July / August 2011- Volume XVIII Issue VII - Circulation... Plenty!

July is Black Family Month, Family Reunion Month.  Pledge to: Vacation Safely and with Purpose! Spend Time with Your Family! Start your Summer Reading List! In August, Pledge to: Make the Most of the Rest of Summer! 
 Lamman and Keymáh Take Stage as NC Rolls out the Purple Carpet for the NBTF!
(My interview with Tavis Smiley)

Story Below!

Dee Alexander's Evolution Ensemble @ Umbria Jazz Festival July 8-17, 2011

Evolution Ensemble: Dee Alexander - vocals, Tomeka Reid - cello, James Sanders - violin, Junius Paul - bass, Ernie Adams - percussion

Last month, Nzingha Nommo packed up and moved her beloved bookstore to it's new home at 440 S. Ridgeland Ave. A staple in Oak Park, IL since 1993, Afri-Ware is more of a cultural center than a bookstore. In addition to a wealth of literary offerings from new and established authors, Afri-Ware carries an Afrocentric clothing line, hair care and other products, crystals, art and jewelry.  The store also hosts numerous free events for the community  including weekly book signingsWhile many independent stores have close their doors, Afri-Ware has been able to remain open due to the support of its grateful community. Afri-Ware Books, Clothing Gifts & Events, 440 S. Ridgeland Ave. Oak Park, IL 708-524-8398  - Afri-Ware on YouTube

Capturing the FAMU Mystique
Last month, Florida A&M University (FAMU) Department of Athletics introduced a groundbreaking multi-media event.  "The Mystique" is a web-based miniseries of eight short videos that present a unique perspective to the history of the special athletes, coaches and administrators of FAMU's athletics department.  FAMU Director of Athletics Derek Horne said, "I think the Mystique series will give us the opportunity to expose our rich tradition to the younger generation to see why we are so proud of FAMU athletics."  Because it would be impossible to capture all of the history in eight short videos, the initial release of "The Mystique" is designed to provide a snapshot of some of the greatest athletes and moments in FAMU history.  June's entries were:  The Frazier/Galimore Express (1956); Andre "The Hawk" Dawson; 1984 Women's Track All-Americans (pictured) - Pam Porter, Pam Oliver, Vogel Newsome, Mary (Jones) Wellens; and tennis great Althea Gibson.  The July schedule debuts: July 4 - The Gulf Coast Offense (Billy Joe's offensive mastery); July 11 -  NCAA 3-pt. Champion Terrence Woods; July 18 - FAMU's historic 2004 volleyball team; and July 25 -  "The Bullet" Bob Hayes.  Once shown, all of the videos are available for viewing exclusively at http://www.famuathletics..com/.
Joyce Headlines Aurora Festival
 TV Star Ella Joyce (Roc / My Wife & Kids) headlines the 4th Annual Aurora Jacksonville Black Arts Festival, July 22-24, 2011. Joyce captures the famous moment in the life of Rosa Parks, affectionately called "Mother of the Civil Rights Movement", in her highly acclaimed, one-woman play A Rose Among Thorns, a Tribute to Rosa Parks; Created and Performed by ELLA JOYCE and Directed by Dan Martin
A ROSE AMONG THORNS will take place on Sunday, July 24 at 3:00 p.m. The Aurora Jacksonville Black Arts Festival is a three day festival of entertainment showcasing great Theatre, Dance, and Music. The Festival will be held July 22 -24 at the Stage Aurora Performance Hall inside of Gateway Town Center located at 5188 Norwood Avenue.
For ticket information, please contact Stage Aurora
(904) 765-7372 - http://www.stageaurora.org/         
Safety Series Part II: Things Your Burglar Doesn't Want You to Know
The following information was shared by seasoned burglars in a police sponsored anti-crime seminar. Their habits may encourage you to change yours: The best deterrents for a burglar are: 1. Windows and doors locked 2. Windows that have the catch that keeps them from opening all the way 3. Deadbolts, steel doors with a steel frame or a solid wood door with a wooden frame – the doors need to be installed with 2 ½ inch screws into the studs for these doors to be effective, shorter screws or a steel door with a wood frame and they would just kick the door in, cameras and motion-detector lights that are installed in proper places (front and back doors) and are up high enough that a tall person can’t reach them to angle them up and away and come back later. 4. The number one deterrent, however, is “NOSY NEIGHBORS” – those who are paying attention, looking out the window, hanging around outside and CALLING POLICE FOR ANYTHING SUSPICIOUS OR OUT OF PLACE!
Things that aren’t deterrents: 1. Dogs – they aren’t trained to protect the house, only the people who live there. 2. One man said he spent one burglary playing fetch with a dog as he went from room to room getting what he wanted! 3. Alarms aren’t necessarily a deterrent because they often aren’t turned on and it also takes a while for the alarm company to call the house, then summon the police. 4. In that amount of time, the burglars can get in, get something and get out. 5. They also said that everyone has something to steal. They always walked out with something. 6. Keep your valuables in a safe and any keys in a safe or a lock box bolted to the wall. 7. One man took the car keys off the hook by the door and stole the car out of the garage. 8. Window air conditioners should be in a steel cage that is mounted to the mortar outside the windows. 9. It is also good to vary your routine by using all the entrances to your home to leave and return. 10. No system is completely burglar proof, if they are desperate enough (especially if they are on drugs), they will find some way in. 11. However, the harder you make it for them, the more likely they are to move on to another house. 

