Betty K. Bynum
Betty K. Bynum, who “gives God all the praise and glory” is an actress, writer, singer and songwriter and entrepreneur. As a motivational speaker, Betty K. Bynum was exclusively selected and honored to attend The Second Annual AfAm Women Lead Student Summit to Ensure Equity for Black Girls as presented by THE WHITE HOUSE INITIATIVE ON EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE FOR AFRICAN-AMERICANS in Washington D.C. Her company Dreamtitle Publishing LLC and PaperUp Publishing LLC produces children's books aimed at glorifying children of color as they are -- by starring in their own modern and cultural relevant stories to fill a void for our children in a loving and celebratory manner that has been unaddressed by the major publishing industry. Included in her company's roster are novels, graphic novels and sci-fi genre. Her newest title which launches the #Bbrilliant books and apparel brand, I'M A BRILLIANT LITTLE BLACK BOY! co-authored by her college student son, Joshua B. Drummond -- is a bestselling, critically acclaimed children's book that has taken the children's book marketplace by storm with sales outperforming the first book title, I'M A PRETTY LITTLE BLACK GIRL!, an NAACP NOMINEE for OUTSTANDING CHILDREN'S WORK / LITERATURE. She has secured a commitment with TARGET CORPORATION for “THE I’M A GIRL COLLECTION” book series launch that is currently selling strong in TARGET stores since it's on-shelf introduction in Fall 2013. Additional series titles are scheduled, following the recent premiere of the book character’s MIA doll as manufactured by MADAME ALEXANDER/ ALEXANDER DOLL COMPANY.
“THE I’M A GIRL COLLECTION” is created out of her passion and love, and her intense tenacity. Taking on a challenge from her son, Joshua, who presented the challenge that she create books to reflect the world he lives in, a “global community” inclusive of all colors, she created a line of books, dolls and apparel for all girls. The focus of the brand lands particularly on girls of color who should be honored with love and caring. Thus, celebrating their beauty and desire for validation for their culture and for themselves “just as they are” without having to change or modify their own individuality. The #Bboy Collection / The I’m A Boy! Collection is positioned to extend and grow the brand's overall success.
As a versatile and creative artist, Betty landed a film deal for her feature film script THE BROWN ENVELOPE with FOX SEARCHLIGHT Studios and TODD BLACK, Producer ("Fences" “The Great Debaters”, “The Pursuit of Happyness”). Her play QUILTERS OF GEE’S BEND: A PATCHWORK PLAY IN STORIES AND SONGS is also now a feature film script. She is overjoyed to know the real Quilters, a select group of women in Gee’s Bend personally, and to have been invited to write their stories for the stage and film. Along with her first screenplay “STONEY END”, she has written a compatible series of 16 songs. Betty has also written another set of nine songs and is in the process of recording her own songbook of R&B/Jazz songs.
She was a recipient of the USC / BILL & CAMILLE COSBY SCREENWRITING FELLOWSHIP and a finalist the Scriptapalooza screenwriting competition.Her film and television credits as an actress, to name a few, include DEATH AT A FUNERAL (with CHRIS ROCK), ER, CHARMED, WHAT ABOUT YOUR FRIENDS, UNTAMED LOVE and also stars in “TIME OUT” -- winner of the HBO SHORT FILM AWARD with John Singleton, Executive Producer. As a Feature Article writer and Journalist, she has contributed numerous articles to the national publication SAVOY MAGAZINE and the Los Angeles based DYSONNA MAGAZINE.
Her strong, versatile talents have landed her in original theatre productions of “SPUNK” directed by George C. Wolfe, and “DREAMGIRLS” directed by Michael Bennett. She work-shopped a lead role in two early presentations of the new BERRY GORDY/ SUZANNE de PASSE “THE MOTOWN MUSICAL”. Betty has worked extensively in Regional theaters such as Hartford Stage Co., Williamstown Theatre Festival, Denver Center Theatre, The Mark Taper Forum “New Works Festival”, Baltimore Center Stage, and the Negro Ensemble Company of New York. As a singer, she has headlined in major Jazz Clubs like Catalina Bar & Grill, and opened for artists such as PATTI AUSTIN. She was a student in the Cinema Program for Directing at LACC in Los Angeles and an active participant in The Writers Program at UCLA. She has completed her first novel, “COURAGE”, has written several screenplays, which include “ALL MY BEAUTIFUL SISTERS” and “IN LOVE AND TROUBLE”; and three plays, “OF GRITS AND NATURAL GRACE”, “A MAZE IN GRACE” and “PIGMENTATION BLUES” directed by Bill Duke which was a Finalist in the KENNEDY CENTER FUND FOR NEW AMERICAN PLAYS and Winner in the THEODORE WARD PRIZE FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN PLAYWRIGHTS under the dramaturgical guidance of L. Kenneth Richardson and Jose Rivera, respectively. Ms. Bynum became a member of the Los Angeles based Playwrights Unit, headed by Jose Rivera (MOTORCYCLE DIARIES) in collaboration with Ensemble Studio Theatre West. Currently in development is her new play, “OF GRITS AND NATURAL GRACE”, and a musical “BLUES TO A WARTIME REVEILLE”. By commission, she has written the jazz musical based on bebop music and the life of ELLA FITZGERALD entitled “BEBOPERELLA” as well as commissioned to write a stage event with full orchestra, “OH, FREEDOM” (a history of African-Americans from slavery to rap music) both to star Patti Austin.
She has singularly produced fundraising events sponsored by Bill Duke, John Singleton and Antwone Fisher to support PEACE4KIDS, the non-profit foster kids organization of South Central Los Angeles. Her entrepreneurship includes a delightful line of handbags bags premiered in Fred Segal, Santa Monica under the designer name of BETTIE BAGS