From left are Ken Billups, Samara B. Davis, Deniese Davis, Deniseea Head, Byron Copeland, Meredith Harper Houston, and David S. Hargrett. (Courtesy photo)

The Black Bourbon Society (BBS) recently returned to Los Angeles to honor notable African American leaders at its Salon 7 Legacy Awards, which covers five major cities.

The BBS Salon 7 is a celebration of Black empowerment and offers a unique opportunity to highlight Black culture. Each stop of the tour will include the “Salon 7 Legacy Awards,” honoring seven local Black leaders, creatives, and entrepreneurs who are building legacies in their industries.

The awards also pay homage to the rich history of Jack Daniel’s and its first master distiller, Nathan “Nearest” Green, who trained Jasper “Jack” Daniel, founder of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, during the 1800s in Lynchburg, TN.

The tour kicked off in Atlanta during Black History Month. The exclusive lifestyle series also made stops in Washington, Harlem, Los Angeles, and will conclude in Dallas during Juneteenth.

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The Los Angeles honorees included Kenneth Billups, AECOM’s vice president of Economic Inclusion and Social Impact; Deniese Davis, Emmy- nominated producer, founder/CEO of Reform Media Group, and co-founder of ColorCreative; David S. Hargrett, chairman and CEO of The David S. Companies and founder of Produced by 360 and Affective Music; Meredith Harper Houston, Grammy Award-winning producer and founder of Balletics and The Swan Within; Deniseea Head, owner and founder of Chicken and Champagne New Orleans; and Kwini Reed, co-owner of Poppy & Rose and Poppy & Seed.

“My companies are devices for me to give opportunities to young Black emerging talent such as college students, young professionals and people who have dreams,” said Hargrett explaining why he was selected as an honoree.  Hargrett produced Grammy-nominated singers Mykal Kilgore and Jamison Ross.

“We are thrilled to bring Salon 7 back with new stops…for local tastemakers who have a deeper palette for unique conversation, community, and cocktail craftmanship,” said Samara B. Davis, founder of BBS.

Davis said the partnership with Jack Daniel’s has allowed them to continue their mission of bridging communities through bourbon.

“This has been our best tour to date especially with the addition of Byron (Copeland Sr., barrel maturation manager and master taster),” added Davis.

Davis founded BBS in 2016 as a membership-based organization open to everyone that connects spirits’ industry and African American bourbon enthusiasts. BBS was inspired by the Harlem Renaissance Salons where Black thought leaders gathered for social, cultural, and intellectual awakenings.

Also, Davis added that BBS challenges traditional direct consumer marketing standards by curating experiences that engage African Americans and advocate for diversity and inclusion.

“I love the Black Bourbon Society,” said Copeland, Jack Daniel’s representative who has been on the tour.

“They go into the companies, and they talk about the branding to African Americans (because) they are representing about 30,000 people. That’s what I like about them.”