 G.E.M.S. to Sparkle at the CHARM Ball


CHARM Outreach and Mentoring Services invites you to attend and support our first annual G.E.M.S. Scholarship Ball, on Sunday, July 31, 2011 at 5pm, at The Drury Lane, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois.  

Kenny McReynolds (5 time Emmy Award winner, Chicago Public Schools Hall of Famer, Illinois Basketball Hall of Famer, and former Chicago Black Radio Sportscaster of the Year Award winner) and Tiffany Torrence-Davis (When Beautiful People Do Ugly Things / Bad Girls Club) will host the gala.  Comedian Ron Baker Jr. (Inspiration Sensation / BET’s Comicview) will perform.


The G.E.M.S. (Growing Emotionally, Maturing Socially) program is designed to promote community outreach, respect, service and education in social skills and friendship among college bound high school seniorsOur lovely young gems have been working hard for many weeks and four finalists will now compete to share $10,000 in scholarships based on criteria that includes a written essay and community service.  

CHARM is a faith-based 501c3 non profit organization created by women exclusively for women with the goal of transforming lives.  We exist to assist women of all ages build self-esteem and to empower, encourage, and inspire them to passionately pursue God's purpose for their lives.  We are committed to a realistic approach purposed to positively influencing the lives of young girls, teens, young mothers, and adults.  Our  (Motto), "Meeting You Where You Are", simply means that no matter where you are spiritually, socially, mentally, or emotionally, we will be there too.  We will use our vast experiences along with our professional partners to knock down barriers and build character.  CHARM Outreach and Mentoring Services was founded by community advocate Michele Traylor.  Our Board of Directors includes business leader Al Demming (President of ADTD Group, Inc.) and actress / writer / director T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh (In Living Color / Cosby / That’s So Raven). 

Tickets for the G.E.M.S. Scholarship Ball are $50 and include dinner.  For additional information, go to http://www.mycharm.org/Scholarship_Ball.html or contact Ms. Conni Guilford at cguilford@mycharm.org

 Lamman and Keymáh Take Stage as NC Rolls out the Purple Carpet for the NBTF!

