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Youth Perform In South L.A.

Year of the diamond cast
Year of the diamond cast
Tony Hicks

With Black History Month coming to an end it’s fitting to highlight a performance and skit series titled “YouthTacular” an African American Pioneers celebration featuring The Year Of The Diamond Cast. The event held at New Freedom Church on Naomi Ave. in Los Angeles was a spirited performance by youth that displayed their talents in singing, dancing, playing of musical instruments, comedy, fun facts, acting, stage managing, light & sound skills, and other demonstrated skills found within the entertainment industry.

One skit titled Martin: Birmingham Letters depicted civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. writing letters from a Birmingham jail, while his thoughts were being narrated for the audience. King wrote “the black man was dealing with two forces; one was a force of complacency, and the other was a force of violence” and neither was helping achieve the opportunities they wanted.

There were some fun facts shared with attendees such as poet Maya Angelou was born on the same day as MLK was shot and killed (April 4th) and for many years she would not celebrate her birthday. Black History Month is celebrated in February because one of the supporters of Negro History Week (later changed to Black History Month) Carter G. Woodson liked and respected Frederick Douglas, and Abraham Lincoln who both had birthdays in February. Also Muhammad Ali said that once he witnessed boxer Sugar Ray Robinson turn down an autograph request from a boy….so he said that’s why he was very accommodating to requests of his autograph.

Much of the evening was filled with youth dancing and singing – and this writer truly enjoyed watching the entire cast show off their talents and skills, and have fun while doing so. Programs like this should be supported because it provides opportunities for youth to practice in the entertainment arena, and it helps their self esteem.

Special thanks go out to Pastor James Taylor, Director Mello Desire, and the entire cast/crew Manny Gilbert, Sandra Delcid, Anton Burrell, Lynzie Glover, Mariana Delcid, Antonius Childress, Xacorra, Sister Shirley, Laura Martinez, Brandon Jyrome Jones, Shawn Alexander, and J Rarebreed Gregory, and anyone I may have missed. And also thanks to those who came out to support this enriching experience. Congratulations!