Brenda Braxton, Tony-nominated star of Broadway's Smokey Joe's Cafe, will be presented the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. "Living the Dream" Award by New York Governor George Pataki at noon, Jan. 21, 1999. The ceremony will take place at the Schomburg Center for Research and Black Culture in Harlem, three days after the national holiday Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Braxton will be honored for her "Leading Ladies Just For Teens" program, her effort to bring women from various professional backgrounds into contact with girls ages 12-18 who suffer a wide range of emotional and physical crises, including alcoholism, drug abuse and domestic violence.
Part of this program has included monthly workshops at the Virginia Theatre before and after the Smokey Joe's Cafe matinee. Along with encouragement, participants receive a special backstage tour, meet cast members of Smokey Joes, and obtain complimentary tickets to the show.
The "Living the Dream" Award recognizes community leaders who carry on the legacy of Dr. King.
-- By Christine Ehren