Uptown turns out to celebrate the year’s biggest superstars.
Congrats, everyone, for a spectacular night of fashion and fanfare, bursting with community pride. The Uppity Awards recognizes individuals and organizations that have made a direct impact in the lives of Uptown residents, which includes the Philadelphia neighborhoods of Mount Airy, Germantown, West Oak Lane, East Oak Lane, Fern Rock and Ogontz. This year, the 2nd Annual Uppity Awards took place October 1 at the Commodore Barry Club (Mt Airy)
Presented by the Uptown Standard newspaper, one of our N.I.C.E. partners and a trusted colleague before that. Owner/founder James Williams is one of those guys who seems to know everyone, and his paper covers a wide range of community topics: high school sports, state and local government, small business and more. Despite what you may see on “the news,” there’s a lot of positive stuff happening in Uptown. The “Uppities,” aim to highlight these stories, and shine some light on the people doing good, for a change.
Honors are given out for Artists, Non-Profits, Teachers and Coaches plus special awards for beloved local businesses: barbers, salons, restaurants, etc. The best part of the evening, however, is the collective joy that uplifts everyone gathered. “We had such a good time!” said Local senior correspondent Lenora Gaillard, who attended with her daughter Monique. “It’s so important, especially for Black people. There aren’t many opportunities to go out where people are dressed up, and just have fun for the night together.”
For Lenora, the fashion was dazzling – a whole gamut from couples in formal wear to “young men dressed up with their sneakers and all.” And everything in between. Lots black and metallics, lots of sparkle and drama. All ages, too, even children who Lenora noted were both adorable and also extremely well-behaved. “Everyone was so friendly, too,” she said, “No matter who you talked to.” After the ceremony, the crowd moved to a smaller ballroom where they danced til midnight.
“It’s really rare for people of my generation to socialize with younger people, except at family functions,” she added, “I really enjoyed being out in such a mixed crowd with my daughter, who was the perfect company!” The two even matched: Monique’s black backless minidress complementing Lenora’s pinstriped suit (both outfits accented by gold).
Speaking of family, turns out they’re related to the evening’s host! When Lenora met James, his appearance called to mind his father, who had married her cousin Lena many years ago. Small world! She may or may not have broken this news on Uptown Radio, who interviewed her during their live broadcast. “I have no idea what we talked about, I just answered the questions they asked me,” she laughed, “I do know I told them about all those great acts I saw at Uptown Theater back in the day, for something like 95 cents admission!”
Since then, a lot more’s changed than the price of a concert ticket – much of it for the worse, but just as much for the better. In every neighborhood, every community, great things are being done that could inspire even greater deeds, if only we stopped to celebrate them. Three cheers for James Williams’ wonderful Uppity Awards for bringing out the best of Uptown for all.
***UPPITY AWARDS 2022 WINNERS***
Hairstylist- Traci Hilton
Barber- Toot Da Barber
Educator- Marcus Fulton
Coach- Anthony Bishop
FAME’ Eric “EA” Allen
NonProfit- Men who Care of Germantown
People’s Choice Award- Toot Da Barber
Hall of Fame- Jay Fresh, Stephen Kinsey, DJ Gary O, and Mike Blount
Change Makers- Tiffany Gay, Rowena Lynne Faulk, Father Chris Walsh, Fareed Abudllah, Jaelyn Monroe, Joe Budd, Ericka Stewart, Shanae Christian
More info & a list of 2021’s winners here.
Uptown Standard Newspaper
A free monthly publication distributed mostly around the Cedarbrook (19150) and West Oak Lane (19138) neighborhoods, covering state & local government and community news. A partner in WHYY’s News & Information Community Exchange. Founded in 2020 by editor-in-chief James Williams.