February 2012 - Volume XIX Issue II - Circulation... Plenty!


This Month Pledge to: Honor Your Ancestors! Learn Something New! Support Black Businesses ! Support Cultural Events! Celebrate Your Freedom! Connect with Your Family! Teach Someone About Your Heritage! Donate or Volunteer to Champion Charity that Supports Racial Equality or Economic Justice! 
This issue of The Crystal News is dedicated to Whitney Houston, who inspired me, Patricia Stephens Due who inspired generations of civil rights activists, and Don Cornelius, who changed the face of television forever... and who I adored.  During this Black History month, I am honored to have shared the earth with so many history makers...  TCK
Check out an extraordinary array of films form all over the world, an Artfest and Spokenword Fest at the 20th Annual Pan-African Film Festival, February 9-20, 2012 at the RAVE Cinemas 15 Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles.    This year's treats include one of my favorite documentaries, donnie l. betts' MUSIC IS MY LIFE, POLITICS MY MISTRESS about theater legend Oscar Brown Jr.; one of my favorite short films,  kA'RAMUU KUSH's  SALVATION ROAD, an AFI thesis film featuring Russell Hornsby; and one of the feature best films I've seen in a long time - Justin Chadwick's The First Grader. featuring indelible performances from a seamless ensemble led by the always delightful Naomie Harris and Oliver Litondo who plays 84-year old veteran Mau Mau freedom fighter Kimani N'gan'ga Maruge... the first grader.  For more information and the schedule of events, go to http://2012.paff.org/ 

An Evening With Valerie Simpson In Honor of Nick Ashford is coming to a PBS station near you! Co-produced by Julieanna Richardson and George Faison with American Idol music producer Ray Chew, serving as co-writer and Musical Director, this must see program features live performances by  Patti Austin, Kindred The Family Soul and Valerie Simpson singing such great hits like "The Boss" "You're All I Need to Get By" "It Seems To Hang On" and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." Simpson is candid, revealing and witty as she talks with veteran PBS-TV journalist Gwen Ifill. In a show that will make you laugh, cry and sing a-long, An Evening With Valerie Simpson In Honor of Nick Ashford  is a must see for Black History Month and Valentine's Day. An Evening With Valerie Simpson In Honor of Nick Ashford will be airing in California on the following dates: 
Friday, February 10 at 10:00PM on KVCR / Los Angeles
 Sunday, February 12 at  9:00PM on KVIE / Sacramento           
Sunday, February 19 at 10:00PM on KQED / San Francisco
Sunday, February 19 at 10:00PM on KTEH / San Francisco
Sunday, February 19 at 10:00PM on KQET / Monterey-Salinas
Wednesday, February 22 at 9:00 PM on KRCB / San Francisco
More dates and locations are being added daily.

Stage Aurora Theatrical Company and The Jacksonville Public Library present The NEA Big Read/To Kill A Mockingbird, the much loved, critically acclaimed American classic written by Harper Lee and dramatized by Christopher Sergel. To Kill a Mockingbird runs from February 24 -March 4, 2012 (Weekends only). The play is directed by Darryl Reuben Hall, Stage Aurora’s producing artistic director.  Ticket prices for the play are $15.00 in advance for Adults and $10.00 Seniors and Students with proper I. D. Door ticket prices are Adults/ $20.00 For more information or to purchase tickets, please call 904- 765-7372 or (904) 765-7373 or order them online at www.stageaurora.org. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD will take place at the Stage Aurora Performance Hall located at 5188 Norwood Avenue inside Gateway Town Center in Jacksonville, http://stageaurora.ticketleap.com/to-kill-a-mocking-bird/#view=calendar
Forgotten Roots Theatre Company is taking submissions for their 1st Annual 10 Minute Play Festival which will be May 17-20, 2012 @ THE COMPLEX Theater in Los Angeles. The deadline for submissions is February 29, 2012. If you would like to make a submission please email Mateen Stewart, Producing Artistic Director of Forgotten Roots, at Forgottenroots@gmail.com. 

On Monday, February 20, 2012
please join GIVING BACK for an evening of Theater dedicated to
Dick Anthony Williams
Zora and Paul by Ken Sagoes - A one-act play 
Mr. Williams was the first Giving Back Corporation's Celebrity Spring Toast/Roast Honoree.   A portion of the proceeds will benefit Mr. Williams. An evening of History and; Entertainment.   ONLY TWO (2) PERFORMANCES: Monday, February 20 and Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at 7:30 pm. Grand Ballroom of the DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton6161 West Centinela Ave., Culver City, CA 90203. Former Congresswoman Diane Watson will introduce the play the evening of Monday, Feburary 20.  Tickets: $20.00 (advance) $25.00 (door) For Tickets, call 310-226-6198, or mail a check payable to: GBC-Giving Back Corporation, P. O. Box 452201, Los Angeles, CA 90045 or visit :www.gbc-givingbackcorporation.com LIMITED SEATING!
Vincent E. Walker Photography
(Chicagoland Photography / Videography)
Actress / Director T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh will speak to a group of eager young listeners at Renaissance Performing Arts High School in Long Beach, CA on Friday, February 24, 2012. The talk is part of the “Shop Talk”  lecture series with entertainment industry professionals developed by the Arts and Letters committee of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated Long Beach Alumnae Chapter. What is “Shop Talk”? If you explore any industry, you will discover some form of a shop. The shop is where you will always find the serious dedicated individual learning and sharpening their skill. Our committee has joined with Renaissance Performing Arts High School in Long Beach, CA to help motivate and inspire students to stay dedicated to sharpening the entertainment craft in which they have chosen to study.  The “Shop Talk” program is dedicated to inviting and hosting professionals to come and talk to Renaissance students about their crafts. Professional guests are invited on a volunteer basis to share their unique journey’s with the students from the start of their careers to the present. They share the process of developing their craft as well as the ups and downs they have encountered along the path of pursuing their calling in the arts. As each “Shop Talk” comes to an end, the committee request that the industry professional leave the students with some positive advice they can hold on to as they embark on their own journeys and pursue their entertainment dreams.


