Home Music Industry News Civil Rights Legend John Lewis and Groundbreaking Filmmaker Robert Townsend Among Inaugural...

Civil Rights Legend John Lewis and Groundbreaking Filmmaker Robert Townsend Among Inaugural XCEL Award Honorees

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BLACK ENTERPRISE will host its inaugural Black Men Summit Wednesday, Aug. 30 through Sunday, Sept. 3, at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. This bold, festive, and exciting event was developed to celebrate the many contributions and achievements of today’s black men.

The crown jewel of XCEL, The XCEL Awards: An Extraordinary Celebration of Excellence and Leadership, will recognize iconic black men in every field of endeavor—from corporate America, to the entertainment industry, science and technology, athletics and sports, the education sector, and beyond. The XCEL Awards Dinner will kick off several days of inspiration, activities, and fun, including golf, tennis, luxurious spa amenities, live music and comedy, post-event parties, and more, to create the ultimate end-of-summer getaway experience.

Honorees to be recognized at the 2017 Black Men XCEL Awards Dinner, hosted by AT&T, include the following outstanding achievers:

U.S. Rep. John Lewis (Earl G. Graves Award) – Often called “One of the most courageous persons the movement ever produced,” Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.) has dedicated his life to protecting human rights, securing civil liberties, and building what he calls “The Beloved Community” in America. The youngest of the “Big Six” leaders of the civil rights movement at the age of 23, he was an architect of and a keynote speaker at the historic March on Washington. Lewis will receive the inaugural Earl G. Graves Award, named for BLACK ENTERPRISE magazine Founder and Publisher Earl G. Graves Sr.

 – He started out as an extra in movies and has since become a heralded actor, comedian, writer, director, producer, and cable network programming CEO. Without formal film education or outside funding, Townsend co-wrote, directed, produced, and starred in his first film, Hollywood Shuffle.

Lonnie G. Bunch III – Historian, author, curator and educator, Lonnie G. Bunch III is the founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. As a public historian, a scholar who brings history to the people, Bunch has spent nearly 30 years in the museum field where he is regarded as one of the nation’s leading figures in the historical and museum community.

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