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American Legacy Magazine Honors Black Men

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American Legacy Magazine Hosts Its First "Men of Honor & Distinction Awards" Ceremony

Cultural and Historical Magazine Honors David Dinkins, John Hope Franklin, Earl Graves, Willie Mays and Bill Russell

New York, NY - "American Legacy," the magazine of African-American history and culture, will host its First Annual "Men of Honor & Distinction" Awards ceremony Thursday, November, 9, 2006 in New York City. "American Legacy" is pleased to announce that the "2006 Men of Honor & Distinction" honorees are: David Dinkins, Earl Graves, John Hope Franklin, Willie Mays and Bill Russell. New York's WCBS 2 TV News Anchor Maurice DuBois will be the event's host.

David Dinkins, the first and only African-American mayor of New York City, has fought for equality and civil rights for more than four decades. As Mayor, he combined forces with community organizations to advocate racial harmony, AIDS awareness, and drug abuse prevention. Even after his departure from mayoral office, Dinkins remains a powerful presence in metropolitan affairs.

Through his extensive body of work, John Hope Franklin has left an indelible mark in the pages of history so that African-Americans will never forget who they are, where they came from and what they can achieve. His masterpiece, "From Slavery to Freedom," coauthored with Alfred A. Moss, Jr., is now in its eighth edition and is still deemed to be one of the best accounts of African-American history.

Earl Graves is the creator of the successful publishing venture, "Black Enterprise," a magazine he created in 1970 to provide black professionals with the first authoritative resource to address their specific challenges. Since its inception, "Black Enterprise" has amassed half a million paid subscribers and a readership of more than 3.7 million. In 1972 President Richard Nixon named Graves one of the 10 most outstanding minority businessmen, and he received the National Award of Excellence for his achievements in minority business enterprise. Two years later, "Time" magazine listed him as one of the 200 future leaders of the country.

Entering Major League Baseball in the early 50's, Willie Mays was never hindered by segregation and racism. In 1954, he led his team, the Giants, to a National League pennant and in the 1954 World Series, it was his legendary "The Catch," that helped the Giants win the series and Mays his first Most Valuable Player Award. He won his second MVP award in 1965, and that same year, hit the 500th homer of his career. Mays went on to play for the New York Mets in 1972 and made his last appearance on the field during the 1973 World Series. After his retirement in 1975, he stayed with the Mets as a coach until 1979, when his was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. In his honor, his number (24) was retired by the Giants, and the address of the team's stadium is now 24 Willie Mays Plaza. Often referred to as the greatest living baseball player of all time, Mays had an astonishing 3,283 hits and 660 home runs, won 12 Gold Gloves, and played in 24 All-Star games.

Bill Russell proved that one man can make a good team great. He earned respect and admiration of his peers, as well as that of millions of basketball fans, when he shunned personal fame in favor of team unity. He was voted Most Valuable Player five times and elected 12 times to the NBA All-Star team. In 1966 Russell made history as the first African-American coach in the league. Under his direction, the Celtics won two world championships and in 1973 he was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame. In 1996 he was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History by the NBA.

"For its first annual tribute, "American Legacy" wanted to pay tribute to five men whose pride, determination, and brilliance has inspired and empowered generations," said Rodney J. Reynolds, Founder and Publisher, "American Legacy Magazine". "It is not often that an organization hosts an event honoring African-American men exclusively for their rich contributions to history and culture."

The American Legacy "Men of Honor & Distinction Award" mirrors the Magazine's signature annual "Women of Strength & Courage Awards" -- now approaching its eighth year -- which features a panel discussion between New York area high school students and the event's honorees.

Unlike the "Women of Strength & Courage Awards" which is preceded by a co-ed student audience, The "Men of Honor & Distinction" will debut with an all-male panel discussion between the honorees and New York area high school students.

"These honorees are role models and legends that young men don't often see on TV. At this event, they will not only meet them, but will have the opportunity to speak and listen to the men who have blazed the trail for them in American history," said Reynolds. "I'm hoping that this event impacts the lives of some of these young men and put them on a career path that they may not have otherwise chosen."

In addition to being honored at this awards event in New York City, the honorees are featured in the Winter 2006/07 issue of "American Legacy" on newsstands in November. Sponsors for "Men of Honor & Distinction Awards" include: Allstate, American Airlines, Colgate-Palmolive, GM Goodwrench, and Wachovia. The youth forum and reception are sponsored by NBA Cares.

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About American Legacy Magazine

"American Legacy Magazine" is distributed nationwide to over 2.25 million readers through black churches, educational and cultural institutions. Also available on newsstands and through paid subscriptions, "American Legacy" is a joint venture between RJR Communications Inc. and the American Heritage, a division of Forbes. Other brands include: "American Legacy Woman", "American Legacy Healthcare Advantage", "American Legacy, Jr." and American Legacy TV.

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