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Thank you

I’m suffering from sleep deprivation.  I’ve eaten Mariella’s pizza for dinner almost every night.  I lost (then found) my cell phone.  There was a mousetrap in my dressing room.  I found out there’s someone on staff who will actually steam my pocket squares.  There may already be a love connection between two people who work for the show.  And, I discovered meditation through makeup.  It’s been an interesting first week!

But, we made it.  We’ve learned a lot along the way.  Thanks to all of you who tuned in and commented.  I promise I have been reading your feedback.  I hope we can continue to count on it as we work to always improve.

I am so grateful to Hill Harper, Sherri Shepherd, Brandon T. Jackson, Issa Rae, Rev. Al Sharpton, Michael Steele, Loni Love, Queen Latifah, Michael Eric Dyson, Jesse Lee Petersen, Sherrod Small, Marc Morial, Ava Duvernay, & Ron Christie for being a part of my first week.

And, though you don’t get to see them, the “Don’t Sleep” staff deserves so much praise for the work they’ve put in and their belief in the show.

Again, thank you so much.

Much love,

T. J.

Wednesday fireworks

We want Don’t Sleep to be a place where people with differing opinions can come and be heard.  And, on tonight’s show, we offered our platform to someone who, in my opinion, took it a step too far.  He even got an adverse reaction out of me.  But, the topic we were discussing was relevant to our community.

Also, I have a one-on-one with Queen Latifah.  Love this woman.  She has a message for young women that I want you to hear.

See yáll soon. Don’t Sleep.

T. J.

Tonight’s Show (Tuesday)

Good Tuesday evening!

Each night, Don’t Sleep will raise awareness surrounding issues impacting our community.  On tonight’s show we will be introducing someone who will  share commentary in their voice on a relevant issue facing our youth.  This will allow us to give a platform to the various voices within our diverse culture. 

Tonight, we welcome Issa Rae who is known and widely followed for her witty, edgy perspective. Issa Rae is the star of “The Misadventures of Akward Black Girl,” a wildly popular web series.  You may know her for often using the word “ratchet” when describing her life’s soundtrack. She brings that “ratchet” perspective to tonight’s social commentary surrounding a story in Florida where members of a high school band appeared in an explicit rap video.  In it, they can  be seen wearing their band uniforms while dancing.  The video also includes at least one porn star and several “strippers.”  The school says they were misled about the video when the students were first asked to participate.

Also in tonight’s show:  I promise you won’t want to miss Rev. Al Sharpton, former RNC Chair Michael Steele, and comedian Loni Love.  They go at it about gay marriage, black Republicans, and the court decision over the new voter ID law in Pennsylvania. 

See you soon.  Don’t Sleep.

T. J.

“Don’t Sleep” guest lineup

I know a lot of you have been curious about who I’ll have on the first episode and the first week of “Don’t Sleep.”  So, let me tell you.

Here’s the first week’s lineup:  a Crime Scene Investigator, a lady with a “View”, one of my favorite movie characters of all time, royalty, a nutty professor, 3 pastors, and a black Republican.

That should be all you need to figure out exactly who you’ll see on “Don’t Sleep” this week.   

Still can’t believe this is actually happening tomorrow.

T. J.

“Don’t Sleep” Eve

Not sure how to feel or what to think today.  I’m too busy working! 

It’s been 9 months since my last newscast at CNN.  And, tomorrow, my new chapter and my new show begin.  I’m surrounded today by family, friends, and supporters.  I’m fielding phone calls, emails, text messages, and tweets of support.  I’m humbled by the kinds words but also the expectations.  

One problem:  I can’t sleep.  I haven’t had a good night of rest in forever.  So, when you see me walk out on the set on Monday night for the premiere of “Don’t Sleep,” please ignore the bags under my eyes.  I promise there will be a pep in my step.

Also, in just a bit, I’ll let you know who will be joining me as guests for the first week of “Don’t Sleep.”

T. J.