Greetings! In our May 2018 GBE African Liberation Month, we highlight the birth date and the passing date of three international icons of the Global Black Experience. The passing May 11, 1981, of Robert Nesta Marley, undisputed “King of Reggae” and legendary musical activist whose songs remain an inspiration to freedom seekers around the world; the birthday of Steveland Morris, aka multiple Grammy Award winner Stevie Wonder (May 13); and the May 19 birthday of “Our Shining Black Prince,” El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, Malcolm X (See “COMMUNITY”).
Also a very Happy Mother’s Day to all our beloveds!
“Yellowman” a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in drama. Now playing until May 20 at The Billie Holiday Theatre, 1368 Fulton St., Brooklyn, N.Y. Call 718-636-6995 or visit thebillieholiday.org/visit-us/.
From the creators of “Mama I Want to Sing,” Vy Higginsen’s Mama Foundation for the Arts proudly announces the brand-new 30th anniversary production of their acclaimed musical, “Let the Music Play…Gospel!” Now playing at the Dempsey Theater in Harlem,127 W. 127th St., between Lenox and Seventh avenues. Tickets are available by calling 212-280-1045 or through OvationTix at Mamafoundation.org. For more information, please visit mamafoundation.org.
“Chicago,” the Tony Award-winning, record-breaking hit musical recently celebrating its 21st anniversary on Broadway, welcomes legendary singer-songwriter Valerie Simpson, making her Broadway debut in the role of Matron “Mama” Morton, at the Ambassador Theatre, 219 W. 49th St. For show information and tickets, call 212-239-6200 or visit telecharge.com.
“Sistas: The Musical,” St. Luke’s Theatre, 308 W. 46th St. (between Eighth and Ninth avenues), New York, N.Y. Now through June 24, 2018. For information, call 212-239-6200 or visit telecharge.com.
“Little Rock,” written and directed by Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj. History called it heroism. They called it high school. The riveting true story of the Little Rock Nine, the first Black students to attend their city’s formerly segregated Little Rock Central High School three years after the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. Performances are set to begin Wednesday, May 30, for a limited run through Sept. 8, 2018, at the Sheen Center for Thought & Culture (18 Bleecker St.). Opening night Thursday, June 14, at 7 p.m. Visit littlerockplay.com or sheencenter.org.
McDonald’s Gospelfest 2018 presents the praise and worship event of the year! Mother’s Day weekend at Newark Symphony Hall, starring Hezekiah Walker, Jekalyn Carr, Vashawn Mitchell, Le’Andria Johnson, Wes Morgan, Cissy Houston, Melba Moore, Keith “Wonderboy” Johnson. Bring your mom to the gospel event of the year. Mother’s Day weekend, Friday, May 11, at Symphony Hall. Call Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or go to TicketMaster.com. McDonald’s Gospel Fest 2018 is produced and directed by A. Curtis Farrow.
Get ready for the ultimate Mother’s Day Good Music Festival, starring Charlie Wilson, Boyz II Men, Kem and Joe, live May 12 at Barclays Center. Tickets are on sale now at Ticketmaster.com.
A Mother’s Day Show to remember! The 10th annual Mother’s Day Music Festival starring Maxwell, the legendary Gladys Knight and special guest Vivian Green. Saturday, May 12, on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, N.J. Visit ticketmaster.com or platinumshows.com.
Smooth soul and message funk from one of the most influential bands in the history of R&B! Groove out to Earth, Wind & Fire’s greatest hits, June 4 and June 5 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, 1 Center St., Newark, N.J. Visit ticketmaster.com.
Catch Jilly from Philly as Jill Scott hits the stage live June 27 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, 1 Center St., Newark, N.J. Visit ticketmaster.com.
Monique’s Mother’s Day Comedy Special with Tone X. The stand-up artist and Oscar-winning actress hosts an evening of fun, Saturday, May 12, at 8 p.m. Monique was the first woman to host NBC’s “Showtime at the Apollo.” Visit apollotheatre.org.
The New York African Film Festival presents its landmark 25th anniversary event, honoring African cinema from Africa and the Diaspora, with programs at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Maysles Cinema and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. More than 70 titles from 25 countries. Visit africanfilmny.org.
“Acrimony,” a faithful wife (Taraji P. Henson) tired of standing by her devious husband is enraged when it becomes clear she has been betrayed. A Tyler Perry film. Check listings.
“Deconstruction of Harlem’s Black Theaters: A Town Hall Meeting,” a panel discussion with five distinguished Black theater pioneers: Vy Higgensen, Woodie King Jr., Sade Lythcott, George Faison and Voza Rivers. Monday, May 14, at 8:30 p.m., Harlem Hospital Center Cave Auditorium,135th Street and Malcolm X Boulevard. Free. Call 212 926-0104. RSVP at Eventbrite.
The Organization of African-American Unity, under the leadership of Professor James Small, and the Sons of Africa invite the community to join their 53rd annual Pilgrimage to the gravesite of our ancestor Malcolm X in celebration of Brother Malcolm’s 93rd birthday, Saturday, May 19, 2018, at the Ferncliff Cemetery in Ardsley, N.Y. Buses leave 125th Street and Adam Clayton Boulevard at 9:30 a.m. O.A.A.U. and Sons of Africa buses are free to all.
The New York Chapter of Kawaida Organizations, in conjunction with the International African Arts Festival, will host the 49th Malcolm X Black Unity Awards Program. Awardees are Dr. Julius Garvey son of Marcus Mosiah Garvey, and Sister Maisha Ongoza, chair of Philadelphia Chapter of the National Association of Kawaida Organizations. The program will open with a film on Malcolm’s life. Sunday, May 20, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza in the International African Arts Festival office, Suite 401. A minimum donation is suggested. For information, call 718-789-3264, visit firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.festival.org or email@example.com.
Honoring the memory of Brother Gil Noble, Sister Kefa Nephthys and Brother Jack Felder. Speakers are Camille Yarbrough, Chris Noble and Nova Felder. May 26 at 2 p.m., CEMOTAP Center, 135-05 Rockaway Boulevard, South Ozone Park, N.Y. Free admission. Call 347-907-0629.
Hear Imhotep Gary Byrd on 107.5 WBLS-FM weekly with “Express Yourself,” Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and simulcast over WLIB 1190AM. The full show can also be heard on HD radio at WBLS-HD2 and at WBLS.com.,WLIB.com 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. Archived online at www.wbai.org. For bookings or to reach us about your GBEvent or for comments, email co-editor Nyerere, firstname.lastname@example.org, find us at Imhotep Gary Byrd on Facebook or call 212-592-3279.