Stewart is grand-daughter of the late great civil rights icon Hosea Williams. She runs a charity Key to Giving, that raises money for Hosea Feed the Hungry.
"He called me his little peach," she said. "The best little peach of the world. He always talked to us about civil rights and stories about Martin Luther King Jr. And I marched with him in Forsyth County when I was younger." (That was 25 years ago if you want to read more details about the march here.)
Would Hosea approve of her doing a reality show like "Real Housewives"? "He would trust my judgment," she said. "I'm just like him. His motto was 'Unbought and unbossed.' I have all of that in me. I'm young and sweet but you can't take me for granted."
She's a newlywed and she promises "we'll get to see the ups and downs of a brand new marriage." Her husband has a son from a previous relationship so that adds a level of complexity.
She wants to show herself as a woman steeped in Atlanta and focused on philanthropy."'I've always had a respectable family and a family that supported me," she said. "I'm happy to show who I really am. I'm big on respect. If I feel disrespected, I will explain to you what you did. I speak my opinion. I'm outspoken. I am not the one talking about you behind your back. I will say it to your face. I can seem a little harsh but it comes from a good place. At the end of the day, you may love me or hate me or love to hate me."
And she isn't going to say a bad thing about "Real Housewives." "I feel like the ladies on the show have done a good job. They're independent women making it on their own. At the same time, women are the same whether they're in Atlanta or LA or New York. Someone's going to be catty. Not everyone's going to like everybody. What I say with my friends on the show, it's reality."
Her quick takes on each of the other women:
Phaedra Parks: "She's really sweet. She's got a classy way about her."
NeNe Leakes: "She's just funny."
Cynthia Bailey: "She's becoming more outspoken."
Kandi Burruss: "She is also born in Atlanta. She and I are down to earth. We have this experience that's beautiful and fabulous. We're country girls at the end of the day."
Kenya Moore: "I haven't had the opportunity to get to know her for who she is."
Kim Zolciak: "She's really a family girl. It's all about family for her now."
And why Kordell Stewart? "I fell in love with Kordell because he really wanted to know who I was. He was just very intense. He was passionate from the beginning. Those were qualities I felt were genuine. I knew I could trust him right off the bat." They met at Luckie Lounge in downtown Atlanta in 2009, three years after he had left the NFL. She didn't even know he was an NFL player. And he only later found out her connection with Hosesa Williams. Coincidentally, Kordell helped out with the charity on Thanksgiving four years earlier.
When she was younger,Stewart ran a couple of day-care centers. Her mom Diane T. Williams is still in the day-care business. "I started working with her at age 13," she said.
"The Real Housewives of Atlanta," 9 p.m. Sundays, Bravo
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