WASHINGTON, February 1, 2013 —Tonight at 8 p.m., the 44th annual NAACP Image Awards will air on NBC, with Steve Harvey hosting. If you’ve ever seen his stand-up routine or a Family Feud episode he’s hosted, you already know his improvisational skill and rapier wit should serve him well tonight. But what I appreciate more, and find most fascinating about Harvey, is his background.
Being born in Welch, West Virginia makes Steve Harvey a fellow Appalachian American and an extremely successful one despite his humble beginning. His father was a coal miner in a time when owing your soul to the company store was more than just the lyric of a song. In West Virginia, this was a way of life.
Harvey also grew up during a time when entire towns in Appalachia were being abandoned due to mine closings. This could explain why the Harvey clan moved from Welch, West Virginia to Cleveland, Ohio in 1974.
Imagine being a young black man with a hillbilly accent suddenly trying to adapt to living in Cleveland during the peak years of that Rust Belt city’s controversial, judicially mandated busing plan, designed to force the desegregation of its public schools. A bitter white exodus from the city was one result of that controversial court order, which didn’t improve Cleveland’s already tense race relations. You cannot help but admire Steve Harvey for enduring those difficult times while not letting that environment distract him from his impressive climb to success.
Steve Harvey has strong spiritual roots that are an integral part of his work and his life. In 2009 Harvey appeared on The Tyra Show to promote his best selling book; Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. In this appearance, he advised women not to date atheists because they lack a moral barometer.
As a guest on Larry King a few months later, he held firm to this controversial statement, going so far as to reveal he even refuses to talk to self-proclaimed atheists. Whether or not you agree with Harvey’s mind set, the strength of his convictions is admirable.
So let’s sum up Steve Harvey. First, he came from the coal fields of Appalachia, a fact that stacked the deck against him from the beginning. He has the #1 rated morning radio show, a talk show that is second only to Katie Couric, and hosts Family Feud, which has seen a 50% increase in viewers in the past year alone. He also continues with his incredibly popular stand-up comedy act, has appeared in several successful movies. Last but not least, he is a best selling author.
As they say on those TV commercials, “But wait! There’s more!”
Harvey’s considerable philanthropic efforts include Disney’s Dreamers Academy, a program mentoring 100 teenage boys and girls, inspiring them while exposing them to a number of job skills and career opportunities. He also launched The Steve Harvey Mentoring Program for Young Men in 2009, a camp for fatherless teenage boys from around the country, where counselors encourage them to share insights and skills to navigate manhood. Hosting 100 boys annually in Dallas, Harvey has continued to expand this initiative, spreading the word further by expanding satellite programs in additional cities.
Together, with the Steve Harvey Mentoring Program for Young Men and the Girls Who Rule the World Mentoring Weekend, The Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation has reached over 1000 boys and girls in total so far. His extensive charitable work has resulted in many accolades, the most recent being his naming as Humanitarian of the Year at the 2011 BET Awards.
For all his success, Harvey credits good old-fashioned hard work and his spirituality, along with the strength God gives him for enabling him to keep striving toward his many important life goals. He is the embodiment of a man who lives, practices, and shares the American dream. That makes him the perfect choice to host the NAACP Image Awards, and he’s the main reason I’ll be watching that show tonight.
All times are EST:
ABC: Last Man Standing: (New) When Eve is inspired by her father’s patriotism and decides to join the Junior ROTC, Vanessa is concerned.
CBS: Undercover Boss: (New) Boston Market. She’s a new boss with a lot to prove. It’s a dramatic Boss first.
FOX: Kitchen Nightmares: (New) Chef Ramsay tries to help a family-owned Italian restaurant in Beaver, PA.
NBC: NAACP Image Awards: (New) The live two-hour special will showcase the best achievements and performances of people of color in the arts featuring a star-studded lineup of performers, winners and presenters.
CW: Nikita: (New) Ray (guest star Matt Bushell), a rogue agent, kidnaps his girlfriend Kate (guest star Anna Hopkins), so Ryan (Noah Bean) dispatches the team to rescue her. Nikita (Maggie Q) is confused when Michael (Shane West) sends Owen into the field with her instead of going himself.
ABC: Malibu Country: (New) When Cash has a hard time writing a one-act play, Reba suggests that he draw from his own experiences; Geoffrey gets Lillie Mae into his improv class.
ABC: Shark Tank: (New) Sandals for barefoot runners; a magnetic sound enhancer that doesn’t need power; a website that creates personalized soundtracks for children; an update on “Cousins Lobster.”
CBS: CSI: NY: (New) When a young pizza maker is carjacked, the CSIs must determine what the perpetrators were really after.
FOX: The Following: (Repeat) Hardy, Weston and new team leader Parker turn to Carroll’s ex-wife—and Hardy’s former lover—while digging deep into Carroll’s psyche. In other events, Emma, Jacob and Paul keep Claire’s son Joey at a house in the country.
CW: The Carrie Diaries: (Repeat) Carrie confronts Sebastian about his past. Later, Larissa takes Carrie and Mouse to an art club in New York City.
PBS: Shakespeare Uncovered: (New) Derek Jacobi examines “Richard II,” which he starred in for the BBC in 1978. He details the political aspects of the play that still resonate in the modern age, and coaches actors at the Globe who are acting in it.
STARZ: Spartacus: War of the Damned: (New) Spartacus launches a bold assault to procure food and shelter for his followers, while Crassus raises a formidable army and welcomes a surprise visitor.
ABC: 20/20: (New) No description available
CBS: Blue Bloods: (New) When a man with multiple rat bites is thrown from a moving car, Danny works the case to find out why and who was trying to send a message. Meanwhile, Frank must be diplomatic when dealing with a bigoted radio host (Mark Moses) who will be broadcasting from New York City.
NBC: Dateline NBC: (New) What happened to Hannah Hill? Authorities probe the murder of an 18-year-old woman from Akron, Ohio. Dennis Murphy reports.
New episodes of:
Gold Rush: The Dirt – Chicks With Guns at 8 p.m. on DSC
Drain the Ocean at 8 p.m. on NGC
Four Weddings at 8 p.m. on TLC
Gold Rush at 9 p.m. on DSC
Ghost Adventures at 9 p.m. on Travel Channel
Say Yes to the Dress at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on TLC
Portlandia at 10 p.m. on IFC
Say Yes to the Dress: The Big Day at 10 p.m on TLC
The Dead Files at 10 p.m. on Travel Channel
Bering Sea Gold at 10:06 p.m. on DSC
For movie lovers:
Halloween on AMC
Bad Boys on BRAVO
Mr. Holland’s Opus on FLIX
Contraband on HBO
Real Steel on TMC
The Border on SUND
Captain Blood on TCM
Batman Begins on TNT
Horrible Bosses on HBO
Die Another Day on SHO
Going the Distance on TBS
Scary Movie 3 at 9:30 p.m. on ENC
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse at 9:30 p.m. on FX
Crazy, Stupid Love at 9:50 p.m. on MOMAX
Catfish at 10 p.m. on MTV
I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang at 10:30 p.m. on TCM
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