Master of ceremonies Steve Harvey began with a bold, humorous reminder that “the camera are rolling at all times”. He reminded nominees to be gracious losers, since three of out four will go hoe empty handed. He acted out fabulous examples of what to do and what not to do – because the cameras were rolling. Aside from keeping things rolling, Mr. Harvey made sure that any nominee who was in attendance without a cheer section, had one by the time he was through.
Hoodie Award for Best High School Teacher went to Trenton, New Jersey’s own Mark Williams of Technology High School. Mr. Williams resounding comment: “We need more Black men in the classrooms!”
George Wallace and Carla Ferrell bestowed the award for Best Barbershop on Boyz 2 Men Barbershop in Tampa, Florida.
Anthony Hamilton and Nephew Tommy presented the awards Best Car Wash to VIP Auto in Washington DC.
Columbus, Georgia is the home of Chester’s Bar-B-Que, winner of the best BBQ place, represented by The legendary O’Jays.
Working its way north, Yolanda Adams explained that the best church is a place “where you are taught to glorify God… every day. And where the love of people extends beyond the church walls… into the community.” She and Tonex then presented the Hoodie Award for Best Church went to Richmond, Virginia’s Saint Paul’s Baptist Church.
Alabama came in second as the contest of most Hoodie Award recipients. New Hope Baptist Church walked away with Best Church Choir honors, presented to them by Shirley Strawberry, Casie Davis and Lavan Davis.
It was the Deep South versus Southern Californian in contention for the Best Fried Chicken award. When the dust settled, Musician Musiq and Stephen A. Smith presented the award to Green Acres Café of Bearsna, Alabama.
North Carolina dominated the Hoodie Awards this year with four Charlotte businesses taking home honors as best in the ‘hood.
Mo’Nique presented the first Hoodie award of the evening for best Nail Salon to Zoe Nail Salon and Spa. Mo’Nique gained a co-presenter in Tank as she “broke it down” about what it means to a woman of color to get her hair done (and keep it done for two weeks). Best Beauty Salon was awarded to Lockstar Salon, a four-year-old, two-woman venture and a natural salon where they use no chemicals.
Tichina Arnold and Kym Whitley came out on stage and made a Steve Havey sandwich out of our MC before crowning La’wan’s Soul Food Place as Best Soul Food place. La’wan’s Soul Food was also charmed with the “Black moment” of the evening, sponsored by Maze featuring Frankie Beverly.
Finally, talk show host Montell Williams was on hand to represent the Best Community Leader honors on fitness guru Nettie Reeves.
The entertainment for the evening was nothing short of fantastic. R&B recording artists Tank had the audience on their foot as he sang his hit “Please Don’t Go”. Marvin Sapp threw in a dash of contemporary Gospel with is single “I Believe”. Chuck Brown treated the audience to his own special brand of Dixieland funk. Robin Thicke and his band tore it up and mixed it up with his still scorching hot single “Lost Without You.”
Every recipient took the opportunity to thank Steve Harvey for creating The Hoodie Awards. Mr. Harvey, along with producer Rushion MacDonald, conceived The Hoodie Awards as a salute and showcase for the stars of the community, aka ‘the Hood’, from coast to coast, who have demonstrated excellence in their given arena, be it churches, schools, neighborhood businesses or eateries.
This year’s Hoodie Awards was sponsored by Ford F-150 and held in the Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada. Other sponsors included Hillshire Farms, Cheaptickets, State Farm Insurance, AT&T and Home Depot.