Who Is Tom Joyner? The BET Awards Honor This Radio Host & Humanitarian For His Contributions To The Black Community
Like many awards shows, the BET Awards always take a portion of their runtime to honor some specially chosen people as recipients of their Lifetime Achievement and Humanitarian awards. While "Ultimate Icon" Janet Jackson is a familiar name for audiences, the BET Awards' Humanitarian Award winner Tom Joyner may be a little less well-known. Still, he's a fantastic choice for the awards show to acknowledge the serious issues facing the black community, and honor his years of straddling the entertainment industry and activism. I think that while the Janet Jackson tribute will absolutely be filled with amazing songs and videos, honoring someone like Joyner is just as important, if not more. It may be an awards show based on entertainment, but that doesn't mean it can't take some time out to honor deserving people for their contributions to the black community in other fields.
The fact that the awards even have a Humanitarian award speaks to how the BET Awards try to emphasize the good that entertainment can spread, especially when so many milestones of the Civil Rights Movement, like MLK's Selma march, happened this year. But in case you've never heard of Joyner before, here's a quick primer on his best accomplishments, so you'll be prepared for his BET Awards moment:
He's A Radio Host
That's actually an understatement — Joyner has hosted the morning talk radio show The Tom Joyner Show for years, and even has received a bevy of radio awards.
He Runs The Tom Joyner Foundation
As a staunch supporter of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the Tom Joyner Foundation provides funding for the schools and millions of dollars in assistance and scholarships for potential students, ensuring they will continue to be a proud tradition.
He Has An Insane Work Ethic
For eight years, Joyner flew back and forth between Dallas and Chicago so he could work two radio jobs in two different cities. And he's still traveling with his morning show.
His Nickname Is "The Fly Jock"
Nothing more to say about that — it's just a super cool nickname.
His Whole Life Is A Part Of Black History
It's no surprise that Joyner is supportive of HBCUs, because he was born just outside of the Tuskegee Institute, according to a piece on PBS dictating his family history.
He's Not Too Serious For A Laugh
Joyner presented at the Soul Train Awards in 2012, so trust that he won't give an overly dry speech or not be able to laugh at himself. Between his credentials and his approach to charity, with an emphasis on education, Tom Joyner will be a worthy addition to the BET Awards' Humanitarian honors. And won't miss a beat when it comes to accepting the award.
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