Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Congratulations are in order for Motown legend Stevie Wonder and cultural ambassador to the world, Alvin Ailey. Both are recipients of this year’s Presidential Medal of Freedom. The two will be awarded next Monday, November 24 by President Barack Obama. Ailey artistic director, Robert Battle, will accept the medal on behalf of the late choreographer, who passed away in 1989 at the age of 58. Ailey is the nation’s premiere dance theatre and has thrilled audiences worldwide for over 50 years.

The dance company and the musical icon join an elite list of honorees including Broadway composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, actresses Meryl Streep and Marlo Thomas, civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner (all murdered in 1964), physicist Mildred Dresselhaus, author Isabel Allende, economist Robert Solow, golfer and activist Charles Sifford, journalist Tom Brokaw and others.

“I look forward to presenting these nineteen bold, inspiring Americans with our Nation’s highest civilian honor. From activists who fought for change to artists who explored the furthest reaches of our imagination; from scientists who kept America on the cutting edge to public servants who help write new chapters in our American story, these citizens have made extraordinary contributions to our country and the world,” President Obama said in a statement.


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