Co-Chairs Lamman Rucker and T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh preside over the opening night festivities of the 2011 National Black Theatre Festival, August 1-6 in Winston-Salem, NC.  Founded in 1989 by Larry Leon Hamlin, and produced by the North Carolina Black Repertory Company, the National Black Theatre Festival attracts close to 60,000 people to Winston-Salem and the city welcomes festival visitors with open arms. 
The weeklong event features a wide array of theatrical productions from across the country and beyond, NBTF Fringe, National Black Film Fest, NBTF Poetry Jam,  Youth / Celebrity Project, National Youth Talent Showcase, TeenTastic, The Readers Theatre, Collegiate Play Reading Marathon, Larry Leon Hamlin Solo Performance Series, International Colloquium, NBTF Artists Networking Showcase, Workshops & Seminars, International Vendors Market, and Celebrity Receptions!  Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and The People’s Choice Award winner Lillias White’s solo musical show, “LILLIAS WHITE… LIVE!  AT BLACK THEATRE HOLY GROUND” is the opening night gala performance.   
Some of the many other festival highlights include: the international premiere of jeff obafemi carr’s “Route 66: Finding Nat King Cole” (directed by T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh) and “Before the People Came,Amun Ra Theatre in Nashville, TN; a celebrity dramatic reading of Ifa Bayeza’s “A Charleston Olio” based on her new novel with her sister, Ntozake Shange; “ALL AMERICAN GIRLS: A NEGRO LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN,” The Layon Gray Experience & The Black Gents of Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA; “Da Kink in My Hair,” Trey Anthony Studios, Toronto, Canada; “Juneteenth Blues Cabaret,” Juneteenth Legacy Theatre in New York; 
Knock Me A Kiss” starring Andre de Shields and directed by Chuck Smith, New Federal Theatre, New York and Legacy Creative Arts Company, Chicago; Samm Art Williams’ “The Waiting Room,The Ensemble Theatre, Houston, TX; “Shakin the Mess Outta Misery,” the NC Central U, Durham, NC;  “Three Sistahs,” Black Theatre Troupe, Phoenix, AZ; “Those Sensational Soulful 60’s,” Black Ensemble Theatre, Chicago; 
Gus Edwards’ “Two Old Black Guys Just Sitting Around Talking,” Penumbra Theatre Company, St. Paul, MN; Poet Kwame DawesVOICES OF HAITI: A POST-QUAKE ODYSSEY IN VERSE (photography by Andre Lamberston and music by Kevin Simmonds), Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, Washington, DC ;  “Soul on Fire: The Musical,”  Onyx Vizion Productions, Oklahoma City, OK; “Mother to Mother” starring Thembi Mtshali-Jones from FreeVoice Productions, Cape Town, South Africa.  Other celebrity performers/attendees include Dorien Wilson, BernNadette Stanis, Richard Lawson, Vanessa Williams, Bobb'e J. Thompson, Dawnn Lewis, Nathan Purdee, Barbara Montgomery, Count Stovall, Phylicia Rashad and Glynn Turman, whose incredible show "Moving Man" opened the 2009 NBTFTickets are on sale now at http://www.nbtf.org/.  




Congratulations to:  my friend Margaret Laurena Kemp on her Fulbright grant for her Mothertongue Theatre Project Collaboration in South Africa.   The scholar travels to SA this month to lecture, teach and perform her new show, A Negro Speaks of Rivers. Ms. Kemp will be the first African American female visiting artist to conduct workshops at this level. You can support her history trip, at Indie GoGo. For more information on her journey see the May 2011 issue of The Crystal News -  go on girl woman!


The Crystal News respectfully acknowledges the life and transition of: Dekha Ibrahim Abdi, Baba Hannibal Afrik (Brother  Harold E. Charles), James Arness, Clarence Clemons, Peter Falk, Betty Ford, Carl Gardner, Jimmy Henderson, Prince Taiwo (Twins Seven Seven) Olaniyi Oyewale-Toyeje Oyelale Osuntoki J.O. Patterson, Jr.,  Geronimo Ji Jaga Pratt, Philip Rose, Hoda Saber, Sherwood Schwartz, Nontsikelelo Albertina Sisulu, Hershel K. Swinger, Clarice Taylor, Maynard Virgil, Lavina Washines, and Amy Winehouse. 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?

The Crystal News - http://thecrystalnews.blogspot.com/ 
T'Keyah Fights City Hall - http://tkeyahfightscityhall.blogspot.com/ 
Keymah Presents - http://keymahpresents.blogspot.com/ 
www.tkeyah.com - Where Crystal visions come to life!

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