“Mother Africa” (52995)

Greetings! We join the many around the world who are mourning and celebrating the life and contributions of the late first Black president of South Africa, freedom fighter and revolutionary leader Nelson R. Mandela. Madiba’s final “long walk home” will conclude in his native village of Qunu on Sunday, Dec. 15. May he rest in peace and may we all honor his legacy of determination, commitment, courage and forgiveness.

Please pass the word: Our “Healthy You in 2014: Express Yourself,” an on-location, on-air town hall meeting highlighting the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), is scheduled for Sunday, Dec 15 at the historic Harlem YMCA, 180 W. 135th St., has been postponed. Stay tuned for a new date announcement. We’ll also have special Mandela and Obamacare radio coverage this weekend (see radio schedule at end of column).


“A Season in the Congo,” written by brilliant Martinican poet and playwright Aimé Césaire, is now playing in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Césaire’s birth. It will play Dec.19-21 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 22 at 2:30 p.m. at La MaMa’s First Floor Theatre, 74 E. Fourth St., Suite A. For tickets, call 212-475-7710 or visit LaMaMa.org.

“After Midnight,” a new musical celebrating the glamour and exuberance of Harlem’s Golden Age and featuring the timeless songs of Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway and Harold Arlen woven around the prose of Langston Hughes, is now playing The production stars Grammy Award winner Fantasia and Emmy Award nominee Dulé Hill. The music is by select Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars, handpicked by multi-Grammy winner Wynton Marsalis. It’s now playing at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, 256 W. 47th St. (between Broadway and Eighth Avenue). For more information, call 817-502-2929 or visit aftermidnightbroadway.com.

“Motown: The Musical,” with book by Berry Gordy Jr. and featuring 2013 Tony nominee Valisia LeKae as Diana Ross, Tony nominee Charl Brown as Smokey Robinson and Brandon Dixon as Berry Gordy, is now playing at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, 205 W. 46th St. (between Eighth Avenue and Broadway). For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com or motownthemusical.com.

“A Time to Kill” is now playing through Dec. 31 at the John Golden Theatre, 252 W. 45th St., between Seventh and Eighth avenues. For tickets and information, call 212-239-6200 or visit atimetokillonbroadway.com.

“Platanos, Collard Greens & Callaloo”—that’s right, “callaloo!”—this hilarious remix of the successful franchise brings the West Indian brethren in. It’s now playing at Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Ave. (enter on 25th Street, between Lexington and Third avenues). Call TheaterMania at 212-352-3101, visit theatermania.com or visit plantanosandcollardgreens.com.

“Lady Day: The Billie Holiday Musical,” featuring Dee Dee Bridgewater and written and directed by Stephen Stahl, is now playing at the Little Shubert Theatre, 422 W. 42nd St. between Ninth and 10th avenues. For tickets, call 212-239-6200 or visit Telecharge.com or ladydaythemusical.com.


The Blue Note Jazz Club (131 W. Third St.) presents Fourplay now through Dec. 15, while Chris Botti’s annual holiday residency will take place on Dec. 16-31. All shows start at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. For more information, call 212-475-8592 or go to bluenotejazz.com.

Three-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Jill Scott will take the stage at Radio City Music Hall on New Year’s Eve at 9 p.m. with special guests Luke James and DJ Premier. Visit radiocity.musichall-ny.com for more information.


The Apollo’s holiday season includes “Ellington at Christmas,” celebrating the legacy of Apollo legend Duke Ellington and featuring Savion Glover, actor Keith David as the narrator and jazz vocalist Lizz Wright. There will also be “Amateur Night” finals, with $10,000 winners. Join the theater for its seventh annual Kwanzaa celebration, “Regeneration Night,” hosted by yours truly on Dec. 27 at 7:30 p.m. Visit apollotheater.org.

“Mother Africa” (featuring Circus Der Sinne from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) is playing now through Jan. 5, 2014, at the New Victory Theater, 209 W. 42nd St. Visit newvictory.org for more information.

The Big Apple Circus welcomes you to its all-new show, “Luminosity!” now through Jan. 12 at Lincoln Center! Visit bigapplecircus.org for more information.


“Long Walk to Freedom” features Idris Elba in the new Nelson Mandela biopic. The film opens Christmas Day but is now appearing at select theaters in New York City.

The New York African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF) is now running through Sunday, Dec. 15. For more information, contact Diarah N’Daw-Spech at 212-864-6020 or email pr@nyadiff.org. Visit www.nyadiff.org for more information.


Dr. Joy Degruy, author of “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome,” is in New York City on tour. On Thursday, Dec.12, Degruy will speak at the African Burial Ground, 290 Broadway, first floor, in Lower Manhattan at 11 a.m. This event is free. On Saturday, Dec. 14, Degruy presents a full, dynamic lecture on “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome,” as well as solutions as listed in her forthcoming book, at House of the Lord Pentecostal Church, 415 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn, from 2-5 p.m. Cost of admission information and tickets are available at www.squareup.com. Also on Saturday, Dec. 14, there will be a reading and book signing with Degruy at Sister’s Uptown Bookstore and Cultural Center, 1942 Amsterdam Ave., from 6-8 p.m. This event is free. For more information, contact Rockia via email at AGardenInfo@gmail.com or call 347-940-2951. Follow on Twitter @AyasGarden for event updates.

The National Association of Kawaida Organizations and the International African Arts Festival present the 47th anniversary celebration of Kwanzaa. Dr. Maulana Karenga, the creator of Kwanzaa, will deliver his yearly founder’s statement, titled “Celebrating and Living Kwanzaa: Sowing and Harvesting Seeds of Good.” There will be artistic performances by KowTeff African Dance and Drum Troupe and the Donald Smith Trio. On Friday, Dec. 27, the celebration of the second principle of the Nguzo Saba, Kujichagulia (self-determination), takes place from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Stephen Decatur Middle School, 272 Macdonough St., between Lewis Street and Marcus Garvey Boulevard. For pre-registration and information about admission, call 718-789-3264. For vending registration and information, call 718-479-4186.

Hear Imhotep Gary Byrd on 107.5 WBLS-FM daily with “Imhotep’s On-Air Guide to Black Events” and “Express Yourself,” Sunday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m., and on WLIB-AM with “The GBE Mind Flight,” Sunday evenings from 9 p.m. to midnight. The full show can be heard on HD radio at WBLS-HD2. IGB is also heard on WBAI-FM 99.5 with Radio GBE: The “Global Black Experience” and “Global Beat Experience,” Saturdays from 5 to 7 p.m. We are archived online with both shows at www.wbai.org. To contact us for bookings or to reach us about your event, email igbexp@gmail.com, find Imhotep Gary Byrd on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter @GBELIFE or call 212-592-3279.