Black people in every industry—entertainment, sports, politics, culture—have worked hard to forge new paths and make change, and we want to talk about it. On The Table is Ours, hosts Kirby Dixon and Amira Lewally are doing exactly that. Instead of asking for a seat at the table, we are building our own. Through open, honest and deep conversations we'll learn how Black identity has informed, empowered and fortified the lives and careers of our Black faves. Listen up, because we are only getting louder.
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Janelle Monáe: I Am The Future
The Table Is Ours season two comes to a close with peak style and grace. The one and only singer, songwriter and award-winning actress Janelle Monáe pulls up a throne to the table. Her electric energy and indescribable poise lights up the room as she discusses the music and artists that influenced her career, and the family ties that keep her grounded. She also shares an intimate dream she had about the next generation of artists she’s influenced, and how she continues to innovate on her style and voice to this day. Finally, she explains the power of Afrofuturism, how it informs Black culture, and why it’s important to her identity and her music. Plus, we get a first look into her new collection of short stories titled “The Memory Librarian,” an anthology based on her stellar album Dirty Computer. Come ready with champagne in your chalice because this episode we toast to the future of Black culture.
This episode is brought to you by our sponsor Martell: Blue Swift and Acast Creative.
Questlove: Finding Your Rhythm and the Power of Music (replay)
The Table Is Ours takes a quick look back this week as we remember some of the great conversations from season one. We’ll be back next week with the highly anticipated season two finale. Until then enjoy this oldie but goodie.
Music royalty Questlove pulled up a seat this week, and we’re still ruminating on all the gems he dropped! We chatted about growing up in Philly, co-founding The Roots and how he finds balance between conscious music and commercial success. Plus we talked about his epic directorial debut, Summer of Soul. From Sundance Film Festival awards to multiple Grammys, it seems like everything Questlove touches turns to platinum. Hus, that's short for hustlers!
Where’s the CARE in Healthcare? Feat. Dr. Kali Cyrus and Melanin Doc
This episode, we’re talking all about healthcare equity in the Black community with psychiatrist and healthcare activist Dr. Kali Cyrus. She shares some of the economic and physical obstacles she’s witnessed keeping Black communities from proper healthcare, discusses how she advocates for her patients to ensure they feel heard and receive the care they need, and how people can use social media and online resources to impact policies and make real change. Additionally, brothers Somto (MD) and Ted (MBA candidate) Obi swing by to talk about their non-profit organization Melanin Doc and how their online platform is revolutionizing how Black communities get care. Tune in because in this episode walk-ins are welcome.
K. Michelle: Building Beauty Inside And Out
This week Kirby and Amira are talking BBL’s - that’s Beautiful Black Ladies with singer, songwriter, and former Love & Hip Hop cast member K. Michelle. Our hosts jump right in and discuss K. Michelle’s decision to undergo plastic surgery and how she’s doing after her severe complications with silicone injections. She also talks about her passion to help other women who have gone through similar experiences on her new show My Killer Body with K. Michelle. She stresses the importance of being healthy mentally and physically before taking the leap into cosmetic surgery and hopes her story will help people make informed decisions for the body they want. She also raves about her new country album in development and how the positive vibes in the Nashville music scene and the support from her fans has given her a much needed safe space in the industry. The yee-haw agenda is here to stay!
Law Roach: Laying Down The Fashion Law
This week, image architect and fashion designer, Law Roach pulls up a seat to The Table Is Ours to talk about his self-made journey into fashion. Law builds a safe space with Kirby and Amira and shares his honest feelings about the fashion industry and the strides Hollywood has yet to make when it comes to inclusion and equity. He reflects on his upbringing, the style confidence his family showed him at an early age, and the personal swag he attributes to his hometown of Chicago. Law also has a heartfelt moment when speaking about the growth he and Emmy winning actress Zendaya have had as they build their careers together. Still want more? Don’t miss out when Law gives his fashion tips on how all of us can elevate our closets. Get dressed to impress cuz we’re stuntin’ this episode!
