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Muskogee Native Turned Television Exec to Speak at NSU Black Heritage Awards

TAHLEQUAH - The Northeastern State University Annual Black Heritage Achievement Awards are set for Thursday, April 25, at 7 p.m. in the University Center Morgan Room. The awards are open to black students on all three NSU campuses who have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher or who are graduating seniors. The event is free and open to the public.

The awards program will feature a speaker, music, and a reception for students and their families. The special evening offers students the opportunity to be honored in front of their families, teachers, and peers - and a chance to meet Xernona Clayton, a Muskogee native who was named Woman of the Year by the Black Woman Hall of Fame Foundation.

Ms. Clayton, who has been employed at Turner Broadcasting System for more than 22 years, will speak at the event. She joined TBS SuperStation in 1979 as a Documentary Specials producer and has served TBS in a number of capacities over the years. She began hosting Open Up, a Public Affairs television program in 1981 and became the weekly program’s full-time host/producer the same year. In 1982, Clayton was named coordinator of minority affairs and served as the company’s liaison with the minority communities and organizations. During her years in the Public Affairs department, she created numerous award-winning productions.

In 1988, Clayton was appointed corporate vice president for Urban Affairs with TBS. In this capacity, she directed internal and external projects for the corporation and served as liaison between Turner Broadcasting (TBS SuperStation, CNN, Headline News, TNT, Atlanta Braves, and Atlanta Hawks) and civic programs in Atlanta and across the country. As a corporate executive, Clayton was one of the highest ranking female employees at TBS.

Before joining WBTS, Clayton was the nationally acclaimed host of The Xernona Clayton Show, a regular feature on WAGA-TV, CBS affiliate in Atlanta. Beginning her broadcast career in 1987, she became the South’s first Black person to have her own television show.

For more information, please contact the NSU Student Affairs office at 918-456-5511, ext. 2120.


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