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Time to vote for the ‘Best in Black’

  • Written by Bernal E Smith II
After receiving nearly 600 nominations during the two-week nomination period, the ballots have been set for The New Tri-State Defender’s 2014 Best in Black Awards competition and it is time for the public to vote for their favorites across 64 unique categories.
Online voting at www.bestinblackawards.com kicked off Friday (July 25th) and ends at midnight on August 9th. Each voter can vote one time per day during that time frame. The top three vote getters in each of the 25 top categories (based on total number of votes cast) will be invited to the Best in Black Pre-Awards VIP Reception (at Dorothy Mae’s at the Ernest Withers’ Gallery on Beale Street).
The Best in Black Awards Show is set for the Cook Convention Center on Aug. 30th.
The third edition of The Best in Black Awards Show once again provides an opportunity time to answer those questions that come up all the time in everyday conversations: Who has the best hot wings in Memphis? What about soul food? What is the best barber shop in Memphis? Who’s the best personal trainer? Best choir? Best radio personality? How about beauty salon? What nail salon tops all others? 
The BIB Awards mission is to celebrate African-American owned and supported businesses in the Mid-South, serving as a marketing and recognition platform for those same companies while ultimately encouraging the community’s next generation of business leaders. 
“It’s a creative way to poll the community about the individuals, businesses and organizations that they most support while identifying those with the best brands and reputations,” said TSD President/ Publisher Bernal E. Smith II.
After initially deciding to take only the top five nominees in each category, the nomination committee later decided to allow all nominees on the ballot for voting. 
The black-carpet, black-tie Best in Black Awards Show starts at 7 p.m. on Aug. 30th and will feature live performances and presentations. Smith said it will be an energetic evening showcasing local Memphis talent between the presentations of the most popular Best in Black Award categories. 
Current event sponsors include Ford Motor Company, Cigna, and Memphis 10 Magazine. Additional sponsorship and advertising opportunities are still available. 
There is also a Facebook page, www.facebook.com/BestinBlackAwards, along with information at www.tsdmemphis.com and at www.facebook.com/tristatedefender.
“This has proven to be an incredible platform for acknowledging individuals and businesses that the community recognizes as the best,” said Smith.
“The Awards Show on August 30th will spotlight the best and brightest and provide opportunities for networking while also giving local groups and performing artists opportunities to showcase their talents. This has swiftly become one of Memphis’ premier events!”
(Locally owned and operated by Best Media Properties, Inc., The New Tri-State Defender is one of the longest continuously published African-American newspapers in the South. Under the leadership of its Owner, President and Publisher, Bernal E. Smith II, the company is undergoing a transformation into a progressive multi-media business. Through a combination of its print newspaper, website, events, digital publications and social media pages, The New Tri-State Defender reaches over 55,000 readers each week. The TSD’s mission is to use its dynamic print publications, events and online digital portals to inform, inspire and elevate the quality of life of its growing audience while serving as the primary vehicle for reaching African Americans in the Greater Memphis market.)


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