Nina Parker: #Blackness No Filter
Being a Black woman in entertainment is not easy. This week’s guest, E! News anchor and Nightly Pop host Nina Parker knows that better than most. Nina joins hosts Kirby and Amira to talk about working her way through the industry and all the obstacles along the way. Nina speaks candidly about her experience with major news networks in New York City and the lack of representation in front of and behind the scenes. She also talks about her switch to entertainment news and TV hosting, and how she found her niche. Now with poise, confidence and a self-titled fashion line, Nina Parker has made a name for herself with so much more to come. Get informed because this episode we are spilling tea and breaking news.
Bob The Drag Queen: Hulture, That’s Hustle Culture
America’s Drag Superstar comes to The Table Is Ours purse first this episode with radiant energy Bob talks about being surrounded by queer fabulousness their whole life having grown up in the drag scene and what it really takes to break into the profession. They also reminisce on the moment they knew they made it in the industry and how it felt to share the stage with other truly iconic queens. And, they speak unapologetically about love and relationships and how they will never let anyone dictate how they choose to move in the world. Bring popcorn because the kiki is real this episode.
Kel Mitchell: We Love Kel We Do We Do We Do-oo
Esteemed entertainer and youth pastor Kel Mitchell pulls up a seat to the Table Is Ours with motivational energy this episode and Kirby and Amira are here for it all. Kel talks about his groundbreaking opportunity with Nickelodeon as a young Black kid and the creative license he was honored to have in the room. He shares his struggles navigating teen fame and learning how to balance always being “on” even when the cameras were off. Plus, Kel shares the transformative experience that led him to his spiritual practice and how he helps others find clarity, confidence and positivity in their lives. In his new book, “Blessed Mode” Kel blends his career in entertainment with his spiritual work, offering practical steps to becoming your best self. You don’t want to miss these moving moments. So ready yet? Get set, cause this episode is All That! *Note: This episode features descriptions of a suicidal nature. Please practice self-care before listening and If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Janet Jackson: Taking Control
The Table Is Ours pivots from its regularly scheduled programming to bring you a very special episode on all things Janet Jackson. In honor of the two-part Janet Jackson documentary series out on A&E and Lifetime, hosts Kirby and Amira sit down with Rolling Stone pop culture and music journalist, Brittany Spanos. The experienced staff writer and resident Janet expert shares her personal connection to Janet Jackson’s groundbreaking career and how Janet shaped Black culture and pop throughout the decades. Brittany also speaks to the harsh treatment of Black women in the media and the impact it had on Janet and her career. Although Janet is a private person, Brittany gives her opinion on why having Janet’s story told in her own words is a pivotal moment for our time. Make sure you are tuning in because Jan Fam - this episode is All For You!
Peppermint: This Flavor Is No Joke
This week Kirby and Amira are thrilled to sit down with the groundbreaking performer and legendary drag queen Peppermint. She talks about how her innate self-confidence helps her make authentic connections and how she makes a point to hold the door open for other transgender performers behind her. She gets right to the root of the issues surrounding comedy and Dave Chappelle’s latest special and sheds light on what society should really be paying attention to when it comes to the lives and safety of transgender people in America. So get your reading glasses ready because this episode is serving all the lessons you won’t want to miss.
Boris Kodjoe: Blackness Is Global
This week Kirby and Amira find there’s more than meets the eye with accomplished actor and director Boris Kodjoe. He comes open and ready to share his experiences growing up with his siblings as the only Black kids in his German hometown and the racism he still recalls to this day. Boris shares how his family and pride in his Ghanian background kept him going despite the hardships. He expresses his passion for changing the narrative of Black and African culture and his unique understanding of Blackness around the globe. Boris works with his wife and Soul Food series co-star Nicole Ari Parker in his new Lifetime film and directorial debut, Safe Room, premiering Saturday, January 15th. Make sure you grab your passport because this conversation is crossing borders, and you don’t want to miss the trip.
Tonya Rapley: 2022 Betta Have My Money!
