This upcoming year is going to usher in challenges for most of us. Will we retain hard-fought rights under a (gulp) Trump/Pence administration? Will we see our friends or loved ones deported? Will we be forced to choose between a trip to the doctor and shoes for the kids? Will there be border patrols monitoring the Burger King bathrooms to make sure that we have the proper genitalia to enter?

Kwanzaa begins Dec. 26 and runs until Jan. 1.

It is a celebration that honors African heritage in African-American culture and is based on seven core principles: Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity) and Imani (Faith). This week’s portrait, Meg Onli, embodies several of those principles.

Gary M. Kramer loves movies. The prolific freelancer is a contributing writer to alternative queer weeklies including, Gay City News in New York City, The San Francisco Bay Times and our very own PGN. His work also appears on the websites Salon, Slant, Bomb and Cinedelphia. He has authored, edited and contributed to several books, including most recently “The Directory of World Cinema: Argentina.” As one reviewer noted: “Gary Kramer notices things I never caught, making me want to go back and watch the films again.”

Jermel Johnson is the first African-American male principal dancer at Pennsylvania Ballet. He made a name for himself early with his impressive jumps and high energy. Johnson has performed several leading roles, including as principal in George Balanchine’s “Square Dance” and Oberon in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” which led to Pointe Magazine naming him one of their standout performances of 2013.

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”

— Virginia Woolf

I saw Michael Kelly-Cataldi perform a while back at a backyard gathering of jazz singers and musicians. In a crowd of amazing and seasoned performers like the great Jeannie Brooks and our host Wendy Simon, Kelly-Cataldi brought the house down with his whimsical version of Ella Fitzgerald’s “A-Tisket A-Tasket.” While on stage he mentioned that he and his husband Dino were opening a supper club called Dino’s Backstage. The dashing and dynamic pair already own and operate the popular Kelly-Cataldi HOME boutique in Glenside.

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