on. I don’t want another mother to go through this. There’s more that we can do instead of waiting until after the fact – promote proactivity, engage not just those that are around you but the community as a whole. Empower those that are in situations that feel like they can’t get out or want to get out but don’t have the means of getting out.”
If the pain of a second daughter and granddaughter being killed was not enough, Martin, the mother of four daughters altogether, said the legal system also failed them a second time.
“(Chaquinequea) knew about doing searches and background checks,” Martin said. “But I had to pivot in my plight and in our mission (at M.O.V.E.) to bring awareness, reeducation and to empower, encourage and engage. (I had) to propose a National Violent Offenders Registry petition because the person she was dating had multiple offenses but they weren’t in the state that he lived in.”
Martin added that current offender registries are very limiting, which is why she hopes her proposal works.
“It wasn’t until afterwards that I found out (the suspect) did have a few charges but because they weren’t public knowledge (the information could not be found easily). I’m proposing a registry that’s free of charge so that it will be an excellent tool to safeguard our women, children, and communities from perpetrators who go from victim to victim.”
She continued, “There are so many specifics you have to know (middle name/place of birth) that it’s very frustrating. The more information you need, the more you have to pay. It’s like why do we have to pay for our safety? We have a right to protect ourselves and if we want our government to provide this most essential information then we need to do something in order to make them see and that’s why I created (the) petition on change.org. (Read about it and find it here).
The death of Martin’s family members causes pause because they are all African American females. Statistics show that black and brown women are affected by domestic violence more than their white counterparts. According to the Blackburn Center, black women are 2.5x more likely to be murdered than white women.
“The numbers are more overwhelming when you understand that it’s happening from black men to black women,” Martin said. “It’s highly important that the takeaway from our documentary is to be aware that because of the subtleties you may think that you are not in that kind of a situation. It’s not just physical abuse, it’s emotional, financial, and sexual.”
Martin continued, “They were very subtle for my girls. You don’t look for intimidation and being controlling as part of domestic violence. It falls under emotional, psychological, and physiological because when you’re beaten down physically and emotionally it takes a toll on your body. We get so disrespected and have this reputation as being the ‘angry black woman,’ (people) do not really understand the struggles we go through just to maintain our sanity throughout the day.”
Martin added that one factor that black women may be affected more by domestic violence is fear that her significant other may be another black man in the penal system.
“Yes, it plays a lot on not putting them in the system. I talk about not carrying your perpetrators guilt. And that’s what we do a lot of times. We want to be mothering and understanding of our mate’s plight but at the same time we’re the ones getting beat down.”
ID’s “Impact of Murder” – “There’s No Winning in Murder” airs on Thursday, October 1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
For more information on Corrinna Martin’s M.O.V.E. Inc. organization, go here.
If you or a family member is a victim of domestic violence and/or sexual abuse, find agencies in your state/country by going to HotPeach Pages and get the help you need.
Male Model and Dancer in Janet Jackson’s ‘What Have You Done for Me Lately’ Video is Now a WOMAN / LOOK
*In the late 1980s, Rudy Houston was a well-recognized and talented model and dancer, perhaps best remembered as the leading man in Janet Jackson’s “What Have You Done For Me Lately” video.
He was the guy that women went crazy over because of his looks and dance moves. Houston was also the man who singer Pebbles was asking in her song, “Mercedes Boy,” if he wanted to ride with her in the song’s video, released in 1988.
While Rudy Houston was his name back in the day, today, he is a she…and goes by the name Lana Houston.
And according to Lana Houston, she is now “all-woman” in every sense of the phrase.
WHOAH! DID U SEE THIS? Ex-NBAer Zach Rudolph Files for Divorce Weeks After Tweeting ‘I Married A Ho’
Her sex change journey has been a long road, which for the most part, remained out of the media’s broad reach, until now because Houston is back and wants the world to know.
“Yes, it is true that I have transitioned from male to female,” Houston said in a statement that appears on I Love Old School Music’s website. “I began my transition from male to female in 1995. I needed time away from the entertainment industry to find my inner peace and embark on my intense and wonderful journey to womanhood. I am finally at peace. I am currently residing in L.A., where I work as an artist painting portraits and abstracts.”
Houston said she is grateful for her sex transition and to have fans. She is also looking for songwriters and music producers to collaborate with.
“Thanks to all those who were concerned about my whereabouts,” Houston said. “I’m back from the ‘dead.’ ”
Kristen Welker: Presidential Debate Moderator is One Bad-azz Sista!
*OK Kristen Welker, let us join the chorus of praise you are getting for your stellar job of moderating Thursday night’s presidential debate. In fact, one of the participants owes you an apology. We’ll get to that later.
For those experiencing Welker for the first time and don’t anything about her, she grew up in Philadelphia and graduated from Harvard in 1998. She became NBC’s White House Correspondent in 2011, and was recently named co-anchor of NBC show Weekend Today.
Welker, 44, is only the second black woman to moderate a presidential debate alone. The first was ABC News journalist Carole Simpson in 1992.
