March 2, 2009

Harlem Heights Premieres on BET Tonight

Call me a little leery of anything that BET (Black Entertainment Television) documents as a new trend let alone capturing the flavor of the New Harlem Renaissance; but I get a feeling that "Harlem Heights" will only glorify glamour and opulence of a few people, living above their means rather than hearkening back to the Real Harlem Renaissance of the 1920's and 1930's. So instead of revolutionary literature, poetry and art; I expect a slightly older take of College Hill and Baldwin Hills. BET please prove me wrong. I hope with tonight's premiere episode I'm presently surprised, but the show's star attraction is Brooke Crittendon, who is the ex-fiancé of rapper Kanye West. That kind of let's me know all I need to know. This from the number one television source for Black entertainment! I shouldn't feel this way Debra Lee, Stephen Hill and any other executives over at BET. I'm sure you would say "it's only entertainment." Therein lies the danger.

Let the drama begin...

PRNewswire People from all walks of life flock to New York City, but the historic neighborhood of Harlem seems to attract the best and brightest of Black America. Some of the country's grandest young tastemakers now call the legendary neighborhood home, and this beautiful and eclectic bunch are determined to take the biggest bite they can out of the Big Apple. They work hard and play harder, living life to the fullest while acknowledging the past AND confidently claiming the future. The glamorous lives of this new crop of the young Black elite have never been captured, until now.

Premiering on Monday, March 2 at 10:00 p.m., HARLEM HEIGHTS will provide a window into the fascinating world of New York's young, Black and fabulous crowd. Set against the backdrop of the increasingly gentrified neighborhood of Harlem, the series features a diverse cast of eight young adults from different backgrounds who share common goals -- making the post-college leap into adulthood and finding love and success in the big city on their own terms.

Each person joins the series at a defining moment in his or her life, including: the beautiful, bewitching ex-girlfriend of an international music superstar who is trying to carve out her own identity; a budding magazine lifestyle editor who seeks to shed the label of "spoiled rich kid" by striking out on his own; the struggling actress trying to balance her social life with her career ambitions; a young man with a troubled family past attempts to find success and give back to his community while overcoming his fear of failure; a native Harlem-ite who has turned his life around to make a way for his young daughter; the hard-partying son of a prominent Harlem political leader who struggles to live up to his father's clean cut reputation and explores a future in politics; an aspiring lawyer with big ambitions and even bigger opinions; and the driven fashionista seeking to maintain her A-list aspirations.

Every cast member moved to the big city with dreams of living the good life. But in New York, dreams can easily turn into nightmares if you lose your focus and your way.

HARLEM HEIGHTS is a production of MC Filmworks, Minna Mae Productions, KurtWurks Inc. and BET. Randolph Sturrup and Kurt Williamson are series creators and executive producers, Michael McNamara and Sheri Maroufkani executive producer for MCFilmworks, and Connie Orlando serves as the executive in charge of production for BET.
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