Sicily Sewell Information

Source: Instagram @sicilysierra

In the world of celebrities, people quickly assume that fame determines an actress’s worth. But many of them are highly skilled and multitalented outside the limelight. One of them is Sicily Sewell. She was a celebrity during her childhood and teenage years.

Sicily Sewell even became a TV producer, according to some sources. Then, she tapped into her cooking skills to own a restaurant and promote African-American cuisine with a chef.

Sicily Sewell’s biography

Sicily Sewell was born on October 1, 1985. Her mother is Bernadine Sewell. Unfortunately, her father’s name is unavailable on the Internet.

She was born and grew up in Pontiac, Michigan. This peaceful city is known for its car factories and manufacturing plants. Companies like GMC, Fisher Body and General Motors brought wealth and properties into this city. The city had a stadium named Silverdome. Unfortunately, it got removed in 2018. Amazon built a facility on the site.

When she was just eight years old, Sicily Sewell appeared on Sesame Street. That episode won an Emmy Award. Then, she portrayed a role in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. As Sicily Sewell turned 13, she appeared in Mama Flora’s Family and How Stella Got Her Groove Back.

Eventually, Sicily Sewell appeared in lengthier television series. In the comedy show One-on-One, she portrayed a leading character for four seasons until 2005. Unfortunately, Sicily Sewell did this shortly before the show became syndicated. She could have been much more famous if she had stayed a bit longer. Nonetheless, Sicily Sewell practiced her sense of fashion at that time. Sicily Sewell did most of the clothes she wore on One on One during her final season. Then, she acted in Fighting the Odds, a biographical account of Marilyn Gambrell, a concerned high school teacher.

She got married to Chris Johnson. In 2007, their first daughter, Madison Sierra Johnson, got born. Sicily Sewell then decided to retire from show business to take care of her family. She pursued her passion for cooking as a chef and a restaurant owner.

Sicily Sewell declared to be happier in the kitchen than while acting. In 2010, she became an intern at the Los Angeles Times while studying at the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. It is one of the most prestigious cooking schools worldwide, and Sicily Sewell graduated from that college with honors.

At present, Sicily Sewell cooks African-American cuisine with her mother, Bernadine. She is 4’11” in height, and she retained her “Spirit” nickname.

Sicily Sewell’s jobs

She started her relatively short business career in her youth. In this section, you will learn about her movie and television roles during those years, from 1996 to 2007.

In 1996, Sicily Sewell performed as Aisha Campbell in two episodes of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers show. This show portrays the superhero teenagers who save their city from an intergalactic villains, monsters, and forces of darkness. Each episode follows a pattern: the teens do typical tasks that people do at their age. Then, the evil antagonists try to destroy the planet and the Power Rangers. In response, the team transforms into Power Rangers and morphs into a giant robot to destroy them.

Sicily Sewell appeared as Chloe in the 1998 horror/thriller movie Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror. This film comes from Stephen King’s novel about a group of college friends who got lost during their trip. They arrived and got stuck in a desolate village filled with a cult of killer children. But the trapped students wanted to save the kids, who tried to kill them at the expense of their lives. The Internet Movie Database estimates that this film’s budget is over one point six million dollars.

That same year, Sicily Sewell also portrayed the role of Chantel in How Stella Got Her Groove Back. Based on a novel, this film shows the life of a wealthy woman who went to Jamaica to take a break. She met a local there, and she fell in love with him. How Stella Got Her Groove Back shows her romance, motherhood, and successful career. This movie earned around twenty million dollars in profits.

1998 was a busy year for Sicily Sewell, indeed. Aside from acting in Children of the Corn Part V: Fields of Terror and How Stella Got Her Groove Back, she also appeared in Mama Flora’s Family. This 1998 series is about a Black family trying to rise from poverty. It focuses on the matriarch Mama Flora, who lived from the 1910s until the 1970s. Because of the show’s poignant portrayal of African-Americans, Mama Flora’s Family won and became nominated for awards.

It received recognition from the American Cinema Editors and the Image Awards. The movie was also a nominee for the Golden Real Award, the Humanitas Prize, the Cinema Audio Society Award, and the Artios Award.

For four years (2001 to 2005), Sicily Sewell appeared as Spirit Jones in 91 episodes of the hit television show One on One. It is the story of a sportscaster who needed to take care of his daughter. This series received several awards and nominations from the Prism Awards, the Image Awards, and the Black Entertainment Television Comedy Awards.

Sicily Sewell also had roles in animated shows. In 2004, she voiced Cece in an episode of The Proud Family. This show will soon get revived on Disney+ in 2022. Through the years, The Proud Family got nominated for the Annie Awards, the Kids’ Choice Awards, and the Television Critics Association Awards. It won in the Image Awards, the Casting Society of America, and the Black Entertainment Television Comedy Awards. Moreover, the show had a spin-off game for the Game Boy Advance.

Appearing in Fighting the Odds: The Marilyn Gambrell Story can get included in Sicily Sewell’s accomplishments. In 2005, she portrayed Lisa Jones in this biographical film about a teacher who established the No More Victims program to help troubled teenagers.

In the 2007 film Super Sweet 16, Sicily Sewell is Chloe Spears. The movie is about two best friends since childhood, but their bond fell apart as they started competing against each other before their sixteenth birthday party.

