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MY TRUTH: Ever heard about Sankofa?

Saluting the 2020 and 2021 NABJ Honorees


Sankofa is an African word from the Akan tribe in Ghana. The literal translation of the word and the symbol is “it is not taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind.”

Which brings me to my truth.

In 2020 and 2021 the National Association of Black Journalists honored several distinguished members and chapters and inducted several outstanding people into the Hall of Fame.

Unfortunately because of COVID 19, the pomp and circumstance was viewed digitally and without all the personal hugs that add to the special occasion.

This year, the hugs were there in Las Vegas; however a part of me wanted to show some love to those who I will not leave behind.

I would have gladly shared with these noble men and women. They are dynamic and worthy of all the accolades:

2021 Hall of Fame Inductees

  • A.J. Smitherman, Tulsa Star (posthumously)
  • Claire Smith, Temple University/MLB Writer
  • Cornelius “Neil” Foote Jr., Foote Communications, LLC/ University of North Texas
  • Kirk McKoy, Kirk McKoy Photography, Formerly L.A. Times Monica Roberts, TransGriot (posthumously)
  • Rochelle Riley, City of Detroit/Author
  • Rodney A. Brooks, U.S. News & World Report/Author
  • Roland S. Martin, #RolandMartinUnfiltered/Black Star Network

2021 Special Honors:

  • Journalist of the Year: Libor Jany (Star Tribune) Michael J. Feeney Emerging Journalist of the Year: Malika Andrews (ESPN)
  • Chuck Stone Lifetime Achievement : Art Norman (NBC Chicago)
  • Journalist of Distinction: Jenise Griffin (Florida Courier/Daytona Times)
  • Legacy Award: Janis Ware (The Atlanta Voice)
  • Ida B. Wells Award: Sonceria Messiah Jiles (Houston Defender)
  • Percy Qoboza Foreign Journalist of the Year: Anas Aremeyaw Anas (Insight TWI)
  • Journalism Educator of the Year: Dr. Sherri Williams (American University)
  • Patricia L. Tobin Media Professional Award: Aprill O. Turner (Higher Heights for America)
  • • Angelo B. Henderson Community Service: Tenisha Taylor (Ezekiel Taylor Scholarship Foundation)
  • • Student Journalist of the Year: Giulia Heyward (Hussman School of Journalism and Media)
  • • Best Practices: The Dallas Morning News – Grant Moise Professional Chapter of the Year Award: Memphis Association of Black Journalists
  • • Student Chapter of the Year Award: Howard University Association of Black Journalists

2020 Hall of Fame Inductees

  • Fred Sweets, Photographer and Editor
  • Pam Johnson, Former Director, School of Journalism, Western Kentucky University
  • Pam Oliver, Senior Correspondent and FOX NFL Reporter
  • Mary Mitchell, Columnist, Chicago Sun-Times
  • John McCaa, Anchor, WFAATV 8
  • Cathy Hughes, Urban One, Inc.
  • Clarice Tinsley, KDFW-TV FOX 4 News

2020 Special Honors

  • Journalist of the Year: Yamiche Alcindor
  • Michael J. Feeney Emerging Journalist of the Year: Rachel V. Scott
  • Legacy Award: Rehema Ellis
  • Chuck Stone Lifetime Achievement Award: Kevin Merida
  • Journalist of Distinction Award: Elaine Houston
  • Ida B. Wells Award: Kimberly Godwin
  • Journalism Educators of the Year: Susan Mango Curtis and James McJunkins Sr.
  • Angelo B. Henderson Community Service Award: Chelle Luper Wilson
  • Patricia L. Tobin Media Pro-fessional Award: Ramona Logan
  • Student Journalist of the Year: Arthur Cribbs
  • Best Practices Award: The Trace
  • Percy Qoboza Foreign Journalist Award: Mahmoud Hussein
  • Student Chapter of the Year: Michigan State University Association of Black Journalists
  • Professional Chapter of the Year: National Association of Black Journalists – Los Angeles

I felt compelled to honor these folks and look forward to celebrating this year’s honorees. If you see any of these folks give them some love. Or, you can celebrate them on social media. It’s not too late. We must take them with us as we move forward.

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