Magazine article The Crisis

Sen. Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Prince Honored

Magazine article The Crisis

Sen. Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Prince Honored

Article excerpt

Three the nation's most noted African Americans will receive special awards at the NAACP's 36th Annual Image Awards. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), talk show host and media mogul Oprah Winfrey and music legend Prince will all be honored for their unique contributions to American society.

The awards "are presented to individuals in recognition of their diverse talents put to exceptional use," Image Awards Chairman clayola Brown said in a statement.

Obama, 44, will receive the 2005 Chairman's Award. The recipient is chosen by NAACP Board Chairman Julian Bond in recognition of special achievement and distinguished public service.

"Before he could even cast one vote in the United States Senate, Barack Obama electrified the nation," Bond said in a statement. "We are proud to honor this man and the principles he stands for."

A native of Hawaii, Obama is a 1991 graduate of Harvard Law School and was the first Black editor of the Harvard Law Review. He served in the Illinois state Senate for seven years before becoming only the fifth Black U.S. senator and the second from Illinois. His inspiring speech during the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston put him on the short list of potential presidential candidates.

Obama says his images of the NAACP were shaped by the legal victories of Charles Hamilton Houston and Thurgood Marshall; those victories helped dismantle desegregation.

"I'm very flattered that the organization has deemed me worthy of the honor, and I look forward to trying to make sure that I deserve it by the work I do over the next six years as a senator," Obama tells The Crisis. "My election has given me a platform on issues that are important to the African American community and all people. I must stay focused on the work ahead."

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey, 51, will be inducted into the NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame. The award is given to an individual who is a pioneer in his or her respective field and whose influence will shape the profession for generations. …

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