Here’s a look at African American people and issues making headlines throughout the country.

With 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s today, African Americans are twice as likely to be diagnosed with the disease. As awareness continues to grow around Alzheimer’s, the new Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry created and led by Banner Alzheimer’s Institute allows concerned individuals to enroll and help further research in an effort to treat and prevent the disease. A new survey shows nearly half of U.S. adults have a personal connection to Alzheimer’s disease. According to a national survey for the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, the results also found more than seven in 10 adults, or 218 million Americans, worry about memory loss or the disease for themselves or a loved one.

The Los Angeles Lakers will hold ceremonies to honor three of their all-time great players during the 2012-13 season. In the first of these events, on Friday, Nov. 16, the Lakers and Staples Center will unveil a statue of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at Star Plaza outside the center. Kareem’s statue will join those of former Lakers Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Jerry West; former Kings hockey great Wayne Gretzky, boxer Oscar De La Hoya and former Lakers broadcaster Francis “Chick” Hearn. Abdul-Jabbar was a member of the Lakers from 1975-1989. He finished his career as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer (38,287), a record that still stands today. His accolades include six NBA championships (1971, ’80, ’82, ’85, ’87 and ’88); six time NBA MVP (1971, ’72, ’74, ’76, ’77 and ’80); 10 time All-NBA First Team; Five-time All-Defensive first team; six time All-Defensive Second Team and 19 time All-Star. Abdul-Jabbar was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995.
The 22nd annual NAACP Theatre Awards, presented by the NAACP Beverly Hills/Hollywood Branch, was recently held at the Directors Guild of America in Hollywood. It was appropriately themed “A Salute to Black Theatre.” According to the African Theatre Ensemble, “through pioneering creative efforts, theater has become functional, collective, and committed as reflected in the unique rituals and particular historical perspectives of African and African American people. African Theatre is ritualized through music, poetry, dance, folklore, and religion, thus creating a theater art form that serves a greater purpose than theater for theater’s sake. The mission of the African Theatre Ensemble, therefore, is to strengthen our identity, confirm our history, and concretize our future directions.”
On Saturday, Dec. 1, Charlie’s Angels, a unique family with gifts ranging from singing, acting, praise dancing, rapping and producing will yield their talents to giving back. The family will host a concert at the New Antioch Church of God in Christ. The Rev. Jeffrey Martin Lewis is the pastor, and the church is located at 7826 S. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles. Charlie’s Angels are the children and grandchildren of the late Charlie Stewart Jr., who passed away in 2001. In honor of Charlie, the family is performing a concert to raise funds that will benefit the Heritage House Group Home, a nonprofit organization founded in 1991. Heritage House Group Home houses teens ages 13-18, who have experienced abandonment, who are rebellious, have been sexually abused/assaulted, are victims of parent neglect, and the list goes on.

The Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce recently honored excellence in business at the 2012 Diamond Awards presented by Montica Jewelry at the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables. CBS 4’s Lissette Gonzalez served as mistress of ceremonies at the annual awards luncheon. Each year, the chamber’s Diamond Awards shine the spotlight of recognition upon outstanding Coral Gables businesses. It is the chamber’s signature awards program, each year honoring excellence in business achievement, corporate citizenship, customer service and workplace environment. The Diamond Awards honored businesses in seven different categories this year. Among the winners was Sonshine Communications, which took home the minority-owned business award.

“During these current economic times of uncertainty, we have seen many of those who are in business attempting to tighten their belts, cut back and suspend their charity giving, but Go Bananas is doing the opposite.” This is how the Rev. Jesse Jackson described Go Bananas Family Entertainment Center after the entire student body of Reavis Elementary School and their families had a great day of fun as guests of Go Bananas on Nov. 25 in 2011. In addition to the Reavis School outing, Go Bananas has hosted many groups, including Chicago Hopes, which helps homeless children, Misericordia Heart of Mercy and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago. Go Bananas has also donated more than $24,000 to school PTOs and PTAs through its “50% Give Back” program. “We coordinate with an organization to create ‘Their Day at Go Bananas.’ They promote the event to their members or parents and Go Bananas donates 50 percent of whatever their group spends that day back to the organization,” explained Go Bananas owner, Jerrold Marks. “The families have a great time together, and we help the organization raise money.”

President and CEO of the NAACP Ben Jealous, President and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation Melanie Campbell, and CEO of the Black Leadership Forum Gary Flowers, were among the guests on Washington Watch with Roland Martin this week. Topics explored during the one-hour episode included Obama’s second-term victory and the expectations that follow; analysis of minority turnout at the polls; touching highlights of the first family during election night. The Rev. Omarosa Manigault, reality television personality, former political consultant and minister, joined Martin to discuss celebrity efforts and support for the president’s re-election campaign.

The National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) Executive Director Guillermo Hysaw was recently appointed to the American Institute of CPA’s (AICPA) National Commission on Diversity. Hysaw, along with 14 other members, will focus on increasing diversity in the CPA profession and the advancement of minorities throughout the accounting industry. Hysaw’s experience in strategic management, financial modeling, and his dedication to diversity initiatives has given him a wealth of experience and knowledge that will greatly contribute to the mission of AICPA.
“OMG, That’s So Ghetto” is in the fundraising stages and needs to raise $64,000 in order to finish filming. The film aims to challenge stereotypes, highlighting how the poor and underprivileged are viewed and spoken of in the country. Holocaust survivors, beat cops and reporters, drug dealers, community leaders, activists, writers and even teenagers have one thing in common in this film–a relationship with and an interpretation of the word ghetto. This film will depict the director’s tour of the country, asking a myriad of individuals about what the word ghetto means to them. To raise the $64,000, the organization is using the popular crowd-funding site, Kickstarter, to do so ( Time is of the essence because the Kickstarter campaign has less than 25 days left, and if the goal is not met, the film will not receive any of the funds raised thus far.