The Arkansas Black Hall of Fame Foundation (ABHOF) on Thursday announced six inductees for its 28th class.
The induction ceremony, annually held on the third Saturday of October, will be postponed until a later date when it is safe to return for an indoor, in-person event, foundation officials said. At that time, a formal induction ceremony for the class of 2021 will be held.
The 2021 inductees include:
- Sherman Banks — International citizen diplomat, honorary ambassador to Ghana, arts and education patron;
- Dr. Joe L. Hargrove — Scientist, educator, philanthropist and medical practitioner;
- Hattie Hill — International business consultant, entrepreneur, philanthropic leader;
- Ketty Lester — TV and motion picture actress, singer, songwriter, recording artist;
- Dr. Gertrude Newsome Jackson (posthumous) — Educator, social justice and civil rights leader;
- James Thrower — NFL star, business, philanthropy and civic leader.
“Our 28th class of inductees continue the tradition of showcasing the tremendous talent that Arkansas produces,” said Charles Stewart, ABHOF chairman, in a press release. “While our foundation made plans to return to an in-person ceremony this year after a hiatus in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has again paused those plans. We look forward to producing an amazing ceremony for our inductees, their family and friends and Arkansans to enjoy when it is safe to do so.”
Despite not having an induction ceremony in 2020, and with the generous support of corporate partners, the ABHOF Foundation awarded $127,000 through 75 mini-grants for COVID-19 relief and 16 mission-related grants to improve education, health and wellness, youth development, and to strengthen families in Black and other underserved communities throughout Arkansas.
These grants, awarded both in 2020 and 2021, ranged from $1,000 to $5,000.