McDonald’s held its annual 365Black Awards honoring outstanding African-Americans who are making positive contributions to the community during the 2012 Essence Music Festival. McDonald’s 365Black Awards was launched in 2003 as an extension of McDonald’s 365Black platform, created to celebrate the pride, heritage and achievements of African-Americans year-round.
This year’s honorees included 10-time Grammy-winning recording artist Chaka Khan; 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.”
Someone at McDonald’s had the brilliant idea of having the red carpet for their 365Black Awards outside of the Mahalia Jackson Theater in the blazing New Orleans heat – something that neither the talent of the media working the red carpet seemed to fond of. Despite it all though, celebrities like actress Tisha Campbell-Martin, R&B star Tank, Christopher Martin of Kid-N-Play, MC Lyte, VH1’s Janell Snowden, Full Force, CNN contributor Roland Martin, Mary Mary and all the honorees and performers braved the sweltering heat and posed for their photo op!
Actor Laz Alonso hosted the ceremony, while Fred Hammond, Melanie Fiona, Eric Benet, Tamia and Doug E. Fresh performed. Honoree Khan closed the ceremony with a show-stopping performance!
For more information on McDonald’s 365Black, go to: http://www.365black.com/365black/index.jsp
(All courtesy of Chris Mitchell)