Four civic and community leaders will be honored at the 24th annual Dr. Marion J. Brooks Living Legend Award Ceremony on June 22.
The awards are presented by the Fort Worth Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Inc. Beta Tau Lambda in association with the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum (NMWHM) at 6:30 p.m. at the Fort Worth Central Library, 500 West 3rd St.
Recognized this year are Gwen Barbee, Community Service; Paulette Turner, Business; Bishop Robert L. Sample, Religion; and Dr. Robert T. McDaniel, Education.
Barbee is founder and director of the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce Film Institute. She is a board member of the Texas Film Commission, a founding board member of the Fort Worth Business Assistance Center and a board member for the City of Forest Hill Community Development Corporation. Barbee has been recognized as a Great Woman of Texas by the Fort Worth Business Press.
Turner is a retired IBM executive and is an executive coach, certified facilitator and leadership development consultant. She is a program director for Leadership Fort Worth. Turner is chapter chair for the Fort Worth Chapter of the Women Presidents’ Organization, a member on the International Board of Visitors at Texas Christian University-M.J. Neeley School of Business, a board member and of the Dallas Black Dance Theatre and president of the Fort Worth Chapter of The Links Inc. She recently received the 2017 Discover Award by the Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains. She also has been honored as an Outstanding Woman of the Year by the Fort Worth/Tarrant County Minority Leaders and Citizens Council.
Sample has served at Holy Tabernacle Church of God in Christ in Fort Worth’s Stop Six community for 48 years. He was one of the first African-American pastors on the committee for Drug Abuse Prevention of the State of Texas Department of Community Affairs. Sample is a member of the Task Force for Adopted Schools and has also served on the board for “Because We Care,” now known as “Challenge” of Tarrant County and the Tarrant County United Way board of allocation. He currently is as prelate of the Texas North Central Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Fort Worth, and oversees 27 church congregations.
McDaniel began his teaching career in the Fort Worth ISD in 1949 and retired as principal of Morningside Middle School in 1985 after a 37-year career. During World War II, he was a member of the 447th Bombardment Group and one of the 104 officers of the 477th Group involved in “The Freeman Field Officers Club Incident” that eventually led to the integration of all officer’s clubs and other military facilities previously off-limits to black officers. In 2007, he was one of the original Tuskegee Airmen awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by President George Bush, and he was invited to attend the inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009. That same year, he was inducted into The Texas Aviation Hall of Fame. He was awarded an honorary doctorate Degree by Tuskegee University.
“This year’s Living Legends ceremony is especially significant in that we are not only recognizing these outstanding community leaders, but it also marks the passing of the torch of this 24-year old tradition to the next generation,” NMWHM Co-Founder Jim Austin said in a news release. “We are thrilled to have the exemplary young men of Beta Tau Lambda helming this event now and into the future.”