Howard University honored Cathy Hughes, founder and chairperson of Radio One, Inc., the largest Black-owned multi-media company in the country, with the unveiling of the Cathy Hughes School of Communications yesterday.
During an exclusive, star-studded extravaganza, the prestigious university commemorated her lifetime commitment to excellence.
“She took the mute off of Black America,” said Rev. Sharpton. “We were on mute, we couldn’t talk. She made talk radio stations. She preserved our culture; she gave us TV One. We can speak for ourselves, to ourselves, and [that] is an enormous contribution to our people.”
Hughes remarked that she was humbled to be honored by the institution that helped her find her voice as an educator and entrepreneur with a passion for her community.
“My whole goal in life has been to get pertinent information to my community that they can use to uplift and improve the quality of their lives and their lifestyle,” said Hughes. “Becoming the namesake for Howard University’s School of Communications and having my life’s work celebrated – it’s like a dream!”
Hosted by Emmy-nominated actor Anthony Anderson (Black-ish), along with narration from radio host and film director Russ Parr, the three-hour celebration featured keynote speeches and performances from a variety of award-winning and notable entertainers, including writer/director/choreographer Debbie Allen.
Hughes, who started her career in radio at Howard University, is a dynamic, media pioneer who demonstrates the power of one – one woman, one vision, one company – Radio One. As Founder and Chairperson of Radio One, Inc., the largest African-American owned and operated, broadcast company in the nation, Hughes' unprecedented career has spawned a multi-media conglomerate that generates original content across the spectrums of radio, television and digital media.
Her humble beginnings in Omaha, Nebraska, were not a deterrent to her success but rather part of the catalyst that fueled her ambition to empower African Americans with information and to tell stories from their perspective.