This site offers archived editions of The Crystal News, the official blog of performer, writer, director, producer and activist T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh (known for TV’s ‘In Living Color,’ ‘Cosby,’ and ‘That’s So Raven’). To view the current issue, please visit www.tkeyah.com.
Spring, 2015 Volume XXII Issue II Circulation... Plenty!
This season, Pledge to:Plant a Garden!Bring an Elder Flowers or a Plant!Encourage Young People to Stay Focused on School!Volunteer at a Women's Shelter! Rent Films, "Selma" and "Beyond the Lights"! Support Black Music Month (May) By Supporting Black Record Shops and By Buying (not Bootlegging) Black Music! Vote for the Candidates that Serve Fairly and Wisely! Research Community Farming / Farmers Markets and Cooperatives! Love and Forgive!Be a Part of the Solution! * * * * * * *
This issue of The Crystal News is dedicated to the memory of two spiritual leaders. MotherTynnetta Muhammad, of the Nation of Islam, had a serene, reverent aura that calmly inspired elevated introspection. Rev. Willie T. Barrow of Operation PUSH, "The Little Warrior," was a fireball of energy who moved people to leap into action.
CRYSTAL NEWS CANDIDATES
I'm not sure how regular newspapers that supposedly offer unbiased news coverage, get away with endorsing political candidates... a clearly biased action. Then again, the very act of choosing which items, among the countless newsworthy events happening world wide, a newspaper will cover, is itself an act of bias. But I digress... The point I am clarifying here, is that The Crystal News is not, and has never been, an unbiased source of news, but the occasional sharing of information of interest to me, T'Keyah Crystal Keymah. That said: The Crystal News endorses the following candidates:
Jacque Robinson for Mayor of Pasadena, CA Anthony J. Davis for Mayor of Country Club Hills, IL and Jesus "Chuy" Garcia for Mayor of Chicago, IL
****************************************** Jacque Robinson for Mayor of Pasadena. www.jacquerobinson4mayor.com *************** **************************
Projectsin theWorks...Don't Get Me Started, is a solo show I debuted in 2011 at Curtis King's The Black Arts & Letters black box for shows in development. It is a teen-to-adult friendly, politically charged, socially conscious series of rants... with humor, music and familiar characters from my other shows. The climate in this country is such that I am compelled to update the show for a possible fall tour. Will I keep the Eartha Kitt "Santa Baby" inspired musical parody, "Obama Baby," or will I chuck it for a number urging the Senate to confirm Loretta Lynch already?! If you are interested in bringing Don't Get Me Started to your town, contact Donnie James at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay tuned...
Windy City Works - Well, well, well. There is nothing like Chicago politics... where a former mayoral candidate who endorsed Garcia shortly after conceding, but then recently switched to Emanuel because the latter "is more fiscally responsible" and shares his "desire to increase the minimum wage." Garcia wants to increase the minimum wage to $15. Emanuel approved an increase to $13... in five years. Oh but wait, Emanuel also pledged to cover the turn coat's campaign debt... which probably does make him seem fiscally responsible... to those who endorse him. Never a dull moment.
The National Afrikan Amerikan Family Reunion Association (NAAFRA)is a nonprofit organization that seeks to link all families who engage in “reunion celebrations” as their annual expressions of uniting their families, honoring themselves, and bringing together various organizational movements, businesses, causes and other functions under an important “alliance umbrella.” This can be done without sacrificing individual missions, purposes or visions, and completely free of interference. Our collective strength will be used to:
Maximize the ability to grow wealth
Develop programs that enhance health protection
Establish Saturday schooling for all needy family members
Offer major opposition to the “fratricide” that is occurring throughout Black America.
By mobilizing all available resources and creating a franchising infrastructure for creating jobs and self-ownership throughout our families, and therefore bringing about the improvement of this society, we do what we have always done when a newborn comes into the family: we assume an obligation to teach and help that new arrival. In our minds and by our actions, we must return to this place of “each one reach one,” to this place of “family” and our God to find the challenge, and to BE THE CHANGE we seek. As your family gears up for summer reunions, make sure that someone registers the family at www.naafra.org. Their goal is to get one million families registered this year!
WHERE THE ACTION IS: Formerly "T'Keyah Fights City Hall" which was formerly the "Do Something" and sometimes the "T'Keyah's Two Cents" columns of this newsletter, this is what the action should be...
