**Updated on February 21st, 2019
Everyone’s excited about the Black Ball, an event that began last year, to help shine a light on those who have been working tirelessly for and in their community. Read more on how the event came to be and what transpired at last year’s event.
“I’m Rooting For Everybody Black” is a phrase that has virally sparked a movement of support that people were at one time, afraid to boast about. Many of us were birthed into an era where we were taught to root for equality or simply “our” chance to reign. With concentrated efforts centered around rooting for “everybody black” or “for women,” it seems as though there is a current shift of chanting for “WINNING” and celebrating Black Excellence.
Baton Rouge-based website, The Rouge Collection, gathered over 600 people on Wednesday, Feb 28th to celebrate local Black Excellence with their inaugural “Black Ball.”
“We decided to celebrate the beautiful work black people are doing in Baton Rouge,” said Publisher Gary Chambers.
The idea came to Chambers while in conversation about the lack of publicized recognition for the African-American demographic in the Metro Area. With only 5 1/2 weeks to plan it was important to the Rouge Collection team to host this event during Black History Month.
Often times people talk the talk of supporting the Black community because it is a “pop culture” topic these days. In Chambers opinion, The Black Ball built momentum and raised the morale of a community that was not feeling the love in BR.
“We gathered a group of trusted advisors and told them what we were looking for. Those people then submitted names, we had over 120 people. We went down the list and picked the first honorees based on current events, and work that most of them are doing,” said Chambers in regards to how the recipients were chosen. “It was extremely difficult because so many people in the city are doing great things — but that is also encouraging because it won’t be hard to select people next year.”
Mayor Sharon-Weston Broome, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, was recognized for her career span of work in Baton Rouge. State Representative Edward Ted James, Council members Lamont Cole, and Chauna Banks were recognized, along with many others, for their efforts and continued work in support of Alton Sterling and the fight for North Baton Rouge.
The diverse list of honorees were awarded with an artistic style spray can that Chambers noted at the event was a token of appreciation.
“It’s gritty just like the work each of you have done, but it also represents that we HAVE NOT MADE IT to the point as a community where we no longer have to get our hands dirty.”