Traci Braxton of WE tv's Braxton Family Values reality show recently spoke with ESSENCE.com about her upcoming appearance at the ESSENCE Festival and her views on faith and family. Read on for the interview and be sure to enter the "Styled Like a Braxton" contest on wetv.com for a chance to win a VIP trip to the ESSENCE Festival taking place in New Orleans from July 4 - 7.
ESSENCE.com: How excited are you to be a part of the ESSENCE Festival this year along with your sister, Trina?
Traci Braxton: It is a great honor to be a part of this event as a woman of color. There's something very positive about showing your roots. I want to continue to be a part of the ESSENCE Festival family.
ESSENCE.com: What can your fans expect from your talk at the Festival?
Braxton: I'm not just the quiet Traci that people saw in the first and second seasons of Braxton Family Values. I have a lot to say. I didn't show my personality during the first and second seasons, so it's time for me to do that now so people can know me and see what I'm about.
ESSENCE.com: Has being on WE tv's Braxton Family Values reality show with your mother, Evelyn, and sisters, Toni, Tamar, Trina and Towanda, brought the family closer together?
Braxton: The show is bringing us closer together because there were a whole lot of things that were swept under the rug and we really had to move that rug to clean up. The show forced us to communicate with each other. We now explain what makes us upset and why it makes us upset. That makes us a family unit. I like that we can show the world that we have the same problems.
ESSENCE.com: You and your sisters were raised in the church. How has your faith grounded you?
Braxton: Sometimes you feel as though things are against you and you have to pray on it. Maybe I need to step back and continue to fast and pray for a while until I get the correct answer. Maybe it's about something I'm eager for that may not be for me. With anything that's going on with me and my sisters or my home, sometimes you have to call the name of Jesus to get you back to where you need to be.
ESSENCE.com: How do you balance your family life and career?
Braxton: Prayer and support. If I didn't have that support, I don't think I'd be able to balance so many things like the TV show, charity work, and my family.
ESSENCE.com: Can you share about some of the charitable causes that are important to you?
Braxton: I work with women who have reproductive cancers: cervical, ovarian and uterine. I had cancer cells on my uterus a long time ago and I had to make choices in life to take care of my body. My mom had a hysterectomy early, her sister passed from uterine cancer and my grandmother passed from that as well. I just want women to be aware of their bodies and take care of themselves.
Also, my motorcycle club, The Queens of Sheba, does a lot of charity work. In December, we give coats to the needy and toys to children. We also participate in walks for lupus and diabetes. It keeps me grounded and level. I love to give back.
Tune in to Braxton Family Values on WE tv on Thursdays at 9/8 p.m. CT.