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Magic Johnson
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Magic Johnson Leads List of 2007 Freedom Award Recipients

Memphis Daily News - TN, USA - Former NBA star Magic Johnson, historian John Hope Franklin and Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf were named Tuesday as recipients of the National Civil Rights Museum's annual Freedom Awards.

The museum on the site of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in Downtown Memphis will hand out the awards at an Oct. 23 banquet.

The museum said it was honoring Johnson for his work since leaving the NBA on promoting economic development, improved health care and educational opportunities in low-income urban neighborhoods and "underserved communities throughout the United States."

Johnson, 47, retired from the NBA after contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and became a campaigner for AIDS awareness. His Magic Johnson Foundation supports HIV/AIDS prevention and health care education in low-income communities.

"A committed philanthropist, Johnson continually finds time to support worthy causes," the museum said in announcing its award recipients.

Franklin, 92, a prolific chronicler of civil rights history, was part of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund team that helped develop the Brown v. Board of Education case which led to the U.S. Supreme Court decision outlawing racial segregation in public schools.

Franklin, who holds a doctorate from Harvard and is an emeritus professor of history at Duke University, is an outspoken opponent of the war in Iraq.

"I don't see any good reason why we went in there or why we are there now," he told a British newspaper. "The invasion has sullied our reputation as has our behavior there. We have undertaken to spread democracy when we ourselves are not democratic."

Johnson-Sirleaf, 67, was inaugurated in January as president of Liberia.

Known as "iron lady," she is her country's first elected female president. She was named by Forbes Magazine last year as one of the "100 Most Powerful Women in the World."
Source : Originally Published Memphis Daily News - TN, USA, Jul 25, 2007
Celebrities : Magic Johnson
Categories : Business Speaker News, Speakers News, Celebrity News, Athlete News
Posted 7/25/2007 12:07:13 AM | Permalink
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