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Twenty-second Annual Trumpet Awards honor great achievers

By Stan Washington | 1/24/2014, 2:01 p.m.
The Trumpet Awards Weekend is the brainchild of Trumpet Awards Foundation founder and CEO Xerona Clayton, one of the first ...

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Alfre Woodward

DeVon Franklin, senior vice president at Columbia TriStar Pictures is one of those rare persons of color at a Hollywood studio who can actually help a film project get made. Alfre Woodward is one of this nation’s most talented actresses. Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff are two legendary music producers who help make Philadelphia one of this nation’s music capitals. Tommy Smith and John Carlos were Olympic track teammates when they shocked the world by raising their black-gloved fists in protest at their medal ceremony during the 1968 Summer Olympics.

These notables and others will be honored during Trumpet Awards Weekend in Atlanta. Franklin and Woodard will receive their accolades during the 22nd Annual Trumpet Awards on Saturday, Jan. 25 at the Cobb Energy Center. Smith and Carlos will be enshrined into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame on Friday, Jan. 24 which is sponsored by the Trumpet Awards Foundation.

The weekend also included a Prayer Breakfast on Thursday and a luncheon honoring women titled “High Tea and High Heels” and a Race Relations Symposium.

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Gamble and Huff

The Trumpet Awards Weekend is the brainchild of Trumpet Awards Foundation founder and CEO Xerona Clayton, one of the first African Americans who appeared regularly on Atlanta television.

“We have come so far since we started this project in 1993 and I am extremely obliged to those individuals who saw the vision and who have worked with us for nearly twenty years,” Clayton said. “ We have now joined the global community and are most jubilant to bring this event to the world and to celebrate the achievements of those who had an impact on our society,”

Also being honored along with Franklin, Woodard, Gamble and Huff are: The Hon. Kamala Harris, Attorney General of California; Deryl and Cheryl McKissack, President and CEO, McKissack & McKissack; Professor Charles J. Ogletree Jr., Harvard Law School; Steve Pemberton, VP, Chief Diversity Officer, Walgreen’s; Bronner Brothers of Bronner Brothers Hair Products; Williams Sisters, designers.

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Melissa De Sousa, actress

Hosting the black-tie affair will be Melissa De Sousa, known for her performances in "The Best Man," "The Best Man Holiday," and "The Ron Clark Story;" and Laz Alonso, known for his starring performances in "Fast and the Furious," "Jump the Broom," and is soon to be seen in a lead role in Sony Screen Gems’ Battle of the Year.

Former Olympian track stars Carlos and Smith will have their footprints enshrined along with eight other Civil Rights icons at the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame which is located next to the Martin Luther King Jr. Visitors Center on Auburn Ave. The ceremony will take place at Ebenezer Baptist Church.

The 2014 honorees include Bishop John Hurst Adams, The Honorable Roy Barnes, The Honorable Perry Gladstone Christie (Prime Minister of the Bahamas) , Dr. Norman C. Frances, Harry E. Johnson, Sr., Representative Calvin Smyre, Thomas N. Todd and Rev. Jasper W. Williams, Jr.

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Laz Alonso, actor

The Walk of Fame was created in 2004 to give recognition to the foot soldiers of justice who sacrificed and struggled to make equality a reality for all.

“This walk of fame tells a phenomenal story about the legacy of this nation,” said Clayton who was once M.L. King’s secretary. “ It is a permanent testimony to those who have dedicated themselves to progress of our people and to this nation. Many of the shoes we use in the display remain on exhibition within the Visitors Center for those who visit the King Complex.”

The ceremony for the Civil Rights Walk of Fame is free and open to the public. The Trumpet Awards is a ticketed event and will air several times on TV One. Check local listings.