It’s time to start the year off right with brand new resolutions and that is just what Kirby and Amira are doing. This week, our hosts sit down with none other than the “My Fab Finance” coach herself, Tonya Rapley. Tonya reveals her journey from making $13,000 a year to building her own financial coaching empire. These ladies get deep and personal about money management from salary transparency to learning what generational wealth really is and how you even start it. Plus, find out the most common financial mistake millennials are making and the more important ventures you should be focusing on for your financial journey. Make sure you have your paperwork because this episode is checking receipts and you won’t want to miss a cent.
Stacey Abrams: Failing Forward
Esteemed politician, activist and novelist Stacey Abrams pulls up a very honorable seat to The Table Is Ours this week and hosts Kirby and Amira have never been this excited to talk about politics. Leader Abrams says she is shy, but she was not bashful on this here podcast. She talks about her childhood, the fear that fuels her drive to this day, and opens up about the delicate balance of being strong yet vulnerable as a Black woman in leadership. She also reveals her honest thoughts and feelings on running for Governor the second time around and how her new book Stacey’s Extraordinary Words helps young people see the importance of perseverance and everyday successes. We know where our vote lies but tune in to hear for yourself!
Kirk Franklin: GP Is Really Wit Me!
This week Gospel music legend Kirk Franklin will make you clap your hands and make you want to dance! The 13x Grammy award winner discusses the intersection of popular culture and spirituality and opens up about his life as an adopted child and how music has always been a part of his identity. He also drops some serious knowledge on the whitewashing of religion and its effect on the Black community. And as if that wasn’t enough, be sure to stay through to the end to hear Kirk break into song about his new Lifetime film Kirk Franklin’s A Gospel Christmas. Hope you got the spirit because this episode will make you wanna stomp!
Kamie Crawford: Not Fishing For Approval
Kirby and Amira find out why catfishing cannot be tolerated with this week’s guest Kamie Crawford. This unapologetically herself TV personality and multi-talent shares her unlikely introduction to TV hosting and how to stay above the haters as a Black woman in the entertainment business. Plus, Kamie reveals the truth about competing for Miss Teen USA and the treatment of Black and Brown women in the pageant space. She tells it all from fighting racist comments to tanning to fit in. Listen closely y’all because Kamie is an open book and you won’t want to miss a single detail. Who run the world? Girls.
Kelly Rowland: Independent Women Need Sisterhood Too
Told y’all we was gonna bump like this! This week, Kirby and Amira sit down with the beautiful and talented Kelly Rowland and speak about the importance of sisterhood, what makes a forever friendship, and when it’s time to let others go. Kelly gets inspirational as she talks about the power of Black women and the influential figures in her life and raves about her lifelong friendships with Michelle and Beyoncé alongside the new bonds she has made and nourished in her career. Plus, Kelly opens up about her most vulnerable albums and songs and laments about the fantastic time she has had Executive Producing Lifetime movies, including her new film Merry Liddle Christmas Baby. No need to grab coffee this morning because this episode is sure to be the motivation you need.
Tia Mowry-Hardrict: Seeing Double When History Repeats Itself
In this episode Kirby and Amira react to the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict, while breaking the news to this week’s guest Tia Mowry-Hardrict. The three bond over the unbelievable strength of Black people to persevere and still find joy within their day-to-day despite hearing news like this on the regular. Tia talks about living out her purpose as she continues to craft her long career and advocating for women of color in the medical industry as well as in TV and film. Tia makes a space for women to thrive in front of and behind the camera in her new film on Lifetime, Miracle in Motor City. Tune in because this sister, sister, sister chat gets really real.
Ernie Hudson: There’s Something Strange in Hollywood
In this special episode Kirby and Amira sit down with the original Black Ghostbuster, Ernie Hudson. Ernie talks about the trials and tribulations of surviving Hollywood at a time when Blackness was not openly welcomed. His experience has spanned Blaxploitation to the modern day and he’s been through it all. From stereotypes in Black roles to getting left out of the Ghostbusters franchise Ernie goes in! Don’t miss the slime he spills. See the timestamps below to catch it all.
