The Tri -State Defender will honors the following individuals durng their 55th Year Celebration!
Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks: FCC, NCRM Board Member Executive Director of the NAACP, Attorney, and Clergyman.
Beverly Robertson: President National Civil Rights Museum.
Barbara & Pitt Hyde: Philanthropists, Founder AutoZone and Hyde Foundation.
Fred Jones: CEO of Summitt Management Corporation, the Southern Heritage Classic and owner/limited partner of the Memphis Grizzlies.
Jesse Turner, Sr./Jr.: Both served as President & CEO of Tri-State Bank of Memphis. Jesse Turner Sr., longtime national treasurer for the NAACP.
Art Gilliam: First African-American owner of radio station, WLOK.
Henry Turley: Builder, Real estate, Philanthropist.
Jack Belz: Builder, Real estate, Philanthropist.
Craig Brewer: Film Director.
George Hunt: Renowned Blues-inspired African American artist.
Willie Mitchell / Al Green: Hi Record owner/entertainer.
David and Yvonne Acey: Africa In April founders.
Dr. Charles Champion: Pharmacist – Medicine/Science.
Dr. Scott Morris: Church Health Center Founder.
Odell Horton Sr.: First African American District Court Judge in Tennessee since Reconstruction.
Dr. Hollis F. Price: First African American President of LeMoyne-Owen College.
Dr. Maxine Smith & Dr. Vasco Smith: Civil Rights Activists Dr. Maxine Smith, longtime executive secretary of the Memphis Branch NAACP, former school board member, member Tennessee Board of Regents. Dr. Vasco Smith, former County Commissioner, dentist.
Dr. W. W. Herenton: First African American City Schools Superintendent First elected African American Mayor.
Mayor AC Wharton: First African American County Mayor.
Russell Sugarmon: Civil Rights Activist, Judge.
Harold Ford Sr./Jr.: Harold Ford Sr., First African American Congressman from Tennessee in the 20th Century; Ford Jr., Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, former U.S. Rep.
H.T. Lockard: Judge/Civil Rights Attorney.
A. W. Willis: First African American state legislator in Tennessee since the 1880’s, Civil Rights Attorney.
Gilbert E. Patterson: Presiding Bishop of COGIC, founder of Bountiful Blessings
Archbishop James P. Lyke, OFM: African American Catholic Priest, a formidable leader of African-American Catholics during Civil Rights Movement.
Rev. Jim Lawson: Minister, Civil Rights Activist who invited Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Memphis-sanitation workers’ strike.
Bishop William H. Graves: Presiding bishop of the C.M.E. Church; First African American Confirmed To The Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority.
George Jones: Owner of multiple McDonald’s Franchise.
Dr. Fred C. Lofton: Renowned preacher, teacher and author; longtime pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church.
Dr. Edward Reed: MED President, First African American President Of MED first African-American board certified general surgeon to practice in the city and the first African-American to serve on the faculty of the UT-Memphis department of surgery.
Rebecca Edwards: Founder, Cultural Development Foundation Of Memphis.
A Maceo Walker & Patricia Walker-Shaw: A. Maceo Walker, Longtiime President of the Universal Life Insurance Co. Patricia Walker-Shaw, Walker’s daughter, former president of Universal.
Fred Davis: First African American Chairman of the Memphis City Council, Founder of Fred L. Davis Insurance Agency.
Ernest Withers: World renowned photographer noted for his images of the civil rights movement.
Arthur Webb: African American historian and writer.
Dr. Stacey Spencer: Chief apostolic officer of New Direction Christian Church. He leads one of the area’s fastest growing, young congregation, with members reflecting in the thousands in only five years. Hickory Hill activist.
Dr. Erma Clanton: Theater, Educator, Playwright University of Memphis, retired professor.
Dean & Kristi Jernigan: Along with his wife, Kristi, Jernigan, was largely responsible for bringing the Memphis Redbirds to town and for building what has been called “the finest ballpark ever built below the major league level.
Danny Thomas/Marlo Thomas (Rep): Founder of St.. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
D’ Army Bailey/ Chuck Scruggs: Co-founders of the group that bought the Lorraine Motel, which ultimately became the National Civil Rights Museum.
Morgan Freeman: Actor.
Larry Finch: Former University of Memphis star, U of M’s “winningest” basketball coach.
Walter Bailey: Civil Rights attorney.
Dr. Shirley Raines: University of Memphis President.
Charlie and Alma Morris: Founders of Kennedy Democratic Organization, Community Activists.
Rev. Samuel ‘Billy’ Kyles: Civil Rights Activist and Minister, Pastor of Monumental Baptist Church.
Blair T. Hunt: Mr. Hunt, an educator and civic and religious leader, was the son of former slaves and the first pastor of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church. From 1932 until 1959, he was the principal of Booker T. Washington School, where he instilled the motto, “We lead and others follow.”
The Sengstacke Family: Tri-State Defender founders.
The Whalum Family: Harold Whalum, first African-American Chamber of Commerce Vice-President; Kenneth Whalum Sr., former City Council member and Senior Pastor of Olivet Baptist Church; Kenneth Whalum Jr., pastor of New Olivet Baptist Church, founder of BAMM (Bust A Move Monday), member of school board; Kirk Whalum, jazz artist and resident artist of STAX Museum.
STAX: Al Bell, Deanie Parker, David Porter, Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton (deceased) co-founders of Stax Records, Isaac Hayes.
WDIA: Nat D. Turner – Pioneer; DJ Bev Johnson – Talk Show Host; Bobby O’Jay – Program Director and DJ; Michael Adrian Davis – Gospel Leader and DJ; Stan Bell – Teacher and DJ.
FED EX: Fred Smith – Founder/Owner; R. Larry Brown – Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer; Mary McDaniels – Vice President – Materials & Corporate Sourcing; Rose Flenoryl – Manager of Global Community Relations and Philanthropy, Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility; Glenn Sessoms, Vice President, Retail Operations and Strategies, FedEx.
United Way of Greater of Memphis: Harry Shaw, President; Regina Walker, Vice-President of Community Initiatives.
Bishop C.H. Mason: Church of God in Christ founder
Three 6 Mafia: First Academy Award-winning Rap Group. Members: Juicy J (Jordan Houston), D J Paul (Paul Beaugard)
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