Ddeborah Gregory and Victoria Rowell speaking at the recent 'Page to Stage' event in New York

*Everyone remembers Victoria Rowell as the sexy Drucilla Winters on the long running CBS daytime drama, ‘The Young and the Restless.’ Now, the award winning actress is responsible for helping to make history on the popular show.

Working with the National Urban League, she persuaded the perennial soap to hire its first African American director, Albert Alarr, and first African American writer, Susan Dansby. While promoting her New York Times bestselling memoir, The Women Who Raised Me, at Page to Stage, a “concert of words” in Manhattan, she talked exclusively to Tene’ Croom about what started her journey to bring changes behind the camera at Young and the Restless.

“It’s a billion dollar program. Over fifty percent of the audience are African American, predominantly Black women in the South. I was always intrigued the lion’s share of the audience was African American and predominantly female. But, I didn’t see many of us behind the camera. I began to inquire and found out that the show had never hired a Black writer or director or makeup artist. The list goes on and on.”

What about Rowell? Will we see her back as Drucilla on Young and the Restless, a character she played for 14 years?

“There’s a very serious campaign going on right now on social media, Twitter: @victoriarowell, Facebook. People are writing in. People call everyday to Sony and CBS asking for my return.”

Meanwhile, she’s excited about Page to Stage, a thoroughly enjoyable literary extravaganza that debuted at the Big Apple performing arts center, Symphony Space, on November 18.

Rowell and other bestselling authors took to the stage. They spoke so eloquently the words from their books at times, you thought you were watching a movie, not a person, just standing on stage reading.

The likes of innovative filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles, the jocose Deborah Gregory, creator of the blockbuster franchise Cheetah Girls and Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour, America’s first African American female combat pilot, were among the authors who read from their books. Gregory’s latest offering is Catwalk and Armour’s first book is entitled Zero to Breakthrough.

Proceeds from the event went to the Melvin Van Peebles Foundation to promote literacy. Page to Stage was the brainchild of Marva Allen, owner of Hue-Man Bookstore in Harlem. Hue-Man is the only African American owned bookstore in New York City.

The theatrical and thought provoking show is set to tour across the country in 2012 in what’s billed as “Get on the Bus.” Celebrated actor Blair Underwood has agreed to join them when they hit the road.

Tene Croom and Melvin Van Peebles

Tene’ Croom is president of Tene’ Croom Communications (www.tenecroom.com).  Contact her at: [email protected].