Mya: Self-love is Like Wo
The internationally acclaimed singer, songwriter, producer, and actor Mya pulls up a seat to talk with hosts Amira and Kirby about her journey as an independent artist and more. Mya shares the vows she wrote to recommit to herself, and why loving yourself is the most important step. Also hear the unexpected way she got thrust into life as an independent artist and the blessings it’s given her, as well as her amazing mentor relationship with the late and legendary artist Prince. Plus we discuss her new upcoming film My Favorite Christmas Melody premiering on Lifetime. You won’t want to miss a beat because this episode is like wo!
Wendell Pierce: Building Our Legacies
Co-hosts Kirby and Amira sit down with esteemed actor Wendell Pierce from The Wire and Suits to celebrate career longevity and building our legacies. In an industry that can be fickle, especially for Black artists, Wendell Pierce has staying power. He talks about his upbringing in the great city of New Orleans and how he maintains his integrity as an artist in the entertainment industry. Plus, his heartfelt message for his late, dear friend Michael K. Williams and the advice he shared with his TV daughter Meghan Markle before she became royalty. So make sure you grab a seat because this episode packs a punch.
Jill Scott: Living Outside the Box
Season two of The Table is Ours starts with a bang! We sit down with the legendary singer, songwriter and actor Jill Scott to talk about exceeding expectations and living outside of the box. In this episode, Jill asks us all to love the skin we are in and know we are so much more than what the world perceives us to be. Jill joins the Lifetime family this holiday season starring as Angela in Lifetime’s newest film Highway to Heaven premiering Saturday, November 6th. Get comfortable y’all - because we’re coming in hot.
Announcing: The Table Is Ours Season 2
Kirby and Amira are back for season 2 of The Table Is Ours. Last season, we reached the hearts and minds of some of the most influential people in Black culture, and we're back to do it bigger and better. This season it is not your average chit-chat. We're sitting down with everyone from Jill Scott to Bob The Drag Queen to The Wire's own Wendell Pierce. Season 2 premieres Friday, November 5th, so listen up, because we are only getting louder.
Questlove: Finding Your Rhythm and the Power of Music
Music royalty Questlove pulled up a seat this week, and we're still ruminating on all the gems he dropped! We chatted about growing up in Philly, co-founding the Roots and how he finds balance between conscious music and commercial success. Plus, we talked about his epic directorial debut, Summer of Soul. From Sundance Film Festival awards to multiple Grammys, it seems like everything Questlove touches turns to platinum. Hus, that's short for hustlers!
Michelle Williams: Checking In and Knowing When to Ask for Help
Destiny was fulfilled this week because we have none other than the Michelle Williams joining us. If you don't know Michelle Williams... shame on you. Not only is she one third of the most iconic girl group of all time, Destiny's Child, but she's also a mental health and self-care advocate. We discussed her two-decade sisterhood with Beyoncé and Kelly, her personal journey dealing with depression and anxiety, breaking down mental health stigmas in the Black community and how she stayed true to her spirituality in an industry that sells sex appeal. Say her name, say her name because Michelle Williams came to slay. Can you keep up?
Quinta Brunson: Loving Your Roots and Branching Out
Philly native and the meme queen herself, Quinta Brunson, stops by the table this week for a fun and real conversation. We've watched Quinta evolve from viral meme to executive producer and star of her own show, Abbott Elementary. We discuss her Philly roots, transitioning from the digital world to traditional television, dealing with personal loss in a public forum and her new book She Memes Well. One thing is clear, no grass is growing under this queen's feet. Oh, SHE got money!
Susan Kelechi Watson: Divine Timing and Pushing Forward
The radiant Susan Kelechi Watson stopped by this week, and her gifts simply cannot be ignored. The multi-talented Howard University and NYU alum shines on screens big and small and is even known to bust a move or spit a bar. We talked spirituality, the challenges that Black women face breaking into the entertainment industry and what it's like to play everyone's favorite Black mama on This Is Us. There’s a lot in this episode, and we unpack it all! Mic check 1, 2, 1, 2... Susan Kelechi Watson is coming in hot!