Earlier this month, two other journalists tried their hands at moderating and it didn’t turn out so well for them. Fox News’ Chris Wallace caught heat for his moderation of the first Trump-Biden debate, while USA Today’s Susan Page was also criticized for her handling of the vice-presidential debate between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris.
Even Wallace admitted he was “jealous.” During Fox News’ post-debate coverage, in so many words he said he wishes it was him instead of Welker at last night’s debate:
“I would have liked to have been able to moderate that debate and to get a real exchange of views instead of hundreds of interruptions.”
But in all honesty, Welker didn’t have a complete fool in Donald Trump to deal with like Wallace did. In any event, it’s obvious Welker didn’t want to deal with the BS Wallace had to deal with, as she was praised specifically for managing to keep the Trump and Biden in line, and controlling the conversation – though she did have the advantage of the candidates being muted during each others’ allotted two minutes.
Meanwhile, fellow journalists are also praising Welker’s performance. NBC’s Chief White House Correspondent Hallie Jackson called it “a career-defining moment,” while another sista, Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner said she “gave the American people a real debate.”
Also, PBS White House Correspondent Yamiche Alcindor said she was “beaming” watching Welker.
I’m beaming watching Kristen Welker. Such an amazing moment for her and for all who know of her hard work and dedication to journalism. Go girl!
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) October 23, 2020
Author Brigitte Gabriel said she did a better job than Wallace, and one person went so far as to suggest she deserved a medal for her performance.
Get this woman a goddam medal.
Kristen Welker was amazing at this #PresidentialDebate2020
— Kimberly Saltz (@_AttorneyAtPaw) October 23, 2020
And despite calling Welker “terrible and unfair” ahead before the debate, Trump took time during the debate to praise the moderator’s performance.
“By the way, so far I respect very much the way you’re handling this,” he said.
And for even those words of praise to come out of HIS mouth is nothing short of a miracle and is the closest thing resembling an apology to ever come from Donald Trump.
Dayuuuum Kristen, you are one bad-azz sista!
Pastor Cal Keeps Love Alive on ‘Married at First Sight’ (EUR EXCLUSIVE!)
*For 11 seasons, “Married at First Sight” (MAFS) has been the ultimate experiment in matchmaking as couples who have never met – complete strangers – tie the knot.
If you are not familiar with the popular Lifetime series, people looking for love are matched by relationship experts (Dr. Pepper Schwartz, Dr. Viviana Coles, and Pastor Calvin Roberson-known as Pastor Cal) and agree to tie the knot before meeting their mates.
The show follows the couples for a few weeks as they experience their first meeting at their weddings, their honeymoons, meeting each other’s families, and other milestone events all the while being counseled by the experts. At the end of each season, the couples are given the chance to continue in their marriage or get a divorce.
While some may question the show’s premise, the EUR spoke to Pastor Cal recently and he said the series is genuine.
“My job on the show is to get these couples, put them together, and make sure they stay together,” said Pastor Cal. “My goal is to look at their differences, see where they’re compatible, counsel them and in some cases, threaten them, to make it work. All the experts, our focus, is simply making sure the couples stay together.”
As for a method in which the couples are matched, he added, “There isn’t a solid formula we apply to every couple. It has to be tweaked as we find out people’s peculiarities. It can be nerve-wracking but it’s rewarding in the end.”
Like many MAFS seasons, there are surprising revelations and this one, featuring couples from New Orleans, is no exception.
“Season 11 has brought us so many surprises,” Pastor Cal said. “Even in casting, one of the couples we thought would get along much quicker is one of the ones lagging behind. And one couple we thought would move slower to intimacy are moving ahead. And that’s with Miles and Karen being the slower and Woody and Amani being the faster of the two.”
He continued, “Also, by my own admission, I fall on the sword on this one, I was not expecting Bennett and Amelia to get along so well. I thought she would be put off more by his lack of profession. It was a big surprise to me.”
The next MAFS season will include Atlanta couples and after that the show heads to Houston, which is casting now. Pastor Cal told the EUR that the show adapts to the couples from each city.
“I believe that every city we film in brings a certain flavor and the participants from that city take on the flavor from that city,” Pastor Cal said. “New Orleans is laid-back, they party, and it’s a very fun city as opposed to a city like D.C. that is very political, buttoned up, and tight. But definitely we found that every city influences the participants. We definitely see different personalities coming out of each city.”
Speaking of Atlanta, Pastor Cal is the lead pastor at Progression church in the peach city. He and his wife Wendy have a marriage coaching organization that offers marriage and relationship conferences, boot camps, and seminars worldwide.
While COVID-19 may have slowed down the in-person events, that has not stopped people from contacting Pastor Cal for love connections, “Because of COVID, we’re online. I get more people through DM’s, email, etc. asking me to match them.”
And how does the church feel about the show?
“My church actually loves it.” Pastor Cal said. “They are so supportive and such an incredible group of people. They tell people about the show. Our church was actually founded on relationships, so it was an easy fit. Our church was founded on positive marriage and positive family.”
Look out for Pastor Cal’s book, “Marriage Ain’t for Punks,” slated to come out next year.
If you are interested in being on “Married at First Sight” and live in Houston, click here to apply.
For more information on MAFS’ current season, click here.
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