Mandela, Evers-Williams, and Jefferson Receive Ford Freedom Award
Ford commemorated the 16th anniversary of the Ford Freedom Award program by celebrating three extraordinary heroes: former South African President Nelson Mandela, civil rights activist Myrlie Evers-Williams, and retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Alexander Jefferson of the Tuskegee Airmen.
The program took place last Wednesday at the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts in Detroit. The theme, “Power of Perseverance,” honored the three heroes for their commitment and contribution to the African-American community as well as their humility through it all.
This year’s Ford Freedom Award honoree was Mandela—an antiapartheid activist who should need no introduction. He spent more than 25 years in prison before becoming the first black president of South Africa and was well-known around the world for his activism, which had earned him the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize and the US Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The Ford Freedom Award scholar was Evers-Williams, a civil rights activist who spent more than 30 years trying to bring the killer of her husband to justice.
A special award went to Jefferson, who had been held captive as a prisoner of war by the Nazis when he served as a member of the 332nd Fighter Group, the Tuskegree Airmen, during WWII.
The News Wheel honors all three individuals for their heroic actions and contributions to advancing the back community, both in our country and overseas.