Presidential Inauguration: Black Church and Youth Balls Among D.C. Festivities

President Obama Michelle Obama inaugural ball 2009
Presidential Inauguration: Black Church and Youth Balls Among D.C. Festivities

HinterlandGazetteWire — The presidential inauguration is fast approaching and there will be a number of inaugural balls held leading up to President Obama’s big day. Various leaders from our nation’s black churches will gather in Washington D.C. to honor President Obama’s second term, as well as recognize the work of prominent blacks such as Cicely Tyson and Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hale for their contribution to society and culture. Also featured prominently will be inaugural youth balls.

Due to the tough economic conditions, President Obama announced that he was cutting the number of official inaugural balls to two, plus a concert honoring military families. The cutback is aimed at reducing government spending and curtailing the number of security and law-enforcement personnel needed. This will be the lowest number of balls in the past 60 years. Among the inaugural galas are the following:

BWUFA Youth Presidential Inaugural Ball hosted by Black Women United for Action will be held January 19, 2013 at the Crystal City Gateway Marriott Hotel, Arlington, Virginia. The event is for ages 7-18. The idea for the event came from Thandie James, who in 2008, questioned why there were no inaugural balls held for youth who wished to participated in the Presidential Inauguration festivities.

Another inaugural youth ball is the H.O.P.E. Inaugural Youth Ball, which will be held January 20, 2013. Howard Theatre. The benefit for homeless teens, was started by Jermaine Crawford, who is best known for his starring role on the HBO series, “The Wire,” where he plays Duquan “Dukie” Weems, a homeless teen on the tough streets of Baltimore. The release for the ball states, “The Ball gives youth the opportunity to share in the inaugural festivities surrounding the swearing in of President Barack Obama and join with the rest of the nation in honoring his example of moving FORWARD. The Ball promises to be an evening of family-friendly elegance and entertainment. There will be souvenir photographs, celebrity appearances, performances and much more!”

International Inaugural Ball, presented by Inner Caucus Entertainment Inc. and WHUR 96.3 FM (Howard University Radio) will be held January 19, 2013 at L’Enfant Plaza Hotel, 480 L’Enfant Plaza, SW, Washington, DC. Will Downing will make a guest appearance.

Naturally, I am very interested in the Jamaican Inaugural Ball, since I was born in Jamaica. It will be held January 19, 2013 at the National Education Association Building. 1201 16th Street NW, Washington, DC. Jamaica has always had a warm relationship with the US. The proceeds of this ball will go towards providing scholarships to deserving students at Calabar High School and Kingston College in Jamaica.

African American Church Inaugural Ball will be held January 20, 2013, at The Grand Hyatt Washington. The event, themed “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” commemorates President Obama’s second inauguration and honors legends of our time with the once in a life-time “Keepers of the Flame Award.” The AACIB said the purpose of the ball is to “allow the collective community of the African American Church to join in the congratulatory efforts of our nation and to support the charity, the Balm in Gilead, as it endeavors to provide health education and service delivery systems within African American congregations to address health disparities, including HIV.” The 2013 honorees are Muhammad Ali, Bishop George E. Battle, Jr.; Andraé Crouch; Ed Dwight; Joycelyn Elders, MD; Bishop William H. Graves, Sr.; Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hale; Hugh Masekela; Jessye Norman; Beny Primm, MD, and Cicely Tyson.

The Dream Moving Forward Inaugural Gala will be held January 20, 2013, at the historic Howard Theatre. This gala is presented by The Sovereignty Group and will be hosted by award-winning actress Angela Bassett. R&B legend Patti LaBelle is among the star-studded list of performers. A portion of the event proceeds will be given to The Memorial Fund for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument and the African American Civil War Memorial Museum.

So, the black church and our young people will be well represented at the inaugural festivities as President Obama is sworn in to a second term.