March ~ 2013

Happy Women's Month!!!
This Month, Pledge to: Celebrate Women! Learn Something About Women's History! Learn More About The Current Plight of Women Worldwide! Support the Fair Treatment of Women Worldwide! Support Female-Owned Businesses! Spread the Word That War Equals Rape! Take Action Against Unfair Working Conditions and Unequal Treatment of Women in the Workplace! Live Respectfully! Take Action Again Human Trafficing! Honor Your Mothers and Mother Figures! Be a Part of the Solution!

Delta March Honors Founders
Thousands of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated members commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Women's Suffrage March in DC on Sunday, March 3, 2013. As part of their year long centennial celebration,the women retraced the footsteps of their twenty-two founders who left the safety of their Howard University campus to participate in the historic Women's Suffrage March of 1913. The Delta founders were the only Black women to participate in that march and many of this year's marchers stated how proud they were to retrace their footsteps. Gwendolyn Boyd, past president of the sorority, remarked on the courage it took for the founders to stand up for their rights "no matter what."
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Orbert Davis Chamber Ensemble "DuSable to Obama: Music from Chicago's Black Metropolis" Sunday, March 10 at 4 p.m. Music from the Emmy Award-winning soundtrack from the critically acclaimed WTTW public television documentary "DuSable to Obama: Chicago's Black Metropolis" will be performed LIVE by the CJP Chamber Ensemble, led by Orbert Davis.   The presentation will integrate video highlights from the documentary, telling a timeless story of Chicago's African-American history through its most leading citizens, scholars, artists, politicians, and business leaders.   Stay after the show for a Panel Discussion! Sponsored by Country Financial.  Moderated by Craig Gilmore, State Farm, Chairman of the Board, 100 Black Men of Chicago, Inc. 6 p.m. Panelists include Bennett Johnson, II, Reverend Michael G. Sykes, Melody Spann-Cooper, Orbert Davis, Attorney James Montgomery, Andrea Zopp
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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...

Laila Ali, a British-Somali journalist based in Nairobi wrote a story about a young Somali woman brutally gang-raped by government soldiers, hoping that her bravery in telling such a painful story would bring attention to the awful rape problem there. Instead, the government used the article to jail a rape victim for ‘insulting the state’! Now Ali is asking all of us to stand together to end the epidemic of rape by security forces. Please join me in signing this petition:
 This is where the action is...  
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Keymáh Treks
T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh, Shelle Coleman, Elaine Bradshaw and other members of the Centery City Chapter (CCAC) of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.  join the GirlTrek "We Are Harriet: A Moving Tribute" on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 4:30PM EST / 1:30PST.  Participants will walk for 100 minutes in various places across the country.  CCAC will be part of the Fox Hills Park walk and will meet at the northwest corner of Buckingham & Green Valley Circle at 1:15 p.m. GirlTrek is a groundbreaking 2-year-old national nonprofit that supports thousands - and seeks to rally one million - active Black women and girls by 2018 to address the health crisis in African American communities.   To this end, GirlTrek leads inspiring walking campaigns, hosts a supportive social media network and trains local volunteers to lead "walking revolutions" in their neighborhoods.  One of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority's ongoing initiatives is to encourage healthy lifestyles, particularity in the Black community.  Coleman and Bradshaw co-chair CCAC's Healthy Lifestyles Committee.  To learn more about GirlTrek or to register for this or other upcoming walks and challenges, visit:

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 Vincent E. Walker Photography
(312) 719-6830
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According to the Center for Disease Control, 50,000 Americans are infected with HIV each year, and 25% of those are between the ages of 13 and 24. 47,500 new cases of HIV infection are diagnosed each year in the U.S. In the African-American community, the statistics are even more grim: The virus continues to strike a disproportionate number of blacks, and their death rates are higher than other ethnic groups. The rate of infection is still 20 times higher for African-American women than white women.    Get tested.  Know your status.  Know your partner's status.  Take precautions.  Be Greater Than AIDS.  For more information, visit The Black AIDS Institute.

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(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. 
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TWG - 1431 Huntington Drive Calumet City, IL 60409,
(708) 868-2545
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Last month, the Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act passed the House, after the House failed to pass its own version of the act. This means that all women—including LGBT, undocumented, and Native American women—will receive the protections offered by this bill. How did your representatives vote? How do they vote on other issues ofimportance to you? Do you know? You should. They are your voice. They vote on your behalf. Their votes are your votes. Check the voting record of your representative here: Then, in the next election, you will know who deserves your votes... and who does not. This is where the action is...
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A New Nite of Old Style: CONVERSATION & VERSE 
March 21, 2013  8pm -11pm - 1547 87th Street, Chicago, IL 
Storyteller Oba William King will host and African Drum Stand Up Bass with Keys (Mark Dawi and Rodney will provide accompaniment. Poets, Spoken Word Artists, Wordsmiths, Storytellers, Actors with Monologues or 10 min Scenes, Vocalists, Dancers, Musicians. $20 cover, performing artists $5.00.

