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See the pics: Better Brothers give Raven-Symoné LGBTQ impact award

On Saturday, March 4, Better Brothers Los Angeles taped the 9th Annual Truth Awards co-presented by Emmy Award-winner Sheryl Lee Ralph, The DIVA Foundation. The two-hour telecast premiered on Saturday, March 18 at 7:00 PM PST / 10:00 PM EST and will re-broadcast on Friday, March 24 at 6:00 PM PST / 9:00 PM EST (after TEA-G-I-F) on Fox Soul TV and will be hosted by  Jerrie Johnson.

 The annual event honored trailblazing LGBTQ+ African-Americans and allies whose personal and professional accomplishments have positively impacted the perception and image of the Black LGBTQ+ red-carpet community. 

Better Brothers Los Angeles (BBLA) awarded over $25,000 in scholarships to eight students from the Los Angeles, Boston, Charlotte, and Chicago metropolitan areas. During the scholarship presentation, comedian and actress Tiffany Haddish and the She Ready Foundation surprised the scholars with an additional $40,000. Emmy Award-winning actress Sheryl Lee Ralph also matched audience pledges with an additional $20,000.

This year’s honoree class recognized an esteemed group of individuals. Honorees are Entertainment Icon Raven-Symoné (Icon Award)Netflix The Upshaws (Cultural Affirmation Award), Judge Greg Mathis, Greg Mathis Jr. Mathis Family Matters (Family Award), STARZ #TakeTheLead (Corporate Leadership & Diversity Award), Tabitha Brown (Ally Award), Byron Perkins (Courage Award), Dr. Darnell Hunt (Excellence in Education Award), Dr. David Malebranche (Advocate Award), and Unique Woman’s Coalition (Advocate Award).

The Truth Awards entertainment included R&B singer Avery Wilson and a duet performance by SWV’s Coko Gamble and son Jayye Michael. This year’s annual celebration also included special appearances by: Sheryl Lee Ralph (“Abbott Elementary”), Darnell Moore  (“Nextflix Vice President of Inclusion Strategy”), Emmy-nominated tv Judge Mablean Ephriam (“Justice with Judge Mablean”), Jason Lee (“Hollywood Unlocked,” “The Jason Lee Show”), Brandee Evans (“P-Valley “), Eric Scott Ways  (“The Best Man: The Final Chapters”), Folake Olowofoyeku (“Bob Hearts Abishola”), Rhoyle Ivy King (“All American: Homecoming”), Geffi Maya  (“All American: Homecoming”), Terrence Terrell  (“The Best Man: The Final Chapters “), Ashlee Marie Preston (“Media Personality “) and Tre’vell Anderson (“Entertainment Journalist “). 

“This year’s honorees continue the Truth Award’s tradition of recognizing the diversity in our community, from educators to advocates to creatives to sports figures.  Our community mirrors the larger Black Community, and the Truth Awards places this example of Black Excellence on display for all to see,” said Scott Hamilton, co-founder of Better Brothers Los Angeles.

Raven-Symoné, 37, also known mononymously as Raven, has received several accolades over her career, including five NAACP Image Awards, two Kids’ Choice Awards, three Young Artist Awards, and three Daytime Emmy Awards.

In a 2016 video for “It Gets Better,” Raven talked about how her start on The Cosby Show and her early Disney success (That’s So Raven, The Cheetah Girls) kept her from coming out as a lesbian, even though she knew she was gay by the age of 12.

“I knew I couldn’t say it out loud because, ‘Oh my god, little Olivia is gay, this is crazy,’” said Raven, who played Olivia on The Cosby Show.

“It was always negative,” she said. “So, if you don’t see other people going through it in a positive way, why would you say anything? There was nothing that would have made me want to deal with my own issue at that time.”

Finally coming out, which she did in college, made her happier and more free. Raven married Miranda Pearman-Maday in June 2020.

Raven-Symoné was awarded the Icon Award celebrating her iconic career through the decades and commitment to LGBTQ+ visibility. Known for her unforgettable roles on shows which made her a persistent presence in kids, family, and family entertainment for over three decades, particularly on the Disney Channel, where she rebooted her 2003 family sitcom (That’s So Raven).

Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

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