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Acclaimed journalist, author Jesse J. Holland to keynote banquet

Veteran Washington journalist and acclaimed author Jesse J. Holland is set to deliver the keynote address for the 25th Annual African American Male Image Awards Banquet on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019 at the Holiday in at The University of Memphis. 

Holland, a native of nearby Mount Pleasant, Miss., is an alumnus of The University of Mississippi, where he served as the second African American editor of The Daily Mississippian, the student newspaper.

Holland has had a 25-year career with The Associated Press, and has authored multiple fiction and nonfiction books, including “Black Men Built the Capitol,” the Star Wars novel “Finn’s Story,” and “Who Is The Black Panther,” the official novel for the wildly successful Marvel film.

The banquet will shine a spotlight on both high school seniors as well as community leaders. The Hobson-Goodlow Foundation and the Memphis Alumni Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. will present scholarships to five male high school seniors. 

The program will also honor nine adult male role models who have excelled in key areas with a demonstrated impact on the community. Honorees are: 

  • Education: Dr. Joris Ray, Shelby County Schools; 
  • Business: Ron Redwing, The Redwing Group; 
  • Community: Brandon Gunn, HopeWorks; 
  • Arts: Kevin Thomas, Collage Dance Collective; 
  • Religion: Andre Johnson, Gifts of Life Ministries; 
  • Corporate: Anthony Alexander, Shelby County Division of Corrections.  

Two honorees will receive the “Service for Humanity” award:  Eldridge “Pete” Mitchell, founder of Pete Mitchell and Associates Insurance Agency; and James Netters, pastor emeritus at Mount Vernon Baptist Church. 

A “Visionary Leadership Award” will be presented to Micheal Cristal, International President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. 

Radio personality Ena Esco is set to emcee the event, which starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $50 each and a table of 10, $500.  For more, call 901-409-0762.

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