Wednesday, October 18, 2006 – A Jamaican is the recipient of the 2006 Black Heritage Image Award (BHIA), honouring outstanding contribution to the preservation of Black Heritage in the USA.
Ephraim Martin, entrepreneur, media personality and publisher was on Saturday, October 14, 2006, presented with the prestigious BHI Award for excellence in international Relations at a gala at the Sabre Room in Hickory Hills, Illinois.
Martin, based in Chicago, is the president/founder and executive producer of the annual International Reggae & world Music Awards (IRAWMA), the Chicago Music Awards (CMA) the African/Caribbean International Festival of Life (IFOL) and the Caribbean Festival (CAF), Chicago.
The father of one child, daughter Dana Martin and the husband of Illinois Appellate Court Justice Shelvin L.M. Hall, Martin is also a panel member of the weekly W.L. Lilliard-Straight Talk on TV 25, seen every Thursday evening across Chicago.
The citation, read by Mary Swopes, President of the Mahogany Heritage Foundation noted that for more than 25 years, Martin has successfully advanced the music, culture, arts, crafts and lifestyle of the people of the Caribbean – especially Jamaica – Africa and other parts of the globe.
Over the last two decades and against tremendous odds, Martin has helped to bridge the gap among peoples of different nationalities and ethnic backgrounds. In 1999, he established and hosted the Hands of Love event, in which he had several churches join hands along 55th Street from Dan Ryan Expressway to Washington Park at South Cottage Grove or a midday prayer against inner-city violence.
In May of this year, his Martin’s Inter-Culture organization produced the 25 anniversary of IRAWMA at the world-famous Apollo Theatre in New York City. The event which was ruled by Damion ‘Welcome to Jamrock’ Marley, drew rave reviews from a worldwide TV audience.
The 14th IFOL celebration, held over the 4th of July Independence Holiday weekend, reportedly attracted more than 170,000 patrons in Washington Park, Chicago.
The Black Heritage Image Awards (BHIA) is a celebration of achievement, honoring outstanding leaders whose work and contributions perpetuate the dignity and depth of Black Heritage.
Previous recipients of the Black Heritage Awards include : the Hon Rosa Parks – the mother of the Civil Rights Movement; Dr Mae Jemison – first black female astronaut; Congressman Danny K Davis; Congresswoman Maxine Waters; Jackie Joyner-Kersee; and Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu of Lagos , Nigeria .
Martin is currently in full preparation for his four special events for 2007. For more information visit www.martinsinterculture.com