Uzo Aduba: Seeing Yourself and Being Seen
Three time Emmy award-winning actress Uzo Aduba blesses us with her presence on this week's episode, and her energy and light are infectious! From portraying the legendary Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren in Orange is the New Black to the iconic Shirley Chisholm in Mrs. America to her leading role as Dr. Brooke Taylor in new series In Treatment, we can always count on Uzo to deliver! We talked about being first generation and learning to be proud of her African roots, working through grief and the time she almost quit acting for good. The only thing stronger than Uzo's chops is our standom!
Naomi Ekperigin: Standing Up & Standing Out
Joining us this week is comedian Naomi Ekperigin, and the girl power energy was strong from the start! Aside from being a stand-up comedian, podcast co-host of Couples Therapy and I Love A Lifetime Movie and writer for some of our favorite television shows such as Broad City, Great News and Search Party, sis does it ALL! We dive into standing out and having a unique voice in white spaces, the double standard of interracial relationships, finding your audience in comedy, and so much more. It's the #BlackGirlMagic for me!
Shaun Robinson: Quieting the Noise
Shaun Robinson is usually the queen of asking the questions. But The Table Is Ours, so we turned it! She stopped by for a chat about her climb up the local news ranks, the scoop on 90 Day Fiancé and her latest role as an executive producer for the Seven Deadly Sins movie anthology on Lifetime. We covered self-reflection during the pandemic, blatant discrepancies in media, and even took a dip into her DMs for the tea. Pull up a seat, y'all. It's Shaun's turn to tell all!
Jackée Harry: The Original Hot Girl
Everyone's favorite TV auntie and the original hot girl, Jackée Harry, joins us on this week's episode and spills the tea! She's been acting since 1984 and has been booked and busy ever since! Whether it's 227, Sister, Sister, or her recent 'scandalous' debut on Days of Our Lives, we're here for Jackée! We discuss career longevity, being typecast, her lesson from Maya Angelou, embracing social media and so much more! Get ready because we're acting up with this one! Hot Girl Spring activated.
Rico Nasty: "Female Rappers" and Being Yourself, Period
Pulling up a chair this week is rapper Rico Nasty! We aren't lying when we say Rico Nasty is truly one of a kind. The punk rapper princess defies any label you throw at her and makes her voice known in any room she enters. She lets us in on how she got her start, the growing pains of being in the music industry, and her refusal to compromise her individuality. She gave us an honest, real look into becoming mainstream, personal expression and of course... her Rihanna stan-dom. Who wants to fit in, when Rico Nasty shows us that we were ALL born to stand out!
Taye Diggs: Pursuing Your Passions and Being Black Famous
The legendary Taye Diggs joins us this week and leaves nothing off the table. Not only is he one of our faves, but your mom, auntie and grandmother probably love him too. From How Stella Got Her Groove Back to The Best Man, Brown Sugar, The Wood and beyond, Taye has been a staple of all of our favorite Black films and television shows. We dig into his love of acting and Broadway, getting paid what you’re worth, what fans can expect from the new The Best Man franchise and so much more. Get your two-step ready because Mr. Black Rom-Com is bringing the sunny days!
Kendrick Sampson: The Intersection of Art & Activism
Houston native and one of our favorite heartthrobs, Kendrick Sampson, is coming through this week and getting real. Kendrick stands out in any role, whether it's Insecure, How To Get Away With Murder or Fashionably Yours. But in addition to acting, he is an activist and change maker who is not afraid to stand up for what he believes. Kendrick opened up to us about finding his voice, bringing activism into his art and his recent encounter with the Colombian police. Using our voice and speaking up is one of our greatest forms of activism, so let's get loud!
