2008 Living Legends
Los Angeles-The rain held off long enough for a capacity crowd to come out to enjoy the 2008 "Living Legends" program with the theme Honoring Women in Entertainment.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke, 2nd District, in conjunction with the County of Los Angeles Public Library and the County of Los Angeles, celebrated Black History Month at the 29th Annual African-American "Living Legends" series, on Saturday, February 23 at the A.C Bilbrew Library, 150 East El Segundo Boulevard in Los Angeles. Alice Tang is the Community Library Manager for the above mentioned library.
The organizers went all out to present a stellar event that is sure to be talked about for years. The 2008 "Living Legends" program honored acclaimed actresses Angela Bassett, Sheryl Lee Ralph, and Della Reese. Alfre Woodard could not attend due to another commitment. The "Living Legends" series pays tribute to individuals and groups of African-American Heritage whose life and work have contributed to America’s culture and to the African-American community.
The Rick Jones Band provided the soothing sounds of jazz as people entered the library to be seated. The band consists of Rick Jones-keyboards, Eric Harris-guitar, Anthony Crawford-bass and Robert Miller on drums.
A superb program was scheduled to entertain the diverse crowd gathered for this annual Black History Month event. Actor William Allen Young served as Master of Ceremonies.
Rev. Eric P. Lee, President & CEO, SCLC recited the Invocation to officially start the program. The Washington Preparatory High JROTC led by First Sgt. Marvin Herbert Posted The Colors.
The crowd was led in the Pledge of Allegiance by Little Miss African American Court consisting of Joylin McFarlene and Sharon Souice.
The audience remained standing to sing The National Anthem and Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing led by Trilogy, Recording Artist/Neuhaus Entertainment Group.
County Librarian Margaret Donnellan Todd extended a warm welcome to all in attendance. William Allen Young spoked of The Occasion. Afterward a special slide presentation was shown highlighting the previous "Living Legends" honorees. The slide presentation also served as a Living Tribute to Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke who is serving her final months in office. Mrs. Burke will also be inducted into the Living Legends Hall of Fame.
The Honorable Yvonne B. Burke, Los Angeles County Supervisor, Second District acknowledged the special guest in attendance. Councilmember Bernard C. Parks, 8th District and Her Worship Madam, Mayor Zenaida Moya, MBA (Belize City Council) were a couple of the dignitaries present for the 2008 "Living Legends" Series. My Belizean co-workers as well as the Belizean community speaks well of Mayor Zenaida Moya.
Trilogy sang an emotionally, uplifting song entitled “Shackles.”
The Community Service Award Honorees were Brad Pye, Jr. who is perhaps the foremost columnist in the Black Press with his Prying Pye column that he has authored for nearly 50 years. Jacquie Stephens is the Community Service Award Honoree. Jacquie Stephens is the News and Public Affairs Director of KJLH 102.3 FM Radio and host of L.A. Speaks Out. Stephens, a native of Chicago, Illinois ensures information is disseminated six days a week to KJLH Radio listeners. Vocalist extra-ordinare
Tata Vega thrilled the audience by singing “Walk With Me.”
Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke presented awards to the 2008 "Living Legends":
Alluring audience with emotionally tinged performances has been the signature of Angela Bassett who personifies a sense of dignity and pride whenever she appears on screen. Her talents and abilities as an actress and executive producer in both television and film have time and again earned the respect and acclaim from her peers and her fans to prove herself to be one of the industry’s premier leading ladies. Bassett has starred in Mr. 3000, Akeelah and the Bee, The Lazarus Child, What’s Love Got To Do With It, and How Stella Got Her Groove Back.
Original DREAMGIRL! Sheryl Lee Ralph is an acclaimed veteran of film, television, and the Broadway stage. Her award winning body of work included creating and originating the role of Deena Jones on Broadway in the landmark musical Dreamgirls, which earned her both a Tony and Drama Desk Award Nomination for Best Actress. On television, Sheryl Lee has starred in It’s A Living, her own series New Attitude, the George Foreman series George and in the hit comedy Designing Women. She was also voted one of TV’s Favorite Moms for her portrayal of step mom Dee on the number-one rated television series Moesha. As a producer, Ms Ralph created the critically acclaimed Divas Simply Singing!, an evening of song and entertainment that has become one of the most highly anticipated AIDS benefit in Hollywood. She is also the founding creator of The Jamerican Film & Music Festival which in five years has given birth to five SHOWTIME Filmmaker Finalist.
Renowned as both a television star and a top-flight interpreter of jazz, blues, R&B, gospel, and straight ahead pop music, Della Reese many talents have ensured a long, varied, and legendary showbiz career. In addition to being nominated for both an Emmy and a Grammy and receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of fame, Reese is also an ordained minister in the Universal Foundation For Better Living, an association of Churches she helped found in the early 1980’s. Della showed us more of her Action and dramatic talents in the CBS dramatic series “Touched by An Angel” which consistently won its time slot for CBS. After completing its ninth season, “Touched by An Angel” is still in demand on DVD and in syndication.
County Librarian Margaret Donnellan Todd presented each honoree with a VIP Library card. Vocalist Kenny Lattimore and Chante Moore sang a special song for the occasion entitled “Make Me Like The Moon.” Cynthia Pope, host of “Entre Nous” a cablevision information talk show were presented with a Special award by Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke.
County Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke acknowledged and thanked all involved who assisted in making this wonderful program possible for the community. William Allen Young gave the Closing Remarks. The program concluded with Rev. John DeRon Johnson, Phillips Temple CME Church delivering The Benediction.
The 2008 "Living Legends" honorees signed autographs afterwards. A Tasteful Affair Catering served refreshments in the community room.