Written By: Socorro Kenoly for Doxygen Media
The BET Awards 2015 aired Sunday and it was by far the best BET Award show in a very long time. Well-deserved awards were distributed including the Lifetime Achievement award to the legendary Smokey Robinson, the Ultimate Icon award to Janet Jackson, and the Humanitarian award to black radio pioneer, Tom Joyner. Tom Joyner was recognized for supporting HBCU students through his Tom Joyner Foundation. Founded in 1998, the Tom Joyner Foundation has donated over $65 million dollars to send students to college at black universities.
A proud alumnus of Tuskegee University, Joyner understands the importance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Although the significance of these institutions are always being questioned, it is clear now more than ever that HBCU’s play a vital role in shaping the black community.
BET CEO Debra Lee personally recognized the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning show host. His award speech said it all as Joyner advocated for how important it is for African Americans to cultivate their own communities. “We cannot depend on the main stream media to tell our stories,” he was quoted saying, after which he went on to say, “No one can educate and prepare our children like HBCU’s can.” Education is an important and initial step in changing the world. HBCU’s have been around for a very long time and have changed the way of life for blacks in America. From Booker T. Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr. to Taraji P. Henson and Erykah Badu, HBCU alum have undoubtedly touched our lives in so many different ways for which we should be thankful.