Too many college campuses as dangerous for women as are countries at war. Senator Barbara Boxer says,"It's stunning. More than 30,000 women in college are sexually assaulted every year.Colleges and universities should be doing everything they can to prevent these heinous crimes and ensure justice for their victims. Yet, unbelievably, 41 percent of colleges and universities recently surveyed have not investigated a single case of sexual violence on their campus in the last five years. Not a single case.Enough. This must end. That's why today, I'm joining my colleagues in introducing the Campus Accountability and Safety Act, which would take critical steps to address this epidemic.Will you join us in this fight to end campus sexual violence? Add your name in support of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act!Survivors of sexual assault need to be supported by their schools every step of the way. Unfortunately, right now, too many campuses fail to do everything in their power to prevent sexual assault and -- even worse -- sometimes blame the survivors themselves.That's why we must take action today. Will you join Senator Gillibrand, my colleagues, and me in urging Congress to pass theCampus Accountability and Safety Act?Sign on today and take action to end campus sexual violence!Thank you for taking action on this important issue.In Friendship,Barbara BoxerU.S. Senator" Add your name to those asking Congress to pass the Campus Accountability and Safety Act. It's about time!http://shpg.org/236/11902?id=boxer_sp
Please join me in signing Senator Barbara Boxer's petition to ask Congress to pass the Campus Accountability and Safety Act Click Here! This is where the action is...
Anthony J. Davis for Mayor, Country Club Hills, IL Anthony J. Davis - "Putting People First!" On October 5, 2014, Anthony J. Davis, 5th Ward Alderman and Chairman of the Finance Committee, announced his candidacy for Mayor of Country Club Hills. “Since a struggling economy, large number of foreclosures and a high rate of joblessness have taken a toll on our community, ” say Alderman Davis, “it is more important than ever for the residents of Country Club Hills to have the assurance that their elected officials are working hard to find innovative solutions and are held accountable for decisions made and actions taken that directly impact our community’s future and quality of life.” A family man, successful business owner and resident of Country Club Hills for more than twenty years, Alderman Davis has served on the City Council since 2011. “While serving as 5th Ward Alderman,” he asserts, “I have kept my promise to always put people first and plan to continue doing so as Mayor of this wonderful community.”
Alderman Davis’ vision for the city includes eliminating wasteful spending, reducing long-term debt, and increasing transparency and accountability in City Hall. “...I am confident I can move Country Club Hills forward into a brighter future; a future that reflects strong community, family values and leadership the residents of Country Club Hills can be proud of.” Alderman Davis has already begun walking the campaign trail, sharing his vision for making Country Club Hills “one of the premiere cities in the south suburb,” and asking for the support and votes of his community in the April 7, 2015, consolidated election. Please support Anthony J. Davis for Mayor of Country Club Hills -http://electanthonyjdavis.com/
WHERE THE ACTION IS: Justice for Tamir Rice
LaTonya Goldsby writes on Change.org, "My 12-year-old cousin Tamir Rice was tragically shot to death by Cleveland police on November 22, 2014. My family needs your help to make sure that the police officers who killed Tamir don't get away with murder. Tamir was in a local park playing with an airsoft toy gun when someone called 911. The caller said that the gun was “probably fake” and that the person was likely a juvenile, but even so, two police officers rushed to Tamir’s location. The officers jumped out of their car and shot him twice at point-blank range within 1.5 seconds of arriving – we know this because the incident was caught on video. The officers then waited for more than four minutes to treat Tamir with first aid. Tamir died from the gunshots the next day. My family wants justice for our Tamir. We are demanding that the Cuyahoga County prosecutor file criminal charges against the officers who killed Tamir. Please click here to sign our petition. The way the police behaved was absolutely unacceptable. After shooting Tamir, Tamir's mom says that the police put his 14-year-old sister in the back of the patrol car when she tried to help her brother. The police even threatened to arrest Tamir's mom as she plead with them to help her dying son. These officers gunned down Tamir in broad daylight, then terrorized his mother and sister when they tried to help. They must be held accountable for their actions."
To join me in signing the petition to ask the Cuyahoga CountyProsecutor Timothy J. McGinty to file charges against Officer Timothy Loehmann and Officer Frank Gramback, Click Here! This is where the action is...
Please support Black Books and Black-Owned Bookstores!