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On another quick trip to Atlanta, T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh found time to check out Shaun "Jay Z" Carter, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith's spectacular production of, "Fela! Keymáh caught the show with Delta Sigma Theta line sister Sherri McFarland (pictured) and McFarland's husband Benny.
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As you read in the last two issues of The Crystal News, Maggie's Anderson's "Our Black Year" inspired me to up my own support of Black business, and I decided to find and champion at least one business per month. 
February's businesses: Mars Caribbean Restaurant, 14008 Crenshaw Blvd.,  Gardena, CA 90249, (310) 323-5000A group of my sorority sisters and I had a marvelous time there! The attentive staff seemed to enjoy our being there as much as we did.  The owner invited us to come back for their karaoke night and we're already planning a trip.
Well I can't mention Mars Caribbean without mentioning Coleys.  I'm a pseudo-regular at Coley's Jamaica's Best Cuisine, 10842 Magnolia Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601 (818) 761-4944.  Like Mars, Coley's has a delicious vegetarian entree that includes a yummy vegetable mix and my favorite... plantains.  They also have live music on some nights and Carribean music always.  Its a family run restaurant that makes you feel like you are part of the family. 
Finally, no trip to Atlanta (Tallahassee, Chicago or Accra) is complete without a stop at Soul Vegetarian!  On my recent trips to the ATL, I dined at Soul Vegetarian II, 652 N Highland Ave NE Atlanta, GA 30306 (404) 875-4641. What would life be without prince dressing?  I hope I never find out.  I've been a faithful patron of Soul Veg for more than twenty years.  Visit one soon and tell him T'Keyah sent you! Feel free to follow my lead and to tell me what you found! Did I mention that my St. Sabina Birthday Benefit was sponsored entirely by Black businesses? Well, it bears repeating, doesn't it?  This is where the action is...
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Thank you to: My South African best bud, brilliant actor Arthur Molepo for finding me!; Actress Cece Antoinette for once again organizing the ACT-SO Mentorship program for the Hollywood / Beverly Hills NAACP; My sorors Sa'Rah Jones, Ki’Jhana Friday, Adrienne LeRoi and the rest of the Membership Development Committee for choosing Mars Carribean Restaurant for our recent luncheon;  the cast of crew of BET’s Let’s Stay Together for inviting me back to the show; everyone else who made my recent trip to Atlanta wonderful; and again to my St.Sabina Birthday Benefit sponsors: Florida A & M University, Orbert Davis’s Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, Nubian Heritage, Vincent E. Walker Photography (312) 719-6830, The Walker Group, LLC, CHRIS CURSE & Co, Pierce Pediatric Association, Southside Community Credit Union, and Human Resources Development Institute, Inc ! MUAH!  And I mean it!!!!

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Calling ALL 9th-12th GRADERS!  The deadlines are approaching to register for local competitions!!!!  The NAACP ACTSO program is an opportunity for dedicated students to network with each other, and receive valuable feedback from respected industry professionals.  Students can compete in up to three of the 26 academic categories. First place local winners qualify to attend the National ACT-SO competition July 2013, with travel and hotel expenses paid to Orlando, Florida!  National gold, silver and bronze winners win monetary prizes, scholarships and other sponsor awards.  Mentors are available in many categories.  
WHEN IS THE COMPETITION?  Branches hold competitions March-May.  This year the local Beverly Hills-Hollywood NAACP ACT-SO competition will be held at Hamilton High School, on March 23, 2013.  For application and further information, please visit or call 323.464.7616Or fill out the BHHWD NAACP application online at: / Director T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh is once again mentoring ACT-SO students, this year in dramatics, dance and poetry.  She will also serve as a judge in a different category at the March 23 competition.  (For more on Keymáh and the Beverly Hills / Hollywood NAACP branch, check out the February issue of The Crystal News.) 

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Congratulations to: producer Art Washington on the debut of his starring Harry Lennix and Delila Vallot, directed by Carl Weathers, and written by Art Washington and Zack Waterfire; and Beebe Smith Johnson on her Play Reading Series for Women's History Month at Lula Washington Dance Theater at 4PM on March 17, 2013 (A Song for Coretta directed by Sloan Robinson) and March 24, 2013 (Hell in a Hand Basket directed by Zadia Ife)  - go on girl woman!
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The Crystal News respectfully acknowledges the life and transition of:  Mary Brave Bird, Donaldson Toussaint L'Ouverture Byrd II, Former Illinois Congresswoman Cardiss Collins, Barbara Ficklin, Susan Oluwabimpe "Goldie" Filani, Damon Harris, Morris "Magic Slim" Holt, Virgil Lewis Johnson, Pearl Little, Jenay McFarland, my cousin Michael Powell and too many other beautiful young people (lost on or to 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...
To see T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh and Bryan C. Jones "Sellout!" ...or will they?


  1. This is an awesome blog. I signed the petition for Laila Ali. Keep up your fight for Women's Rights.
    Would love to catch some of the live performances you mention one day.

    1. Thank you. I truly appreciate the encouragement. Thank you also for signing the petition. I hope you can see one of my live shows one day too!


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