It was a chilly afternoon in Atlanta, the production crew had difficulty rolling out the red carpet because the tape would not stick. So there we were, the media, in the lobby of the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre waiting to be positioned for the arrivals while hoping the red carpet event would be moved indoors.
We were there to cover the 2014 Trumpet Awards Red Carpet. The Trumpet Awards, created by Xernona Clayton, honors African Americans who have excelled in their chosen field. This is evidenced by the 2014 honorees who come from public service, business and entertainment industries.
As luck would have it, the sun peeked through the clouds as the red carpet positions were announced. Our hopes for indoor coverage vanished as we made our way to designated spots. Shortly after, the red carpet event began. While waiting for the first arrival, a group of photographers pondered whether Alfre Woodard would brave the cold and walk the red carpet. She did not disappoint us. William Packer, producer of the hit movie Ride Along led the procession of notiables. Actress Meagan Good Franklin dressed in a stunning black designer gown was there to support her husband Trumpet Award Honoree DeVon Franklin senior vice president Columbia Tristar Pictures.
Also on the red carpet were Trumpet Award hosts Laz Alonso a NAACP Image Award Winning Actor who starred in Stomp the Yard, Avator, Fast and Furious, Jumping the Broom and Melissa De Sousa a NAACP Image Award Nominated Actress whose credits include The Ron Howard Story, Best Man and Best Man Holiday. Melissa De Sousa was a trooper. Dressed in a beautiful, off-white gown, the actress stopped for photos before making her way inside. Laz Alonzo, who was called for a brief interview, expressed to the press a desire to direct and produce films.
I was delighted to see actor Chris Tucker who also expressed an interest in producing and actress Demetria McKinney from House of Payne who announced the release of a new single. Ms. McKinney is always on my best dressed list. Also on the red carpet were members of Bronner Bros., a Trumpet Award Honoree. They are a beautiful family, but trying to fit everyone in one frame proved to be a challenge for photographers. When asked how she keeps a large family in tow, Ms. Bronner replied “by setting a good example.” Bronner Bros., an Atlanta-based company, manufactures hair care products, sponsors lavish hair shows and publishes Upscale magazine.
Trumpet Award Honorees Cheryl McKissack and Deryl McKissack also stopped by to greet the press. The sisters own McKissack and McKissack a construction company that lists the Martin Luther King Memorial in its portfolio. As one can see, all of the honorees have great testimonials to share. However, Steve Pemberton’s personal story is most inspiring. The Trumpet Award Honoree rose from being an abused foster child to Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer at Walgreens. Mr. Pemberton also authored a book to explain to his children why his parents never come to visit.
The Red Carpet Event was a blast in spite of the cool climate. As I made my way to my car, I did so with heart-warming stories, funny tales and great photos to share.
The 2014 Trumpet Awards ceremony was taped on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta. The program will air on TV One this spring. The Trumpet Awards was created by Xernona Clayton Founder, President and CEO of the Trumpet Awards Foundation, Inc. and Executive Producer of the Foundation’s Trumpet Awards. Sponsors of the 2014 Trumpet Awards include: The Coca-Cola Company, Cadillac, Wells Fargo, Delta Air Lines, Nordstrom, Newell Rubbermain, Marriott Marquis Atlanta, Hyatt Regency Atlanta, The Home Depot, Southwest Airlines and Georgia Power.
2014 Trumpet Award hosts Laz Alonso and Melissa De Sousa on the red carpet. See video below.
The 2014 Trumpet Awards Honorees are Alfre Woodard, Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, Bronner Bros., Devon Franklin, The Honorable Kamala Harris, Cheryl McKissack, Deryl McKissack, Charles J. Ogletree Jr., Steve Pemberton, and the Williams Sisters from the Bahamas.