I had the honor of contributing to two wonderful books recently. In one I describe a dream dinner with historical figures with whom I would love to have been able to share a meal: Dining with the Ancestors: When Heroes Come to Dinner, A Black History Coffee Table Book (by multiple Emmy Award winning journalist Dr. Eric J. Chambers) www.DiningWithTheAncestors.com.
In the other, I describe one of my first experiences at Florida A & M University while still a Business major, but in the theater where I would come to spend the bulk of my time on the hill: HBCU Experience - The Book www.BlackCollegeBook.com; Co-edited by Black college alumni Dr. Tia Tyree and Christopher D. Cathcart, HBCU Experience - The Book celebrates the rich legacy and experiences of those who attended HBCUs.
I'm So Glad I'm From FAMU!
HBCU's are under attack, but are still sorely needed. Please support the HBCU of your choice with your time, talent, treasure and input. I strongly encourage all FAMU alumni to support our school, our new president, our local and national alumni organizations, the individual school(s) from which you graduated, and of course,The T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh Endowed Theater Scholarship at Florida A&M University! If you are not a member of an alumni association, join one today! Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University is fortunate to partner with the Black Television News Channel (national cable network). BTNC will soon begin construction of its state-of-the-art facilities in our School of Journalism & Graphic Communication and began its programming development. BTNC represents a unique, multidisciplinary opportunity for FAMU Schools, Colleges and for alumni. But, we need your assistance.
We're asking for your help in communicating with the Federal Communications Commissioners to ensure that all available viewers receive this important programming that will be professionally produced and presented to a national audience.Please open the attached PDF, which has a link to the BTNC-FAMU online petition. Click the link "Sign The Petition." Type in your information and the click submit. Thank you for helping FAMU and BTNC create history!
FAMU Alum Angela Robinson Receives Gracie Award!
Julia Roberts, Cicely Tyson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Angela Robinson, and Olivia Munn are among those who will be honored at the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation's 40th anniversary Gracies Awards, which will be held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on May 19. Established in 1975, The Gracie Awards recognize outstanding programming by, for and about women in all facets of radio, television, cable and web-based media including: news, drama, comedy, public service, documentary and sports. Robinson, a graduate of Florida A&M University, currently stars as Veronica in Tyler Perry's The Haves and the Have Nots on OWN. Tyson will be presented with a Gracie Lifetime Achievement Award.
NAJWA Dance Corps has been approved to participate in the Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge!!! Nerdery is a custom software design and development company that creates web, mobile, user experience design, and application solutions. They conduct an overnight challenge whereby if selected, they will build a new website free to the non profit organization within 24 hours!! This could posibly be a $10,000 to $20,000 free Website for NAJWA Dance Corps!!! NDC needs your help in posting your testimonials on our profile!! Please take a moment to state why you think or feel that NAJWA Dance Corps needs or could best capitalize on this pro bono opportunity!! Supportive comments will help You can post your comments here: http://chi2015.overnightwebsitechallenge.com/nonprofits/725
WHERE THE ACTION IS: Florida's Got Me So Upset!
Yes, this article has been included in The Crystal News before. It's still here because I am still haunted by it. Please sign the petition and spread the word. WARNING: This article is of a horrific and disturbing act: Change.org writes, "On June 23, 2012 Darren Rainey, a 50-year-old mentally ill state prison inmate in Miami-Dade County, died after guards responded to his defecating in his cell by locking him into a 180-degree shower for two hours—at which point his skin was separating from his body. Local police, and the state, failed to properly investigate. The case was only brought to light in recent months by The Miami Herald. After two years, no one has been held criminally accountable, or even charged. Darren was serving a two-year sentence for drug possession and housed in a psychiatric unit. After his death, guards forced another prisoner, Mark Joiner, to clean up the shower where Darren died, including chunks of skin. "He was crying, please stop, please stop, Joiner said. And they just said "Enjoy your shower, and left." Only the U.S. Department of Justice can properly investigate this terrible crime, and a broader culture of abuse in Florida’s prisons that has led to other unnecessary deaths, and which falls especially hard on the mentally ill." Update: "Oct 8, 2014 — Friends, Stop Prison Abuse Now recently met with Miami State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle and pressed our case that justice should be done for Darren Rainey. More that two years have passed since his death, yet the Miami-Dade police and local Medical Examiner have yet to release their findings on his death and, needless to say, no one has in any way be held directly responsible. Nor have the Florida Department of Law Enforcement or Department of Corrections even finished their investigations. We are continuing to advocate to the federal Department of Justice for an investigation. We're not giving up, and your support has given us hope that we can achieve accountability for the killing of Darren Rainey, and prevent such crimes in the future. Thank you again for your help."
