COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE: Fashion designer B Michael will be honored by the National Congress of Black Women at the group’s annual awards ceremony next month.
Billed as “Through It All, Still Standing,” the 37th anniversary event will be a virtual one. Founded in 1984 as a nonprofit, the NCBW is dedicated to the educational, political, economic and cultural development of Black women and their families. The group also serves to support the appointment of African American women at all levels of government, as well as their involvement in educational, economic and social arenas. The group is dedicated to educating youth about the importance of good citizenship and engaging in the political process.
The NCBW was founded by chairs Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman to be elected in Congress in 1968, and Dr. C. Delores Tucker, the first Black woman to serve as Pennsylvania Secretary of the Commonwealth and the first African American woman to serve as secretary of a U.S. state government. Coretta Scott King and Dr. Dorothy Height are two other notable NCBW founders.
Based in New York, B Michael, a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, has long championed racial equality beyond fashion. He is developing a ready-to-wear line that will debut next year on the company’s first e-commerce site. He was informed of the honor by the NCBW’s chair E. Faye Williams and said he is deeply moved that an organization of strong, accomplished Black women who are dedicated to Black excellence and more would, the designer said through a spokesman.
Michael is accepting the award on behalf of all the strong Black women who have inspired him, including his grandmother, his mother, two daughters, his godmother and his muse and close friend Cicely Tyson, the spokesman said.
The late Oscar-winning actress Tyson was a decades-long client and longtime friend. Tyson died in late January at the age of 96. By dressing Tyson for the 2019 Academy Awards, where she became the first woman of color to receive an honorary Academy award, Michael was the first Black American designer to dress an Oscar winner in its then 91-year history.
At the Sept. 19 NCBW awards, Michael will join such fellow honorees as the lead developer of the Moderna vaccine Kizzmekia Corbett, congresswomen Nikema Williams of Georgia, Cori Bush of Missouri and Marilyn Strickland of Washington, as well as the Atlanta Dream’s coowner Renee Montgomery, the National Education Association’s Dr. Rebecca S. Pringle and Black Voters Matter Fund founder LaTosha Brown.