The Black Political Forum of Annapolis honored anti-drug activist Randy Rowel at an event Sunday celebrating the birthday of Malcolm X.
Rowel, a co-founder of the anti-drug Planning Action Committees of Anne Arundel County, received the forum's first "Malcolm X -- The Man" award.
"He embodies all of the positive characteristics we've come to admire in Malcolm," said Leslie Stanton, acting chairman of the forum. "He has strong family values and a deep commitment to the community. Malcolm has been called a visionary. Randy started a program years ago helping kids to learn how to use a computer. He's a leader in everysense of the word."
About 200 people attended the event at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. The celebration lasted 3 1/2 hours, anhour longer than organizers had planned.
Talk show host and film maker Tony Brown delivered a 90-minute keynote speech, calling on blacks to define themselves by their own terms.
"This is not about white people," Brown told the crowd. "This is about you and me decidingwhat we want to be in America. It's about deciding we want to be something other than someone else's affirmative action quota or set-aside."
He said blacks should support each other in business.
The event, co-sponsored by city and county officials, was the first time the city had celebrated the birthday of Malcolm X, the militant black leader who was assassinated 26 years ago. He was born May 19, 1925.