Bill Clinton joins black hall of fame

Friday, October 18, 2002

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Bill Clinton, once famously described by author Toni Morrison as "our first black president," is being inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame as an honorary member.

The former president will be the first non-black recognized in the hall's 10-year history. He is expected to attend the Saturday night event.

"It is this community's way of saying thank you to him for the work that he has done," Charles Stewart, the hall's chairman and founder.

The honor is in recognition of Clinton's appointment of blacks to high levels in both state and federal government, and his post-White House efforts to fight AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean, Stewart said.

Among others slated for induction are R&B and gospel singer Al Green and Dr. Edith Irby Jones, the first black graduate of the College of Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

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