Greetings! Welcome to April 2015, our GBE “In the Spirit” month. Our theme is a nod of acknowledgment and appreciation to the former Essence magazine column and book theme of beloved, brilliant and beautiful editor, writer, journalist and speaker Susan Taylor.

The family of Dr. Ben announces the following arrangements: wake and viewing to be held Thursday, April 9, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Abyssinian Baptist Church, 132 W. 138th St. Call 212-862-7474 for more information. Funerary services and the opening of the mouth ceremony will be held Friday, April 10, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Abyssinian Baptist Church (see above). The burial will be held Friday, April 10 at Ferncliff Cemetery, 280 Secor Road, Ardslay, N.Y. Call 914-693-4700 for more information.

Our thanks to all who took a final “GBE Mind Flight” on WLIB with us. Because of national budget cuts, our local Sunday evening broadcast “Mind Flight” is officially off the air for now. Our “Express Yourself” program continues over WBLS-FM Sunday’s from 7-9 p.m. and will also be simulcast over WLIB-AM, weekly, beginning April 2015. (To make contact or review our full schedule, see our broadcast and Facebook info below.) My “Radio GBE” program is still heard over WBAI-FM Friday nights 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.


The Classical Theatre of Harlem proudly announces its 15th anniversary celebration and benefit concert this spring, featuring songs from the eagerly anticipated musical “Witness Uganda,” winner of the American Academy of Arts and Letters 2014 Richard Rodgers Production Award for Musical Theater; a free summer production of William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”; and the winter holiday world premiere of a new CTH-commissioned musical “The First Noel.” Visit and follow CTH on Twitter @classicalharlem, Instagram @classicalharlem and

“Motown: The Musical,” with book by Berry Gordy Jr., is now playing at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, 205 W. 46th St., between Eighth Avenue and Broadway. For tickets, visit or


“Masters of Ceremony,” a one-night-only reunion of old school hip-hop’s royalty featuring DMX, Mobb Deep, EPMD, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, Kid Capri and others, Saturday, April 4 at 8 p.m. at Prudential Hall at NJPAC, One Center St., Newark, N.J. For information, call 888-GONJPAC or visit

Absolutely Live presents “Cassandra Wilson: A Celebration of Billie Holiday” at the Apollo Theater, April 10, at 8 p.m., timed with what would have been Holiday’s 100th birthday and release of Wilson’s album celebrating Holiday’s life. Tickets are available at the Apollo Theater box office, by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or visiting

“Dancehall Rising” starring Movado and Capleton with special guests Lady Saw and Matisyahu, Friday, April 10 at Kings Theatre, 1027 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. Visit

Will Downing appears at B.B. King’s Times Square, Saturday, April 11, 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tower of Power appear Thursday, April 16, and Friday, April 17, it’s Rufus. For prices and information, visit or call 212-997-4144.

Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life” is back at the Barclays Center, Sunday, April 12 at 8 p.m., 620 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. For information, call 718-618-6700 or visit

The Blue Note Jazz Club presents Roy Hargrove April 14 through April 19. Call 212-475 8592 or visit

Featuring Mary J. Blige, the Tribeca Film Festival film “The London Session” appears Thursday, April 16 at 8 p.m. at the Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway. For more information, call 212-465-6500 or visit www.beacontheater.


The UniverSoul Circus is back in the Bronx, located across from Gateway Center Mall, at 149th and Exterior Street, through April 6. “Flashback Fridays” feature Red Alert and Marley Marl. For tickets and the full schedule, including other New York City locations, visit


From the port of Buenaventura, most dangerous city in Colombia, three men embark on a journey into the Pacific. Tribeca Film Festival winner “Manos Sucias” looks at life at the bottom of the food chain in the international drug trade. Executive produced by Spike Lee. Check listings.


Writer and activist Amina Baraka is the Women’s History Month guest speaker at the People’s Organization for Progress meeting, to be held Thursday evening, April 2 at 6 p.m. at the Abyssinian Baptist Church, 224 West Kinney St., Newark, N.J. Her topic will be “Revolution, Black History and Women.” Call 973-801-0001 for more information.

The Ausar Auset Society, located at 305 Remsen Ave. in Brooklyn, N.Y., will host a series of meditation sessions and a book party Saturday, April 11 at 1 p.m. to introduce Ra Un Nefer Amen’s latest book, “Stress Free for Life.” Call 718-469-3199 or visit

The Institute of the Black World 21st Century presents their International Reparations Summit at various sites across New York City, Thursday, April 9 through Saturday, April 11. Speakers will include professor Sir Hilary Beckles, vice chancellor of the University of the West Indies and chair of the Caribbean Community’s Reparations Commission; civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson; professor Charles Ogeltree of Harvard University; and Mireille Fanon Mendes France, president of the Frantz Fanon Foundation and chair of the U.N. Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent. U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr., the most senior member of Congress and dean of the Congressional Black Caucus, will be honored for HR 40, the “Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act,” and for his 50 years of service on Capitol Hill. Call 718-429-1415 or visit

A dialogue on “Police Brutality, Racial Injustice, Economic Inequality and Social Transformation” between Dr. Cornel West, author, educator and activist, and Lawrence Hamm, chairman of the Peoples Organization for Progress, takes place Monday, April 13. Moderated by the Rev. Dr. M. William Howard and hosted by Bethany Baptist Church, 275 West Market St., Newark N.J. For information, call 973-801-0001.

Hear Imhotep Gary Byrd on 107.5 WBLS-FM weekly with “Express Yourself,” Sunday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. and simulcast over WLIB 1190AM. The full show can also be heard on HD radio at WBLS-HD2 and at and iHeartRadio. IGB is also heard on WBAI-FM 99.5 with Radio GBE: “The Global Black Experience” and “The Global Beat Experience,” Fridays 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Both shows are archived online at To contact us for bookings or to reach us about your event or for comments, email, find us at Imhotep Gary Byrd on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @GBELIFE or call 212-592-3279.