Chicagoans You Need to Know: Val Gray Ward

CHICAGO -- Val Gray Ward is a Chicagoan you need to know. She is an actress, director and arts activist in the Black Arts Movement.

Her vision brought us the Kuumba Theatre in 1968, which aims to revitalize the black community through the arts.

She won an Emmy Award for her WTTW special, "Precious Memories: Strolling 47th Street." She earned a Grammy Award nomination for her spoken word album, "Rhapsody in Hughes101," which brought Langston Hughes poems to life with music.

Val Gray Ward has been called the "voice of the black writer." Her one-woman show, "My Soul is a Witness," is a collection of her favorite African American writers.

She's reviving her show for one night at the Logan Center for the Arts, which is located at 915 East 60th Street in Chicago. The performance will start at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 1.

For tickets, visit