18th Annual Trumpet Awards
By Alyssa Johnson
When self-made millionaire Dr. Farrah Gray by the age of 14, stepped onto the stage readying to accept his award for Young Entrepreneur at the Trumpet Awards, the now 24 year-old paused for a moment, gathering his thoughts on founder Xernona Clayton and said, “She gave us a seat at the table because if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu”. Before he could even finish quoting the late great Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, his words were greeted with thunderous applause.
Beginning in 1993, The Trumpet Awards has been on the forefront of national African-American awards ceremonies. Clayton, the first black woman to host her own prime-time television talk show in the South and the originator of the widely popular
one-minute broadcasts ‘Moments in History’, started the awards show to honor diverse African Americans at the top of their respective fields; be it business, arts and entertainment, religion, civil rights or government.
The City of Atlanta is planning to rename one of its streets with her namesake.
Over the past 18 years, creator and executive producer Clayton has given many deserving and seemingly under-the-radar achievers the chance to shine. This year’s ceremony paid tribute to the wildly popular and legendary music group Maze featuring Frankie Beverly with the Lifetime Acheivement Award, whom surprisingly and ridiculously have been overlooked in the past for all major awards including a Grammy and an American Music Award.
CNN Analyst and host of TV One’s Washington Watch with Roland Martin Roland Martin had this to say about the show’s impact and giving people their ‘just due’.
“Frankie Beverly and Maze is being honored and they’ve never ever received an award from anybody. No American Music Award, Grammy or anything,” he said. “That’s why this show is just to honor our own. Know what else I love about the Trumpet Awards? They don’t just recognize black entertainers. It’s folks in so many areas.