Join Los Angeles Florida A & M University Alumni Association for their 2012 Annual Black History Scholarship Luncheon on Saturday, February 25, 2012 at the Omni Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. The luncheon kicks off with a jazz mimosa hour at 11 a.m. followed by the program. This year the LA rattlers are happy to have film producer and FAMU grad Rob Hardy as the keynote speaker. FAMU Distinguised Alumni Awards will be presented to Rob Hardy and Will Packer of Rainforest Films and alumna Juresha Maples. The Bernard and Shirley Kinsey Awards will be presented to LaPhonza Buther, President of the SEIU-ULTCW and Noel Massie, President of UPS Central California District. FAMU grad T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh, who served as last year’s MC, will be among this year’s presenters. Proceeds from the event will provide scholarships to California students attending FAMU. Tickets are $65 and can be purchased online at www.larattlers.org and available at Will Call.
In celebration of the life and work of Woodie King Jr., founder and Artistic Director of The New Federal Theatre, four emerging theatre companies have organized a special conversation with Mr. King to recognize his legacy and impact on the black theater community. Participating companies are The New Black Fest, The Fire This Time Festival, The Movement Theatre Company and With a Cherry on Top Productions. The Africana Studies Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University will host the event titled “Honoring Excellence in Black Theatre: A Night with Woodie King Jr.” at Cooper Union in New York City on Monday, February 27, 2012 from 7:00pm – 8:30pm, at Cooper Union, 20 Cooper Square, 4th Floor. The evening will begin with a wine and cheese reception followed by a conversation with Mr. King about his personal and professional journey. Kamilah Forbes, Artistic Director of the Hip Hop Theater Festival and Assistant Director of The Mountaintop and Stick Fly on Broadway, will moderate the conversation. The evening will end with a champagne toast and photos. Admission is $10, however seating is limited and reservations required. Two tickets per person. To purchase tickets, go to: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/225865   New Federal Theatre has presented over 200 productions in its 41 year history. His credits as a director are extensive and include work in film as well as theater.
Autographed copies available now at www.tkeyah.com Check out  T'Keyah's interview w/ Isidra Person-Lynn!
WHAT IS ACT-SO? - ACT-SO is an acronym for Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics. ACT-SO is an enrichment program designed to recruit, stimulate, improve and encourage high academic and cultural achievement among African-American high school students. The ACT-SO program centers around the dedication and commitment of community volunteers and business leaders to serve as mentors and coaches to promote academic and artistic excellence among African-American students. There are 25 categories of competition in the sciences, humanities, performing and visual arts.
WHO SPONSORS ACT-SO? - ACT-SO is sponsored by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. ACT-SO receives support from schools, community organizations, churches, foundations, private corporations and individuals.
WHO FOUNDED ACT-SO? - Vernon Jarrett, a renowned author and journalist, initiated the idea of an "Olympics of the Mind" that would promote and reward academic achievers the same way sports heroes are honored. The first national ACT-SO competition was held in 1978 in Portland, Oregon.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE? - African-American high school students, who are citizens of the United States, enrolled in grades 9 through 12 and are amateurs in the categories of competition. Students must compete in a local ACT-SO program to qualify for the National ACT-SO competition. 
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PARTICIPATING IN ACT-SO? - ACT-SO, above all, is a learning experience, in which scholarships and prizes are awarded. At the national level, gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded along with cash scholarships of $1,000, $750 and $500 in each category, in addition to many other awards, scholarships and prizes. Local winners are awarded certificates and many other prizes. Participants develop new skills and enhance their ability with each ACT-SO pursuit.
WHEN DOES THE ACT-SO PROGRAM BEGIN? - Local competitions usually take place between March and May. Contestants who win gold medals on the local level qualify to attend the National ACT-SO competition, which takes place in early July at the Annual NAACP Convention.
Contact your local NAACP Branch office for information regarding applications for the program at the address below or click on ACT-SO Form.  Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP, PO Box 2349, Hollywood, CA 90078, Phone: (323)464.7616 Fax: (323)464.1927


Congratulations to: El Brown on being the Army's   2012 Military Spouse of the Year finalist; and to filmmaker Ariel Armstrong for being selected for The 168 Film Project -  go on girl woman!


The Crystal News acknowledges the transition of the following souls:   Danny Clyburn, Don Cornelius, Hubert Gaddy, Robert Hegyes, Florence Holway,  Whitney Houston, and Patricia Stephens Due. We are blessed to have known their warm hearts, 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!