Tribute Honors Black Men
Crimson Staff Writer
Introduced by video clips in the style of MTV’s “Real World,” three Harvard seniors were honored on Saturday evening at the tenth annual Tribute to Black Men ceremony at the Sheraton Boston Hotel.
The event, sponsored by the Association of Black Harvard Women (ABHW), also recognized the efforts of three black underclassmen, two high school winners from the Boston area, and music executive Clarence Avant.
The Tribute Board, a board of ten undergraduate black women, selected black male leaders in black student organizations and in off-campus groups that address broader black issues, said Safiya J. Miller ’09, the event’s co-chair.
The three senior winners were Marcus G. Miller ’08, Barry E. Breaux Jr. ’08, and Ofole “Fofie” U. Mgbako ’08. Underclassmen winners were O. Randall Ojukwu ’09, Sangu J. Delle ’10, and Spencer H. Hardwick ’11.
Undergraduate women nominated their black male peers, who were then reviewed by the Tribute Board based upon submitted essays and resumes.
A few weeks before Saturday’s ceremony, the Black Men’s Forum (BMF) recognized black female leaders at Harvard in the annual Celebration of Black Women.
“This [exchange] actively works towards making sure that gender relations between the two groups stay positive,” said Nworah B. Ayogu ’10, political action chair of BMF.
Ayogu added that as an event setting models for underclassmen, the Tribute for Black Men “reinforces a definition of success that is focused on commitment to service, social justice, building community, and building personal relationships.”
He said these values are not emphasized in Harvard’s typical definition of achievement, which centers around making money and landing internships.
Winner Barry E. Breaux ’08 said he accepts the award with humility and responsibility.
“I want to encourage anyone who won an award to be humbled by it and use it as a platform to continue to do good things,” Breaux said.