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Celebrating Black achievement for Black History Month


February 1, 2010

February is Black History Month, giving rise to many celebrations and awards recognizing the achievements of Black Americans. Consider involving your organization and your clients in national and local programs when possible.

Even if it is too late now to enter nominations, take this opportunity to begin planning for 2011.

Nationally, the BET network and the NAACP host televised events in February. Many organizations also host awards programs locally, including local chapters of the NAACP, the Links,  Jack and Jill, and graduate and undergraduate chapters of Black Greek organizations.

Successful for 41 years, the NAACP Image Awards recognize outstanding African-American performances and achievements in the arts, as well as creative endeavors promoting social justice.

Award categories include motion picture, television, writing and directing, recording and literature. Nominations may come from the artist, manager, publicist, production company, record label, studio, network or publisher.

From those entries, a committee of 300 industry professionals and NAACP leaders from across the country select five nominees in each of the 53 categories.  Then, NAACP members vote for the winners.

This year, the NAACP Image Awards will be broadcast on Fox on Feb. 26.

Similar to the NAACP Image Awards, Viacom’s BET hosts the annual BET Honors program, which celebrates the accomplishments of inspiring African-Americans.

This year’s honorees include: Whitney Houston (entertainment); Queen Latifah (media); Sean “Diddy” Combs (entrepreneur);Ruth Simmons (education) and Keith Black (public service). BET Honors will air on Feb. 1.

“Music, merriment and memories are only a small part of BET Honors,” Stephen Hill, president of music programming and specials, BET Networks, said in a release. “We also hope to encourage our viewers to embody and emulate the passion and drive of these individuals.”

PR professionals should consider attending or watching these ceremonies to gain additional insight into the African-American community and to network with the leaders attending these events.

Encourage your organization to nominate Black leaders who deserve recognition for these awards. 

You should also consider sponsoring one of the awards programs. By sponsoring a program, the organization can:

  • Gain brand/product exposure.
  • Associate their brand with a long-standing and respected organization.
  •  Demonstrate a message of commitment to the Black community.

Rochelle L. Ford, Ph.D., APR Rochelle L. Ford, Ph.D., APR, is associate dean, research and academic affairs, at Howard University. E-mail: rocFord@howard.edu.
Email: rocFord at howard.edu



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