Sometimes the best way to drive home a serious message is through comedy and song.
Sometimes the best way to drive home a serious message is through comedy and song. This truth was not lost on actors Niecy Nash and Anthony Anderson as they hosted The Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s 23rd Anniversary Awards Dinner.
The event, which honors corporate and educational leaders and helps raise funds to assist students attending public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), was held in New York City at the prestigious Sheraton Hotel & Towers. Before a crowd of HBCU students, celebrities and corporate powerhouses Anthony wasn’t shy about flirting with the happily engaged Niecy.
Niecy seemed to enjoy playing the straight woman to Anthony’s shenanigans, and she even chided him for wearing all white to a black tie event. Throughout the night the two continued bantering, delivering jokes and high energy that kept everyone entertained.
Of course, all of the fun didn’t detract from the important fundraising and honoring duties of the evening. Celebrity presenters included actress Anika Noni Rose and HBCU alumna Omarosa Manigault, who was also interestingly billed by the event as an actress.
Now, if there’s anyone who knows how to put on an act, it’s the legendary Patti LaBelle, who performed “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
While Patti was relatively calm throughout the song, she raised eyebrows when, in the middle of singing, she lifted her mic stand, threw it half way across the stage and held onto her wireless microphone. It was a diva move that only Patti could get away with. Unfortunately, she only had time to serenade the audience with one song, as she had to prepare to shoot a segment of the “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” with Kandi Buruss.
The night’s other performance was from the Prairie View A&M Chamber Singers, who performed a medley of jazz standards in beautiful harmony including, “God Bless the Child” and “Autumn Leaves.”
Not one to be outdone, Anthony surprised the audience by delivering a rendition of the Jennifer Holliday classic “And I’m Telling You…” which showed that he can indeed carry a tune.
But it was Anthony’s $10,000 donation that truly got the crowd cheering and helped the event surpass last year’s fundraising total. It was a wonderful accomplishment that ensures there will be many more years to come for the fund to deliver more memorable moments while support the next generation of leaders.