The Nashville, TN Chapter of the National Hook-Up of Black Women, Inc. hosted the Fannie Lou Hamer Caramel and Chocolate Gala, A Signature event, on March 8th at the Holiday Inn Nashville Vanderbilt on West End Avenue. The gala, according to TN State Rep, Brenda Gilmore, president, NHBW Nashville Chapter, is our major fundraising effort. The proceeds will go towards the scholarship program.
This year some of Nashville’s media personalities in television, radio, magazines and newspapers are being honored. “We are proud to have this opportunity to pay tribute to these honorees for many years of service,” said Rep. Gilmore. The award and gala are named for Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-1977), who is the adopted ‘shero’ of the National Hook-up of Black Women.
The guests of the National Hook-Up of Black Women, Inc. (NHBW) arrived at the Holiday Inn Vanderbilt in Nashville to find a plethora of gifts for a silent auction, cocktails and hors d’ouevres before dinner. Rep. Gilmore also served as the gracious Mistress of Ceremonies along with the event chair, Augustine Kuntz.
The awards were presented to the honorees by Mrs. Kuntz, the event chair. The following were honored with a medallion for their service in media
Anne Holt who has more than 30 years anchoring the news on WKRN News 2; Vicki Yates who has worked for nearly two decades as an award-winning reporter, as well as being a news anchor for NewsChannel 5.
Ernie Allen, a native of Detroit, Mich. who began his radio career in 1979 and continues as the news director of WQQK-92Q; Connie Dennell who is known affectionately as the ‘Gospel Diva’ at 92Q for over 20 years; Sharon Kay who hosts the popular talk show, ‘What’s the 411? With Sharon Kay,’ which broadcasts live from Jazzy 88 WFSK, at Fisk University; Clarence Kilcrease, who is one of Nashville’s most outstanding personalities in radio history, also known throughout the years as, ‘Gilly Baby.’ Kilcrease has served as the vice president/general manager of 92Q and WVOL.
Print Media (magazine and newspaper)
Geraldine D. Heath, who has served as managing editor of the Nashville PRIDE newspaper since 1988 (26 years); Samuel H. Latham, Jr. who is the past publisher of the Metropolitan Times newspaper and the Urban Journal, and is currently publisher of ONYXtn, a magazine; Dwight Lewis retired September 2011 as an award-winning journalist for the Tennessean newspaper.
Those awarded, but not in attendance included: Shannon Royster, a journalist for 14 years who currently works weekend anchor at NewsChannel 5 (television); John Heidelberg, owner/talk show host of WVOL-AM; Damon King heard on 102.1FM and 101.9FM in Clarksville (radio); and Rosetta Miller-Perry of The Tennessee TRIBUNE newspaper (newspaper).
A special salute was given to the late Rev. Morgan Babb and the late Robert Churchwell, Sr. for their outstanding work in broadcast and journalism. “We admire and are grateful for these two pioneers,” said Kuntz.
A part of the evening’s entertainment, following dinner, was a Stiletto Contest. The first promenade of Stilettos was made by “very daring” NHBW members. When the Stiletto contest began, specific rules for walking, standing, and being seated were shared with the contest participants. The judges watched, with their heads together, as the contestants strolled the floor graciously, sitting properly on the edge of a stiletto-shaped chair. Judges Gwendolyn Harris, a certified event planner and Gloria McKissack, TSU history professor, selected the winner.
Music for the gala was provided by the Storybook band.
Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-1977), is the adopted ‘shero’ of the National Hook-up of Black Women. She was an activist that is noted as being “Sick and tired of being sick and tired.” She was the field secretary of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). In 1971, she became a member of the policy council of the National Women’s Political Caucus. From 1974 to 1977 she was a member of the board of trustees for the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change.