Lil Rel: The Power of Girl Dads and Rom-Coms
Comedian, actor, writer and producer Lil Rel Howery has been in the entertainment game for a minute, but it was his role as everyone's favorite TSA agent in Get Out that launched him into stardom. From The Photograph to Insecure to his new Netflix film Bad Trip, it seems like there's no genre Lil Rel can't conquer! This week, we chat with him about his love of romantic comedies, handling grief, and his relationship with the celebrity mom we all know and love, Mrs. Tina Knowles-Lawson! Don’t worry, y'all, this is a safe space not the sunken place!
Jay Pharoah: Making Light of Dark Times
Jay Pharoah is a man of many talents and impressions! He first hit our radar during his time on Saturday Night Live, and he's kept us laughing ever since. Whether it's stand-up comedy, movies or TV, Jay's star continues to shine. He sat down with us for a hilarious and personal conversation about his time on SNL, how an encounter with the police last spring changed his comedy for the better, and how advocating for others and speaking up is necessary for any kind of progress. Who needs a laugh track when you've got Jay Pharoah?
Danielle Brooks: Black Motherhood and Raising the Bar
Danielle Brooks is a renaissance woman and one of our absolute favorite entertainers! Whether it's her incredible performance as Taystee in Orange Is The New Black or her dynamite portrayal of Sofia in The Color Purple on Broadway, Danielle is making her presence felt as a leading lady. We sat down with her for an intimate discussion about her life since becoming a mother, how she'll choose roles moving forward and what it took to portray the legendary Mahalia Jackson. Don't forget your shades because the Black Girl Magic is shining bright this week!
Elaine Welteroth: Silencing Imposter Syndrome and Bossing Up
Our fave digital mentor and fashionista, Elaine Welteroth, has done it all. She's a journalist, magazine editor, TV personality and a New York Times best-selling author. At 29, she made history when she was appointed as the youngest editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue. We talked with our new auntie-in-chief about finding your path, breaking into the boardroom and overcoming imposter syndrome. No more shrinking in the workplace, we're expanding loudly and proudly after this interview!
Kyla Pratt: Protecting Your Peace
When we think of our childhood Black TV faves, Kyla Pratt undoubtedly comes to mind. She's sitcom royalty, starring in One on One, and appearing on shows like Moesha, Sister Sister, The Parkers and Lizzie McGuire just to name a few. She's also the voice of some of our favorite animated characters – hello, Penny Proud! We sat down with Kyla to discuss her journey from childhood stardom to being Black and pregnant in Hollywood and the importance of protecting your peace. We're getting cute and loud with this one!
Karamo Brown: Toxic Masculinity and Black Mental Health
A reality TV icon, Karamo Brown first appeared on The Real World: Philadelphia, where he broke down barriers as the first Black, openly gay man in Real World history. Now, he is the resident life coach and culture king on Queer Eye. As if that isn't enough, in the decade between TV ventures, Karamo also became a licensed psychotherapist and social worker. He went deep with us, exploring everything from Black masculinity and fatherhood to mental health and personal growth in the public eye. We even discussed bringing Negro Spirituals back in 2021. Let the church say AMEN!
Vanessa Williams: Black Beauty Standards and Loving Yourself First
The epitome of Black Girl Magic, multi-talented queen Vanessa Williams stole the spotlight after being crowned the first Black Miss America in 1983. Since then, she has conquered everything from music, to TV, film, stage and beyond. She sat down with us to talk about the pressures that come with being a first, the importance of self-love, nurturing many talents, and how she's giving back to the Black theatre community with her newest passion – Black Theatre United.
Big Freedia: Duality and the Power of Shaking Ass
Headlines started calling Big Freedia an "overnight sensation" when she was featured on Beyoncés "Formation" and Drake's "Nice For What," but she's been in the Bounce music game for over 20 years. We talk to Big Freedia about living a dual life on and off stage, her love for New Orleans, coping with grief and of course, performing with the Queen Bey in her home town, plus so much more. Check out her book, Big Freedia: God Save the Queen Diva. Girl down!