On Saturday night I was honored to be honored with a leadership award by the California Black Chamber of Commerce. That said, I was quickly, happily and enthusiastically eclipsed by the one and only Dr. Cecil "Chip" Murray, the Tanzy chair of Religious Studies at USC and the legendary pastor of First A.M.E. Church. Dr. Murray basically raised me, spiritually, in my adult life. I love this man, and I was a minor musical note, standing beside this full musical orchestra of excellence and lifetime achievement known far and wide as Dr. Murray, and by those who know him as "Chip." Appropriately so, Dr. Murray received the "Lifetime Achievement" Award that evening.
The best part of the evening was the host allowing me to say a few words, which gave me license to brag on Dr. Murray, thanking him for everything he has done for me since the founding of Operation HOPE, and to honor the legacy of the late Secretary Ron Brown. Brown was also a mentor of mine, and the evening was named in his honor.
The extra special part of the evening, for both Dr. Murray and I, was a presentation of our very own minted U.S. Postal Service stamps for both Dr. Murray and myself! Very, very cool.
Onward with HOPE
John Hope Bryant