Teesee’s Town

Several men – all from different stations in life – receive recognition as “faithful fathers” at the inaugural National Gala Tribute presented by The Pine Forge Academy Foundation, which supports Pine Forge Academy, a unique b

áSeveral men – all from different stations in life – receive recognition as “faithful fathers” at the inaugural National Gala Tribute presented by The Pine Forge Academy Foundation, which supports Pine Forge Academy, a unique boarding school in Pennsylvania built especially for African Americans. The gala, June 20 at Alhambra Palace, 1240 W. Randolph, is guest hosted by Rev. Clifton Davis, a Pine Forge Academy graduate who is best known for his for role as Rev. Ruebin Gregory, the real life inner-city minister in the former NBC prime-time sitcom Amen.

áá Honorees: Rev. Otis Moss Jr., of Cleveland, renowned theologian and civil rights leader; Eddie Levert, father of Gerald and Sean Levert; Dr. Wintley Phipps, president and CEO, U.S. Dream Academy; Garrard McClendon, host of Garrard McClendon Live, WGN-TV; George Sampson Sr., father of 13 children, all educated at PFA; Dr. Ronald L. Anderson, PFA graduate and a leading ophthalmologist; and Phillip Jackson, founder and executive director of The Black Star Project. The fundraiser, intended to introduce residents of Chicago to Pine Forge Academy and to generate support for the school and its capital campaign, will feature dinner, art auction and concert by Timeless Voices: Eddie Levert, The O’Jays; Dennis Edwards, The Temptations and Gerald Austin, The Manhattans. The gala emcee: David A. Arnold, PFA alumni, comedian and head writer for Tyler Perry’s House of Payne and Meet the Browns. Barbara Massey, a PFA alumna, is the foundation’s executive director.

ááá Nestled in the rolling hills of the Allegheny Mountains in Berks County, the academy is a haven for inner-city African American girls and boys in quest of a Christian education and training. PFA, over 60 years old, is one of only four surviving historically Black boarding high schools in North America. The school has a 100 percent graduation rate with 98 percent of its students entering college. The foundation’s goal is to raise $12 million, $5 million of which will go for a student multiplex center to house a library, theater, cafeteria, rehearsal room and dorm rooms áááá The gala is intended to introduce Chicagoans to Pine Forge Academy and to generate support for the school and its capital campaign. Tickets: $200-$75. For more info, call (312) 212-4399 or www.pfafgala.org. ááá Book Look – Film legend Pam Grier, who appeared as Queen Latifah‘s mom in the movie, Just Wright, comes this way June 11, 5:30 p.m., to Azizi Books in Lincoln Mall to promote her memoir, Foxy: My Life in Three Acts. Grier’s well-known for her tough roles as the gun-toting, gutsy Foxy Brown, Jackie Brown and Coffy, as well as more recent work on The L Word, Law & Order, Miami Vice and Bones. Foxy chronicles Grier’s turbulent and fascinating life from childhood to Hollywood to the present and is a testimony to her life. She reveals her relationships with Richard Pryor, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Freddie Prinze Sr. and her friendship with Minnie Ripperton. And in words sure to inspire, she writes of her ongoing battle with cancer. From disappointments to triumphs, nothing is held back. Foxy has hit the New York Times bestseller list, evident of the level of success the book is already experiencing with only a few weeks on the market. Between the Pages and The Nielsen Co sponsor the book promo. ááá Cool Quote – Handsome Malcolm Jamal Warner (remember Theo Huxtable from The Cosby Show and Malcolm & Eddie?) in town to speak to young folk at Christ Universal Temple on Sunday, visited the Chicago Defender offices on Friday for an interview and tour. And he was so gracious to take pictures with all of us adoring fans – young and old alike! When asked what was he going to tell the young folk, he said: “”We spend so much time and attention on the kids who aren’t doing well, have low self esteem and who aren’t doing well and don’t care about the future. There are many who do get it and do see a future for themselves. If we take a little more responsibility and give them more attention and accentuate the positive side, then those young people who are on the fence will start gravitating toward that side. I’ll be speaking to the young people at the church to encourage, support and inspire the path they are already on.” Well said, Malcolm! áááá Curtain Call – Congo Square Theatre Co.’s The Colored Museum, George C. Wolfe’s ground-breaking comedy, has opened with previews and is weekends through June 27 at the Chicago Center for the Performing Arts, 777 N. Green St. Tickets are $25; show times, 7:30 p.m. on Fridays, 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays and 3 p.m. on Sundays. Anthony Irons, who has been a Congo Square ensemble member since 2004, directs; his Congo acting credits include TopDog/UnderDog, Elmira’s Kitchen, The African Company Presents Richard III, Layla’s Dream, Deep Azure and King of Coons, for which he won a Black Theatre Alliance Award and an African American Arts Alliance Award. ááá In his directorial debut for Congo Square, Irons draws upon his training and past performances at Second City as he unveils sketch comedy which is found through satirical, exaggerated images of Black life by accentuating the extreme stereotypes of Blacks in 11 sketches or “museum exhibits” that satirize the Black experience in America during the 1980’s. “Stylistically, The Colored Museum lends itself to sketch comedy with a series of short vignettes that find actors quickly transforming in time and space, moving through what may seem to be completely unrelated characters and realities,” stated Irons. For more info/tickets, call (312) 733-6000 or visit www.theaterland.com.á ááá Newsy Names – Ald. Michelle Harris (8th) picks up Humanitarian of the Year honor from the Foundation for Jackson Park Hospital & Medical Center at Saturday’s 31st Annual Gala at the Hyatt Regency. Also cited: Dr. Joyce R. Miller, Physician of the Year, and Delano Honeycutt, Employee of the Year. Dance to the music of The Gentlemen of Leisure, says Margo V. Brooks-Pugh, JPH vice prez … Happy b’day to Frances Jackson, Marissa Bullock, Deborah Olivia Brown, William “Dock” Walls, Charles Washington, Kyra Kyles, Clementine Coleman and Betty Kennedy, 86 … Rev. Helen Carry, retired executive minister at Christ Universal Temple, will be feted as “A Teacher’s Teacher” by Rev. Carlton Pearson, CUT’s interim senior minister, and its parishioners on June 25 at a “Gala Black Tie Dinner & Dance” at Harambee House. Spearheads: Fred Nelson III, Evelyn Boyd, Cecil Coleman, Stanley Griffin, Sandi Lynn, Gaylon McDowell, Terre Pettis and Michelle Rathel, Tickets: $100; call (773) 568-2282. Originally scheduled for the downtown Hyatt Hotel, Rev. Carry made it known she wanted to “stay In the community.” Good for her! …

áááá Eddie Read has re-convened meetings of the Chicago Black United Communities and the Black Independent Political Organization, which were founded in May, 1980 by Lu and Jorja Palmer (both now deceased). Chaired by Read, CBUC/BIPO met for the first time in a long time at its headquarters, 330 E. 37th St., “to address the many issues and challenges our people face,” Read said. “We need CBUC and BIPO now more than ever.” Call (773) 548-2000 … Wanda Sykes, called by her peers “one of the funniest stand-up comics,” takes centerstage in The Venue of Horeshoe Casino on June 12.á

Copyright 2010 Chicago Defender.

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