Very McCrary: Crystal McCrary taking over media

March 1, 2012

Crystal McCrary McGuire
Class, beauty and poise are just a few words that can describe Crystal McCrary. Taking over all forms of media, she’s known for her production of award-winning film and TV and being a bestselling author. Her latest book, “Inspiration: Profiles of Black Women Changing Our World,” is set for release just in time for Women’s History Month.

A native of Detroit, Mich., McCrary graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and moved to New York City in 1991 to attend the NYU School of Law. After practicing entertainment law, she said she wanted to be a client instead of a lawyer, causing her to leave her job to pursue a full-time career in writing and producing.

As a successful author, McCrary has penned the New York Times best-selling novels “Homecourt Advantage” and “Gotham Diaries.” She also served as executive producer for the independent film “Dirty Laundry.”

In the world of television, she has produced several shows for BET and Viacom, including the NAACP Image Award-nominated documentary series “Leading Women” and “Leading Men,” which highlighted achievements in the Black community. Prominent figures in the series included Dr. Maya Angelou, Iman, Monique, Hill Harper and Terrence Howard.

“A lot of my work has centered on featuring Black people in a manner that makes sure that their images are truly representative of us as a people,” she said. “As a Black woman, the images we see in music videos and reality shows are something that concerns me–the images that we see of us.”

“Inspiration: Profiles of Black Women Changing Our World” is scheduled for release March 1 and will feature profiles and pictures of women, including first lady Michelle Obama, Mary J. Blige and Venus Williams.

Said McCrary, “I have so many favorite quotes from the book. We as women need to be more concerned about being supportive of one another and being happy with one another. More are finding that light that we individually have and are sharing it with others to make us brighter.”

A mother of an 11-year-old son and a 9-year-old daughter, McCrary has a passion for youth. She particularly has concerns about the images Black children see in the media of people of color.

McCrary sits on the advisory board of Jumpstart, a national organization dedicated to increasing early childhood literacy, particularly in low-income communities, and the New 42nd Street Board, which gives low-income children access to Broadway shows.

“I’m very involved with education, particularly early childhood education,” she said. “We have a responsibility to our youth and our children and we as a society have not been taking care of them.”

McCrary’s views and opinions have landed her interviews on “TODAY,” “Good Morning America,” and CNN’s “American Morning.” She’s also been featured in People, Essence and Newsweek. Crain’s New York Business Magazine named her among its Forty Under Forty listing.

As for her next project, McCrary is working on a documentary titled “Little Ballers,” about urban youths and how basketball is being used as a means to obtain opportunities.