On August 25 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Aaron Davis Hall’s Marian Anderson Theater will host the fourth annual National Black Sports & Entertainment Hall of Fame (NBS&EHF) induction ceremony gala. Harlem’s 134th Street and Convent Avenue will be the scene of the celebrations.
National Black Sports And Entertainment Hall of Fame Members
The star-studded banquet will cap off the NBS&EHF’s final round of inductions for the year and honour both living and deceased sports and entertainment icons.
Lloyd Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the NBS&EHF, said, “As New York City is one of the greatest sports and entertainment meccas in the world, the National Black Sports and Entertainment Hall of Fame and Museum is honoured to give tribute to individuals that exemplify the spirit of excellence and brotherhood.”
On October 25, the following will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: soul singer Teddy Pendergrass; track and field Olympic gold medalist Diane L. Dixon; NBA Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson; photojournalist and film director Gordon Parks; soccer legend Pel;
actor and activist Danny Glover; MLB great Curt Flood; director, writer, actor, and producer Melvin Van Peebles; tennis pro and multiple Wimbledon champion Billie Jean King; professional golfer Lee Elder; vocalist and songwriter Robert Townsend, an actor, director, producer, comedian, and writer, will be there to recognise the contributions of those who came before him.
Musician and cultural icon Ray Charles, baseball great Harold Henry “Pee Wee” Reese, jazz drummer and bandleader Gene Krupa, jazz icon Carmen McRae, legendary Big Band leader Cab Calloway, Walter “Sweetness” Payton, NBA great Gus Johnson, Olympic gold medalist and NFL wide receiver Bob Hayes, Baseball Hall of Famer Roy Campanella, and percussionist and bandleader Mongo Santamaria were all inducted posthumously.
This evening’s festivities will include a tribute to inductee Ray Charles, whose charisma and musical talent epitomise the best of what it means to call America “beautiful.” Cheryl Farrell, a member of JeopardyClue !’s Crew, will sing a heartfelt rendition of “America the Beautiful” in his honour.
The special presentation will also feature Kerry Washington (She Hate Me), who plays Ray Charles’s wife in the upcoming film Ray.
Richard Parsons, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Time Warner, and Lerone Bennett Jr., Executive Director of EBONY Magazine, will receive the Paul Robeson Lifetime Achievement Award.
Lois Mailou Jones (posthumously) and Arthur Mitchell (living) will be honoured with worldwide special prizes in fine arts and performing arts, respectively. The Outstanding Public Service Award is being presented to the Honorable Charles B. Rangel.
As a special touch, Madame Tussaud’s New York will provide life-size, three-dimensional wax figures of current and past NBS&EHF inductees like Pel and Billie Jean King for display at the gala reception, giving guests a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take photos with some of the world’s most recognisable figures.