National Black Sports and
Entertainment Hall of Fame
2002 After Action Report

PAUL ROBESON
AWARD

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IN 2004
NATIONAL BLACK SPORTS &
ENTERTAINMENT HALL OF FAME
INDUCTED TEDDY PENDERGRASS, PELÉ, OSCAR ROBERTSON, GORDON PARKS, BOB HAYES AND OTHER GREATS

Richard Parsons, Lerone Bennett Jr., Romare Bearden and Congressman Charles B. Rangel honored; André Ward, Freddie Jackson, Ray Chew and the Crew performed at Gala

            On August 25, 2004, nearly a thousand guests and honorees filled Aaron Davis Hall’s Marian Anderson Theater in Harlem, U.S.A., for the Fourth Annual National Black Sports & Entertainment Hall of Fame (NBS&EHF) star-studded induction ceremony gala, capping off the last round of NBS&EHF inductions of living and posthumous treasures of the sports and entertainment world.

            Rising R&B stars Footsteps kicked-off the evening’s festivities with a rousing performance of the American and Negro National Anthems, successfully setting the tone for what the audience in the packed theater would experience throughout the night.

“As New York City is one of the greatest sports and entertainment Meccas in the world, the National Black Sports & Entertainment Hall of Fame and Museum is honored to give tribute to individuals that exemplify the spirit of excellence and brotherhood,” said Lloyd Williams, President and CEO of the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the NBS&EHF.

The evening’s living inductees were: soul singer Teddy Pendergrass; NBA Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson; photojournalist, composer and film director Gordon Parks; and soccer legend Pelé.  Actor, director, producer, comedian and writer Robert Townsend, NY Liberty’s Tari Phillips, The Cosby Show’s Clarice Taylor, NBA superstar Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, Olympian Diane Dixon, legendary R&B duo Ashford & Simpson and other VIPs were on hand to honor those that have helped pave the way for many others in the sports and entertainment industry.

Posthumous inductees were: musical genius Ray Charles; baseball player Harold Henry “Pee Wee” Reese; jazz drummer and bandleader Gene Krupa; jazz great Carmen McRae; NBA all-star Gus Johnson; Olympic gold medalist and NFL wide receiver Bob Hayes; Baseball Hall of Famer Roy Campanella; and percussionist and bandleader Mongo Santamaria.

Recognition was also given to several athletes and entertainers that were inducted into the Hall of Fame earlier in 2004, including: tennis pro and winner of multiple Wimbledon championships, Billie Jean King; vocalist and songwriter Oscar Brown, Jr.; famous Big Band leader Cabell “Cab” Calloway; Olympic gold medalist in track, Diane L. Dixon; R&B super-group Boyz II Men; and director, writer, actor and producer Melvin Van Peebles.  It was also announced that rushing great and NFL Hall of Famer Walter “Sweetness” Payton and pro-golfing great Lee Elder will be honored in 2005.

One of the evening’s highlights was the special presentation honoring inductee Ray Charles, whose charisma and gift of music serve as shining examples of what makes America “beautiful.”  In celebration of his contributions, Cheryl Farrell of Jeopardy!’s Clue Crew performed a soulful rendition of “America the Beautiful.”  Freddie Jackson and André Ward, who received the Harlem Jazz & Music Festival Male Vocalist of the Year and Harlem Jazz & Music Festival Male Instrumentalist of the Year Awards respectively; both joined in the tribute.  Actress Kerry Washington (She Hate Me, Boston Legal) who starred as Ray Charles’ wife in the acclaimed film Ray, also participated in the special presentation.

New York Post general manager Geoff Booth was on hand to present five $1,000 scholarships to deserving high school and college students.  The Paul Robeson Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to the Honorable Charles B. Rangel and to Lerone Bennett Jr., Executive Director of EBONY Magazine.  Receiving special international awards for fine arts and the performing arts respectively were Romare Bearden (posthumous) and Lois Mailou Jones (posthumous), and Arthur MitchellRichard Parsons, Chairman and CEO of Time Warner, was awarded with the Outstanding Public Service Award.  The Team Award was presented to National College Basketball Champions Texas Western/Texas El Paso and institutional awards honoring the 40th Anniversaries of Jazzmobile and Roger Furman’s New Heritage Theater were also presented.

Williams added, “Through such world famous venues as The Apollo Theatre and Rucker Park, the village of Harlem has earned its place in history as a breeding ground for some of the greatest sports and entertainment figures in the world.  We take great pride and pleasure in being able to give recognition to such an esteemed group of individuals, right here in Harlem. We’re grateful to our Chamber members for making this historic evening possible.”

Co-hosted by WNBC-TV’s Janice Huff and the WBLS-FM Summer Morning Show personalities Rick Party and Sonia Colon, the induction ceremony featured entertainment by jazz hot shot André Ward; R&B crooner Freddie Jackson; The Apollo Theatre’s famous house-band, Ray Chew and the Crew; and courtesy of the Metropolitan Transit Authority Arts for Transit’s Music Under New York (MUNY) program, jazz band New York ExpressWNJU-TV/Telemundo sports anchor Veronica Contreras was involved in the award presentations for inductees Pelé, Harold Henry “Pee Wee” Reese and Mongo Santamaria.  Access Hollywood correspondent Shaun Robinson was on hand to conduct celebrity interviews and report on key moments throughout the evening.  Highlights from the evening were broadcast in the New York City and Atlantic City viewing areas on September 4, 2004 at 7:00 p.m. on WNBC-TV and WMGM-TV, respectively.

The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with HARLEM WEEK and the Harlem Jazz & Music Festival, initially unveiled the National Black Sports & Entertainment Hall of Fame (NBS&EHF) during a private luncheon in June 2001 at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.  The concept behind the NBS&EHF is to create a permanent memorial honoring the legacies of extraordinary persons of African descent as well as other persons who have championed the causes of excellence, diversity and fair play.

The NBS&EHF Induction Gala is a part of the legendary HARLEM WEEK celebrations.  In 2004, HARLEM WEEK commemorated its 30th year with more than a month of celebration.


CONTACTS FOR NBE&SHF SPORTS INDUCTEES:
Barfield Public Relations: Pauline Barfield (212) 736-0404

CONTACTS FOR NBE&SHF ENTERTAINMENT INDUCTEES:
Rubenstein Associates, Inc. -- Public Relations
Pat Amerman (212) 843-8049
Robin Verges (212) 843-8075
Jeffrey Easlick (212) 843-9376

NBS&EHF/GREATER HARLEM CHAMBER OF COMMERCE/HARLEM WEEK CONTACTS: Sheria McFadden, Keith L. Forrest, (212) 862-7200\

The National Black Sports & Entertainment Hall of Fame and Museum (NBS&E Hall of Fame) is a Not For Profit Organization existing under the charitable organizations laws of the State of New York.
TO SUPPORT NBS&E Hall of Fame and Museum OR FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Persons interested in supporting this effort, or being part of its goals and objectives may contact us by email at NBS&EHF@hotmail.com or by calling Voza Rivers at (212) 862-7200, or via fax at (212) 862-8745 or write National Black Sports & Entertainment Hall of Fame c/o GHCC 200A West 136th Street, New York, NY 10030.