Mayor Karen Bass (File photo)

Gala event salutes outstanding executives, legendary Black women and the newspaper’s legacy  


A stellar tribute to Black women will highlight the 90th anniversary celebration of the Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper on Saturday, April 15, at 11 a.m., at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

The gala event, created by Danny J. Bakewell, Sr., chairman of Bakewell Media, salutes some of the most accomplished women in the nation while also commemorating the Sentinel’s nearly century-long legacy of covering news about the African American community.

Officially titled “Power, Leadership and Influence of the Black Woman,” Bakewell said the positive impact of Black women on his life inspired him to design an annual event to recognize “their strength and dignity in advocating tirelessly for the advancement of our people.”

“Black Women have played such an instrumental part in the fabric of our community, and certainly in my life. Taking time out to honor these women is not only fitting, but necessary. Our honorees have dedicated their lives towards the goal of making life better for Black people, both here, in Los Angeles, as well throughout this nation,” said Bakewell.

Dr. Elaine Batchlor (File photo)

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass will be the key honoree and share an intimate conversation with the audience.  Also being acknowledged are Dr. Elaine Batchlor, CEO of Martin Luther King Jr. Community Healthcare; Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker, president of Ward Economic Development Corporation; Sandra Evers-Manly, president of the Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center (BHERC); and Stephanie N. Wiggins, CEO of the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.  Pat Harvey, CBS 2 anchor, will moderate the conversation with Mayor Bass and Pat Prescott, revered broadcaster, will serve as emcee.

“We hope you will join us in honoring these outstanding women who are carrying the mantel of leadership in politics, business, entertainment, community advocacy, and public service,” urged Bakewell.

“Each of these women are bold, brilliant, beautiful and quietly work daily for the betterment of our community. They are a driving force within their chosen professions and use their power, their leadership skills and influence for the betterment of our people.”  He added that the program’s format allows sponsors to name a table after a “powerful Black woman leader in their company or in the community.”

Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker (File photo)

Another uplifting aspect of the event is the presentation of the Black Women Legends Awards, which salutes notable trailblazers in the African American community.  The awards are named for Brenda Marsh-Mitchell, Bakewell’s treasured executive assistant and president of Mothers In Action and Taste of Soul; Johnnie Tillmon, pioneer and activist for welfare rights and founder of Aid to Needy Children (ANC); Mary B. Henry, civil rights activist and executive director of Avalon Carver; Lillian Mobley, community activist credited with leading the effort to construct Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Hospital and the Charles Drew University Medical School; and Superior Court Judge Vaino Hassan Spencer, who founded the National Association of Women Judges.

Expounding on the contributions of the women, Bakewell said,  “The Black Women Legends Awards are named after these five women who blazed trails and broke down barriers.  Whether behind the scenes or on the front lines, these courageous women fought for the rights of their communities. Each of our honorees will be presented with an award named after one of these dynamic women who paved the way for us all.”

Stephanie Wiggins (Courtesy photo)

The Sentinel’s continuous publication by Black families for 90 years will be marked as well during the gala event.  Originally founded by Colonel Leon Washington Jr. and his wife, Ruth Washington, in 1933, the newspaper was next owned and operated by Kenneth and Jennifer Thomas.  In 2004, Mrs. Thomas asked Bakewell to consider buying the paper and he accepted.

Sandra Evers-Manly (File photo)


During nearly two decades of ownership, Bakewell expanded the Sentinel’s brand to include the Taste of Soul Family Festival, now in its 18th year, and the second annual “Power, Leadership and Influence of the Black Woman” awards.

This is a sponsor-driven event.  Interested sponsors should contact [email protected]. Individual tickets for the “Power, Leadership and Influence of the Black Woman” event are available for $500. Individuals should email [email protected] to register for tickets.

Pat Harvey ( File Photo)

For more information go to Click the Power, Leadership & Influence Icon at the top of the website to learn more.

Pat Prescott (File Photo)