PICS: Fantasia, Spike Lee, Jermaine Dupri and More at 2016 Triumph Awards Hosted by Tichina Arnold

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Published on September 20, 2016 with No Comments

Fantasia and Spike Lee at 2016 Triumph Awards

Fantasia and Spike Lee at 2016 Triumph Awards


On Sunday, September 18,  Reverend Al Sharpton and the National Action Network along with TV One presented the 2016 Triumph Awards at the Tabernacle Concert Hall in Atlanta, GA. Hosted by actress and philanthropist Tichina Arnold, the Triumph Awards recognizes distinguished individuals and corporations in civil rights, the arts, entertainment, education, business and sports. The show was taped in front of a live audience and will air Sunday, October 2 at 7PM and 9PM ET on TV One.

Tichina Arnold at 2016 Triumph Awards

Tichina Arnold


Attorney Benjamin Crump was presented the “Chairman’s Award for Historic and Transformative Service” by Clifton Powell (Saints and Sinners).  Crump gave an an awe inspiring acceptance speech and challenged us all to do something in the wake of the America’s racial turmoil.  He let us know that do to nothing was just not acceptable. His speech was emotional and heartfelt, everyone was transfixed by his sheer passion.

Rev. Al Sharpton

Rev. Al Sharpton


Larenz Tate (House of Lies) presented the “Triumphant Man of the Year” award to Jermaine Dupri; The “Triumphant Woman of the Year” went to FedEx executive Gina F. Adams, who was introduced by legendary singer Dionne Warwick.  For me, being in the presence of a living legend such as Dionne Warwick was one of highlights of the evening. Aactor and recording artist DerekFonzworth Bentley” Watkins was on hand to present the “President’s Award for Service and Humanitarian Efforts” to Sean “Diddy” Combs (who was not in attendance);  Tim Murphy of Mastercard accepted the honor of “Corporate Partner of the Year Award;”

The final award of the evening was the “Activism in the Arts Award” and this was definitely my favorite moment of the night.  The award was presented to Spike Lee by orthopedic surgeon (and childhood friend) Dr. Vietta Johnson, President of Spelman College Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell and actress Teyonah Parris.

Spike Lee told the story of how he got his first camera.  Spike was visiting his friend Vietta (in Brooklyn I believe) and noticed a “Super 8” camera.  He inquired about it and was informed that it was a gift from her father and that he could have it.   He also noticed a box of film and she said he could have that too.  The incredible but true story is how Spike Lee acquired his very first camera and began making films!

Nick Cannon

Nick Cannon


Memorable performances were delivered by gospel artist Jekalyn Carr, V. Bozeman, Nick Cannon, BJ the Chicago Kid, the James Brown Academy of Music Pupils, Joe, Eric Benet, Juan and Deborah Joy Winans, and Fantasia. Tichina ArnoldJB SmooveCarl PayneErica Ash and Teyonah Parris also joined forces to perform a “Spike Lee Joint Medley,” a hilarious musical tribute.   My favorites were Fantasia who took us to church as she always does and a surprisingly socially conscious rap performance by Nick Cannon.

Additional appearances by Marc Lamont Hill, Dondre Whitfield, Kandi Burruss, Terri J. Vaughn, Pooch Hall, Denise Boutte, Ebony Steele, Angel McCoughtry; the “Mothers of the Movement (MOM);” Gwen Carr (mother of Eric Garner), Lesley McSpadden (mother of Mike Brown) and Sybrina Fulton (mother of Trayvon Martin); and Georgia State House Representative Erica Thomas.   The MOM group brought many in the audience, including myself, to tears.

The 2016 Triumph Awards is produced by Bart Phillips of Sunseeker Entertainment. Eric Tomosunas and Keith Neal serve as Executive Producer for Swirl Films. Robyn Green Arrington is Executive in Charge of Production. Lamar Chase serves as Producer and D’Angela Proctor is Head of Original Programing and Production for TV One.

For more information about The Triumph Awards visit the network’s companion website at TV One viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@tvonetv) using the hashtag #TriumphAwards and catch clips and promos on TV One’s YouTube Channel..

Photo credit: Robin Marshall, Marcus Ingram for TV One





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