Evangelist and gospel singer, the Rev. Juanita Bynum is not finished sharing her story and hopes to inspire others.
Bynum, who lives in metro Atlanta, recently signed with the Houston-based World Music Entertainment empire, headed by Mathew Knowles.
Her new album, “The Diary of Juanita Bynum” is scheduled for release in 2011. She said the trilogy project is not going to be just “another CD, but it’s going to be a message and the story of my heart and my diary.”
Not so long ago, Bynum went through a very stormy and very public breakup with her then-husband, Bishop Thomas W. Weeks III. In 2007, Weeks attacked Bynum in the parking lot of a metro hotel after the couple, then separated, met to discuss their problems. Weeks was convicted of aggravated assault.
In addition to the CD project, Bynum is working on launching her candle and bath products and makeup lines. Bynum is also working on a play based on her song, “Soul Cry (Oh, Oh, Oh)” and tour. One of the covers in the trilogy project was shot by Derek Blanks, who shot the Atlanta Housewives in the alter ego poses. Bynum, however, declines to discuss what her alter ego photo will be, but says people will be surprised.
Here are excerpts of her interview:
Q: You’re stretched out on a beach for the cover art of “Soul Cry.” You’re supposed to be dead in that photo?
A: Absolutely, because I died, literally. Everything about who I was and everything I knew my life to be was put to death. It was a death experience for me emotionally and mentally and the only thing that survived it was my soul. The only thing that survived it was my spirit. In doing so, I wanted to be transparent about the transition that I went through. I didn’t want it to be an album cover where I’m looking like this person with a victory because I think it brings about a lot of misconceptions about how people walk through and how they overcome.
Q: Are you in a relationship now? I’m sure you’ve read the Internet rumors that you and Mr. [Mathew] Knowles are actually an item.
A: Yes, that is absolutely ridiculous. I have never had a private conversation with Mr. Knowles. I have never been in a private room with him, [or] a private setting with him. I have never had a private telephone conversation with him. I don’t have his e-mail address and he doesn’t have mine. None of that is true… But no, I’m [not] dating anybody. That is not my focus right now.
Q: A lot of people want to know about your relationship with your former husband – Bishop Weeks. Do you have a relationship with him?
A: No, when I left the divorce court, I never looked back. A lot of times people will say this was said about you and that was said about you and he said this and that, but I never heard it. I just set my focus and that was one thing my father was instrumental in helping me to do…. I don’t speak to him. I don’t have any communication. I don’t know what he’s doing. If people are looking for me to say something bad about him or put my mouth on him, or say this or say that, they won’t get it out of me because that’s just not my spirit.
Bynum will perform music from her newly-released EP, “Soul Cry ( Oh, Oh, Oh),” at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Mall at Stonecrest in Lithonia. Following her performance, Bynum will sign copies of her revised book, “No More Sheet II: Starting Over” at the Borders bookstore in the mall.