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Jeremy Pope & Law Roach to be Honored at the 2024 Native Son Awards, Don Lemon to Host

Entertainment News

Native Son, the leading organization dedicated to empowering Black gay and queer men, is holding its annual Awards ceremony and gala in honor of Pride Month. Taking place on June 12 in New York, the prestigious event celebrates outstanding leaders, innovators, and advocates who are reshaping narratives and elevating the visibility of Black queer voices.

Accomplished journalist Don Lemon, a previous honoree at the first Native Son Awards in 2016, returns as the event host for the second consecutive year. Aiming to create a space of fellowship by putting the spotlight on those who are world-renowned and up-and-coming, Native Son celebrates whom they consider an influential but often overlooked group of creators.

Founded by journalist and community organizer Emil Wilbekin, the Native Son Awards Gala is a stylish evening of recognition and fundraising in support of the organization's initiatives.

Earlier today, Wilbekin had a brief conversation through Instagram Live with Access Hollywood's Scott Evans. Wilbekin shared his thoughts on the lack of representation within the queer community and his influences behind the creation of Native Son.

"Black Pride feels more like community", he said. "I think with Native Son it was about, where do we fit in?"

Wilbekin expressed his personal experiences amongst the New York pride community, identifying as an outsider and struggling to find his place within an already marginalized group.

Currently, Wilbekin serves as the Assistant Professor of Journalism at the Fashion Institute of Technology while being a contributing writer for The New York Times, Vogue, Essence, and others.

Founder Emil Wilbekin and Journalist Don Lemon at the Inaugural Native Son Awards via The Advocate

This year's honorees include esteemed figures including Tony Award-winning choreographer Bill T. Jones, multi-talented artist and Golden-Globe nominated actor Jeremy Pope, renowned celebrity stylist Law Roach, PR trailblazer Chris Chambers, author and commentator Keith Boykin, and activist Gabriel Maldonado, CEO of TruEvolution.

The gala will also feature notable presenters including actor Nicholas L. Ashe, fashion designer LaQuan Smith, Color of Change President Rashad Robinson, and media personality Darnell L. Moore, who also serves as the gala co-chair.

The evening will commence with a star-studded red carpet and cocktail reception, followed by a dinner and awards presentation, featuring a special performance by acclaimed singer-songwriter serpentwithfeet. The program can be viewed on Native Son's YouTube and Facebook channels.

For more information about Native Son and the 2024 Awards Gala, please visit


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