Auntie Unfiltered Chats With Sheryl Lee Ralph

When I was growing up in the ’80s, there was a television show about a group of waitresses who worked in a restaurant at the top of the Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. The show was called It’s A Living, and it was my introduction to Sheryl Lee Ralph, one of the stars.


Sheryl Lee Ralph is a Black Hollywood icon. She originated the role of Deena Jones in the Broadway version of Dreamgirls, for which she was nominated for a Tony award; she played Moesha’s stepmother Dee on the eponymous television show starring Brandy; and she has appeared in numerous films including The Distinguished Gentleman, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, Step Sisters, and To Sleep With Anger.

The phenomenal actress, singer, performer and author is also a philanthropist, having put on the Divas Simply Singing telethon for the last 30 years to raise money for HIV/AIDS. As much of the world has gone virtual this year in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Ralph has adjusted and adapted her event to include a week of panels and discussions in addition to the grand performances scheduled for the evening of Saturday, December 5.


Among those scheduled to perform during the event are Lalah Hathaway, Stephanie Mills, Anthony Hamilton, Kenny Lattimore, The Clark Sisters, Oleta Adams, Thelma Houston, Jodi Watley and Gloria Gaynor. The event is at 7 p.m. on Saturday, and you can watch on the livestream on the website.

As always, I want to hear from you. If you have questions, comments or concerns; if you need advice, or if you have a topic you think I should discuss, please hit me up at, and I’ll see y’all next week.

News Editor for The Root. I said what I said. Period.

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