To join me in signing the petition to ask the Department of Justice to address this horrific act, Click Here! This is where the action is...
A PreK-6 School With A Purpose (Nia) And A Mission Built On Faith (Imani). A teaching ministry of Nia Imani Christian Center - Senior Pastor, Amina Fola-Rose
****************************** The search for great natural hair care products continues: For the next few months, as I continue to work on the next edition Natural Woman / Natural Hair, I'll be looking for more products to love and to share. Have a wonderful natural hair product you want me to try? Send samples to me at T'Keyah Crystal Keymah, Inc. 10061 Riverside Dr. #714, Toluca Lake, CA 91602. No mineral oil based products please.
WHERE THE ACTION IS: My Black Year...
As you have read in earlier issues of The Crystal News, Maggie's Anderson's book, "Our Black Year" inspired me to up my own support of Black business, and to find and champion at least one business per month. This issue of The Crystal News spotlights a few great finds on Chicago's 87th street: Essential Elements Chicago, 1640 E 87th St., (Between S Stony Island Ave and S East End Ave) Chicago, IL (773) 978-1200 is as described, "an upscale shopping experience" where the owners provide friendly, personalized service. In this shop, from shoes to hats, suits to coats and fabulous jewelry, finding something you''ll love won't take long. essentialelementschicago.com Across the street is Kayra Imports, 1643 E 87th St, Chicago, IL 60617 (773) 768-3003, boasts an incredible selection of clothing, accessories, fabric and products from the motherland! (They have another store at 706 E 83rd St, Chicago, IL 60619 near t E 83rd and Langley Ave (773) 488-4123) www.kayraimports.com Also on the block: Maxine's Boutiques, 1613 E 87th St, Chicago, IL 60617 (773) 221-8308,has a great collection of casual to business outfits, shoes and accessories, and great sales! www.maxinesboutiques.com Remember to check my new page, Black Friday (and suggest new Black owned products and services that you can personally recommend)! This is where the action is... * * * * * *
Robin Walker, Owner The Walker Group, LLCTWG - 1431 Huntington Drive Calumet City, IL 60409
*Auditing *Accounting *Management Consulting *Business Information Systems
The Walker Group, LLC (TWG) is a Certified Public Account & Consulting firm concentrated primarily in performing audits for not-for-profit organizations, local governments and municipalities, and entities regulated by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Our professionals take a risk-based approach to each engagement, insuring performance and operating efficiency. We go beyond traditional fundamentals to add tangible value and elevate the audit to an even more strategic and productive role in today’s corporate governance environment.
Kudos to: performer Zendaya, for greeting racism with grace and wisdom beyond her years; President Obama's more than qualified U.S. Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch for having the patience of Job;my cousin Anthony J. Davis for the decision to put people first and run for Mayor of Country Club Hills, IL;Chicago actors Richard Gallion on his debut appearance on Empire andPaula Anglin on her debut as Yaya Dacasta's mom on Chicago Fire (hoping to see Ms. Anglin on Chicago Med next season);everyone participating in the FAMU 10-for-10 fundraising challenge;U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for suggesting that Americans read Malcolm X's autobiography;Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.’s 14th National President, Frankie Muse Freeman, who President Obama has appointed to be a member of the Commission on Presidential Scholars; and selfless Sister Nadirah Muhammad a Muslim teacher and member of the Nation of Islam who gave one of her kidneys to Aja Booth, a Christian student of hers. Go on woman!!
* * * * * * * * *
The Crystal News respectfully acknowledges the life and transition of:
Ernie Banks, Rev. Willie T. Barrow, Edward Brooke, Billy Butler, Dr. Webb Evans, Michael, Jandreau, Minnie Minosa, Anne Moody, Mother Tynetta Muhammad, Juanita Morrow Nelson, Leonard Nimoy, Chyemil Pierce, Tamir Rice, Charlie Sifford, Clark Terry, J. Karen Thomas,and too many beautiful children (lost on the streets of Chicago and other places) to name...
We are blessed to have known their warm heart, bright smiles and good works. We are inspired to follow their brave and noble examples.
Have You Hugged Someone You Love Today?
Stay Tuned... Natural Woman / Natural Hair II - Summer 2015 Revival - Fall 2015