Created to celebrate and honor African-American achievers and those who support the African-American experience, the annual event salutes accomplishments in law, medicine, business, politics, the arts, civil rights, sports, entrepreneurship, entertainment and other fields.
Honorees this year are actor Jamie Foxx, recording artist Janelle Monae, designer Tommy Hilfiger, Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Lou Brock, Carnival Corp. President and CEO Arnold W. Donald, recording artists/songwriters the Isley Brothers, Morehouse School of Medicine President and Dean Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice and Sunshine Holdings Chairman Franklin R. Wilson.
“We’ve been left out of the history books as black Americans,” Clayton said. “We are so proud of what we’re doing to illuminate. I feel a buoyancy. I get excited over people’s contributions. My enthusiasm comes because I know I’m involved in something that’s going to inspire folks.”
Born into a segregated society, she is hopeful about the progress she has witnessed but unrelenting in her quest for more change.
“When we look at our history, the days have gotten better,” she said. “We’re not where we want to be. It may not change tonight. Tomorrow may be another day. We’re going to keep inspiring. We’re going to keep educating. We’ve got to keep fueling the fire with the burning desire to do better.”