The Spingarn Medal is awarded annually by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for the brilliant achievement of African Americans. The award which consists of a gold medal was introduced in 1914 by Joel Elias Spingarn who was the chairman of the Board of the NAACP.
In 1915, biologist Ernest E. Just was the first to be awarded the medal followed by a spectrum of other recipients who received the medal due to their outstanding contribution in various fields around the African American arena. In this post, we are going to highlight a list of different recipients who received this precious medal at different times in history.
Belafonte was born on March 1, 1927, in New York City. He was a famous American singer, songwriter, actor and social activist. He was one of the most successful African-American pop stars who popularized Caribbean music style in America during the 1950s. In 1956, his album Calypso became the first million dollar record sold by a single artist.
He was awarded several accolades such as the Grammy Awards and National Medal of Arts. He further won the Spingarn medal in 2012 for his outstanding achievements in singing, songwriting, acting and social activism.
Jessye was born on September 15th, 945 in Augusta, Georgia. Her family was made up of musicians; her mother and grandmother were pianists while her father sang in a local choir. At the age of nine Jessye was given a small radio present for her birthday and this enabled her to discover the world of opera through a weekly show of the Metropolitan Opera which she was fond of. She has performed on several occasions such as the opening ceremony of 1996 summer Olympic Games in Atlanta and at the second inauguration of U.S. President Bill Clinton. Following her outstanding contribution in the world of music, Jessye was awarded the 2013Spingarn Medal for her achievement as an Opera singer.
Quincy was born in 1933 on the south side of Chicago. He developed interest in music and musical instruments at an early age. While in high school, he was involved in music activities which enabled him to develop outstanding skills as a trumpeter and arranger.
He was the first African American to be named as the musical director and conductor of the Academy Ceremony awardsand was also Michael Jackson’s producer. He was awarded the Spingarn Medal in 2014 for his success as a musician and a producer.
Sidney was born on February 20th 1927 in Bahamian. He was the first African American to win an Academy Award for best actor in 1964. He starred in three films in 1967 which were based on issues affecting African Americansin the U.S. The films were very successful leading him to feature among the best box- office stars of that year. He was awarded the Spingarn Medal in 2015 for his success as an actor.
Nathaniel R. Jones
Jones was born on May 12th1926 in Ohio. He was the first African American to be appointed as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio in Cleveland in 1962. Jones was recognized for his legal efforts to end school segregation in northern United States when he was the general counsel of NAACP. Before retirement on March 2002, he was a judge in the U.S. Court of Appeal for the sixth Circuits. On 2016, Nathaniel was awarded the Spingarn Medal for his achievements as a Judge.