"We believe black men are assets to the nation. ... Let's inspire people so we can work towards this promise in our communities," said Trabian Shorters, founder of Black Male Engagement and keynote speaker for Pittsburgh's first BMe Awards: Celebrating the Efforts of African American Men in the Community held at WQED Thursday.
More than 150 guests came to support the 10 men who were honored as leaders in their communities. A South African initiation chant used by Nelson Mandela to signify boys becoming men opened the awards, performed by Homewood's Afro-American Music Institute Boys Choir. Hosted by WQED's Chris Moore, the event included video interviews that showcased the winners' dedication and talents within their respective fields, from professor to photojournalist to CEO.
"This event celebrates African-American men who are not often portrayed achieving meaningful things in their community," said Darryl Ford-Williams, vice president of content for WQED Pittsburgh. "We hope to reshape the image of African-American boys and men both in Pittsburgh and around the country."