Saturday, November 18, 2017
Bakewell, Hughes and “Magic” Johnson among the 2009 Inductees
By Yussuf Simmonds (Managing Editor)
Published January 29, 2009

The International Civil Rights Walk of Fame recently added a distinguished parade of men and women to its existing roll of honor during the Annual Trumpet Awards

As part of the 2009 Trumpet Awards events, the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame (ICRWF) recently held the induction into its Walk of Fame induction and added 13 civil rights icons to its legendary past lineup.

The distinguished group was comprised of men and women who have displayed extraordinary courage–often succeeding against tremendous odds–and supreme sacrifice to arrive at their respective positions as revered civil rights icons and leaders in their respective fields. The group consisted of Danny J. Bakewell, Sr., Cathy Hughes, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. C.T. Vivian, Dr. Erieka Bennett; Roberto Goizueta, The Links, Incorporated; the Honorable Sam Massell; the Honorable Ernest N. Morial; Father Michael L. Pfleger, former Congressman William L. Clay, Sr. and Rev. C.M. Alexander.

Now in its sixth year, the ICRWF was created and designed by Xernona Clayton to pay homage to the brave warriors of justice who sacrificed and struggled to seek justice for others and to give them a semblance of the true recognition they rightly deserve. It has become one of the most visited tourist attractions in Atlanta and has enriched the heritage of the civil rights movement. 

Displaying the shoes and their imprints of well-known civil rights heroes, the ICRWF is a lasting memorial that literally explains the path traveled by those whose contributions have made it possible to enjoy a better quality of life and attain a more equitable measure of justice. They are called "foot soldiers" in the struggle for justice and Ms. Clayton has stated, "This is a permanent testimony to those who have dedicated themselves to human progress."

The 2008 inductees included: Dr. Maya Angelou, Senator Edward W. Brooke; Tyrone L. Brooks, Sr., the late Sammy Davis, Jr., Jesse Hill, Jr., Dr. Benjamin Hooks, Attorney Clarence B. Jones; Tom Joyner, former Prime Minister Michael Manley, Herman Russell, Sr., and Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker.

Over the previous years, the ICRWF has included an array of national and international scholars, statesmen and women, businessmen and business women including Lerone Bennett, Jr., Marian Wright Edelman, Mayor Shirley Franklin, Sir Lynden Pindling, Sidney Poitier, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder, former presidents William J. "Bill" Clinton, James E. "Jimmy" Carter, Lena Horne, The Honorable Bernard Parks, Xernona Clayton, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Stevie Wonder, Harry Belafonte, Congressman John Conyers, Jr., Dick Gregory, the late Mayor Maynard H. Jackson, Jr., Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth, Nancy Wilson, Reverend Ralph David Abernathy, Sr., Julian Bond, Dorothy Height, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., Congressman John Lewis, Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, the late Justice Thurgood Marshall, the late Rosa Parks, the late Rev. Hosea Williams, and Ambassador Andrew Young.

As is the custom, the induction ceremony is held fittingly at the Ebenezer Baptist Church (where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. preached) and near the King National Historic Site. The Walk is a partnership between the Trumpet Awards Foundation and the National Park Service. And according to Ms. Clayton, the roll of honorees is growing year by year and others will be added to the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame.


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