Sicily Sewell’s lover

After getting engaged for four months, Sicily Sewell married Chris Johnson on May 17, 2006. Their first daughter got delivered on November 17, 2007. Four years later, their daughter, Marlee Johnson, was born on December 12. Unfortunately, we do not know much about Chris Johnson. It is a consolation that their marriage bond seems to stay strong.

News about Sicily Sewell

On September 12, 2019, the AM New York Metro magazine reported that Sicily Sewell reopened the Colors restaurant in New York’s Lower East Side. This restaurant offered African-American food. Before opening this restaurant in New York City, Sicily Sewell used to cook in California.

The Colors restaurant had a noble aim. It first opened in 2006, employed by survivors of the attacks on the World Trade Center. They also welcomed people and veterans who needed to find a source of living. Unfortunately, it got tainted by controversies and legal issues. In 2018, a report said that payment checks got given late. The Colors restaurant also failed, nearing bankruptcy and lawsuits involving the Restaurants Opportunity Center, the labor organization behind the restaurant.

At this time, the Restaurants Opportunity Center promised that their new partners would finance the workers’ fair wages. They will instead spend their resources on employee-training programs. The Center also plans to expand the Colors restaurant to Michigan, Louisiana, and Washington D.C.

Months later, on December 11, 2019, Eater magazine reported that Colors would open that week. The culinary elites in New York were excited about its reopening and transformation. The Colors restaurant celebrates the culture of African-Americans. This report also states that Sicily Sewell partnered with Daniel Patterson, a well-known chef from California.

At first, the restaurants got employed by World Trade Center employees, according to this news article. Also, they founded a labor organization called Restaurants Opportunity Center to promote African cuisine and workers. But Colors and their group became controversial for their unfair practices.

The unfortunate history of Colors made Sicily Sewell hesitant in renovating the restaurant. But she took the opportunity after moving to New York from California. The Restaurants Opportunity Center also promised her that Sicily Sewell could run Colors with freedom. In response to the issues with the Center, Sicily Sewell declared that she still relies on them as her allies.

In the past, Sicily Sewell has always dreamed of owning a restaurant. After all, her family is deep into the restaurant business. She worked with her mom in California, and she has a restaurant head aunt in Chicago. Two centuries ago, Sicily Sewell’s great-great-grandmother was a slave and a cook in Tennessee. This heritage is one of the reasons why she wants to promote Black food. In an interview, Sicily Sewell said that, as a chef, she admires and appreciates African-American culture through cooking.

Before, the Colors restaurant featured fine dining meals for the rich. But Sicily Sewell offers popular Black food, such as fried chicken, caramel pastries, and burgers. The design of the restaurant also shows the aesthetics and style of African-Americans. Even the employees would have a unique uniform. Cooks will wear baseball caps, while waiters will have overalls and sweatpants.

Furthermore, the menu names the food and drinks with films and music created by  African-Americans:

  • Eve’s Bayou contains rice, tomatoes, garlic, fried eggs, and celery. Its name comes from a 1997 movie about an adulterer and a wealthy, complicated family in Louisiana.
  • Jimmy Got Soul has tomato oil, garlic, onions, chili, and cabbage. It got derived from a song performed in the Dreamgirls movie starring Eddie Murphy.
  • Special Delivery mixes noodles, spaghetti, and fried fish. It is a typical meal in African-American homes.
  • Sicily Sewell cooks hoecakes, fried chicken with dry white wine, seeds, and fried chicken. The restaurant offers twenty-three types of wine, cocktails, mimosa, and other flavored liquor. It supports African-American winemakers.

The range of prices in the Colors’ menu starts from $5 to $24. During the weekends, the restaurant is open until noon.

Collaborating with the Restaurants Opportunity Center, The Colors restaurant also trains its workers in hospitality and culinary skills. They practice during the first two days of the week. Moreover, most of Sicily Sewell’s employees graduated from this.

Her staff earns $15 every hour, a rate added by tips and benefits.

Sicily Sewell admits that the Colors restaurant committed a disservice to New York. But she promises to reform it by giving employees fair and timely pay. They would ask customers for feedback. Through this, they can improve their services and provide them with an excellent experience.

After all, she calls this restaurant as her “love letter” to the African-American community, culture, music, and cuisine.

On January 21, 2020, Colors had to close again after a month of operations. It was abrupt for the workers, but Sicily Sewell and the Restaurants Opportunities Center fought and argued. The chef said that the Center failed to meet the agreements and the promises they made.

It did not support the Colors restaurant, from its funding to advertising. For example, its website and online presence remain neglected. The servers and waiters have no health insurance or sufficient compensation. (Even Sicily Sewell could not have her finger surgically treated because the Center failed to provide insurance.) The restaurant also had licensing, repair schedules, and grant issues.

Moreover, Sicily Sewell said that the Restaurants Opportunities Center contradicted itself in making promises about Colors. Hence, the reopening was a failure, and the Center got even more exposed to its negligence and corruption. Unfortunately, many of its workers are from underprivileged communities and families. They include dreamers who are single parents and shelter residents.

Sicily Sewell opened an online donation site where people may assist them financially. They also sold the tiles, utensils, glasses, and accessories used for the Colors restaurant. The funds will help the employees transition from the restaurant’s closure.

Nicolas Desjardins

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