The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) hosted its annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Newseum featured a powerful lineup of media players and a special message from President Obama delivered by Valerie Jarrett
By Melissa Henderson
Media personalities, guests of the inductees, and NABJ supporters gathered on a cool, snowy night to honor trailblazers of the media industry. The glamorous Tamron Hall, host of News Nation on MSNBC, hosted the awards ceremony honoring five African American Journalists who have made significant contributions to the media industry. Honorees included: Ed Bradley, Eugene Robinson, Merri Dee, JC Hayward and Ray Taliaferro. Notable guests included Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama, Roland Martin, CNN contributor, Wolf Blitzer, host of the Situation Room, and D.C Mayor Vincent Gray.
Upon arrival, a full band greeted guests playing sensual tunes by Sade, Michael Jackson and Luther Vandross. The ambiance was definitely set (and my voyage, which included trekking across the muddy National Mall) getting to the Newseum was lost by beautifully dressed people and champagne).
Around 8 pm, guests and honorees gathered in the Annenberg auditorium where gold plated awards would be given to the honorees. Short videos were played before each inductee gave their acceptance speech. As each video gave a short recap of the inductees’ careers, one could see that the broadcast journalists were/are legendary in their craft. As voices to the African American community when the height of the civil rights movement was erupting with protests and legal disputes, these charismatic and pioneering journalists notarized themselves as top media professionals, who paved the way for other journalists. Honoree JC Hayward lit up the room with her bright smile greeting every guest with grace and poise – not to mention her long form fitting dress, I found it hard to believe that she has been in the game for over 40 years. For the past 20 years, NABJ has been honoring black journalists who have made significant contributions to the industry. Past inductees to the esteemed Hall of Fame include W.E.B Dubois and John H. Johnson.