As apart of my Essence Music Festival experience in New Orleans this past weekend, I got the opportunity to celebrate phenomenal, everyday heroes at the McDonald’s® 365Black® Awards. Entertainers, professional athletes, political figures and hundreds of citizens from across the nation packed the Mahalia Jackson Theater in New Orleans Friday for the 2012 McDonald’s 365Black Awards, an annual event honoring outstanding African-Americans who are making positive contributions to the community. Hundreds of guests attended the ninth annual ceremony honoring multi-platinum and 10-time GRAMMY® winning recording artist Chaka Khan; global humanitarian, best-selling inspirational author/entrepreneur Bishop T.D. Jakes; GRAMMY-nominated R&B singer/songwriter Tamia and husband, All-Star NBA® player, Grant Hill; teenage medical innovator Tony Hansberry, II; youth empowerment activist Mary-Pat Hector; and McDonald’s owner/operators, Tina and Harold Lewis.
“Helping others and giving back are critical components to making our community stronger, and it was moving to witness the number of celebrities and community members who supported the event,” said Chaka Khan, founder of The Chaka Khan Foundation. “I am humbled I was chosen to receive the 365Black Award with such an amazing group of individuals who also embrace community service. I commend McDonald’s for their ongoing efforts to make community service a priority.”
Khan closed the ceremony with a surprise performance. Singer/songwriter Marsha Ambrosius, national television journalist Roland Martin, entertainment correspondent Janell Snowden and R&B singer Tank were among celebrities on-hand at the ceremony hosted by actor Laz Alonso. GRAMMY winning gospel star Fred Hammond, GRAMMY-nominated artists Melanie Fiona and Eric Benet, and hip-hop legend Doug E. Fresh also performed to help pay tribute to the honorees. A great time was had by all!
Photo Credit: Chris Mitchell & DivasandDorks.com