Monday, December 03, 2012

Ebony Power 100 2012 Gala


By Norris McDonald

The Ebony Power 100 Gala at Lincoln Center was the most impressive event I have ever attended.  And it was my first red carpet.  Although Ebony has issued its Power 100 list before, this was the first time they held a gala for the honorees.  I had a ball.

Norris McDonald and Ebony Chairwoman Linda Johnson Rice on the red carpet
I arrived early at Lincoln Center and met Crystal Montgomery, Executive Assistant to the Editor-In-Chief.  A couple of weeks before the event, Crystal sent an email requesting a picture of me and I just happened to be in Oceanside, California visiting friends during a break between Compton-To-Catalina Program trips.  I wanted to do a studio shot but Crystal was on deadline so Almena Mozon (Godmother to my son, Sandy) took some great shots with her camera.  One of those shots was used in the magazine.  Anyway, Crystal was very busy with preprogram logictics.

When I went up the elevator to the venue, I signed in and proceeded to walk the red carpet.  The photographers were snapping pictures and the official Ebony photographer called me over to say my name into his camera.  Later on the red carpet, I was photographed with Congressman John Lewis, Johnson Pubishing Chairman, Linda Johnson Rice, Chief Executve Officer Desiree Rogers, and Editor-In-Chief Amy Dubois Barnett.

Norris McDonald and Congressman John Lewis on red carpet
The reception was elegant and there was a nice view of Columbus Circle and W. 59th Street.  Many of the Ebony Power 100 (List) attended the event and I met a number of them.  It was interesting to meet George Lucas of "Star Wars" fame.  He was there with his girlfriend Melody Hobson.  Former Chairman and CEO of Time Warner Richard Parsons was holding court near a column in the middle of the reception area.  Tom Joyner was working the room.  I wished Trayvon Martin's parents good luck with the upcoming 2013 trial of George Zimmerman.

They ushered us into the dinner and it was a magnificent show.   The gala dinner featured special performances by Grammy-winning hip-hop band The Roots, classical violinist Brendon Elliott, the Abyssinian Baptist Church Choir, the Black Monks of Mississippi and selected cast from the Broadway musical Fela! Sheri Sheppard and A.C. Calloway were co-master of ceremonies.  Sheri Sheppard was in rare form.  And A.C. Calloway called George Lucas an 'honorary black man.'

I grabbed a few copies of the magazine off of chairs as I was leaving the dinner.  This was the weekend of Hurricane Sandy and although the subway was free, it was taking so long that someone suggested that it might be faster for me to walk back to my hotel, which I did.  It was one of the best evenings of my life.  Thank you Ebony.

Mount Vernon Inquirer

Washington Informer

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