The BET Awards took time to honor the everyday heroes who have made headlines in recent months, including a salute to James Shaw Jr., who tackled a gunman inside a Waffle House and activist journalist Shaun King.
Singer John Legend presented the honorees with BET’s first-ever Humanitarian Heroes. The noble champions included: Justin Blackman, Anthony Borges, Mamoudou Gassama, Shaun King, James Shaw Jr. and Naomi Wadler.
Legend described the BET group of heroes as “individuals who’ve had the opportunity in their everyday lives to do something unexpected and impactful for our community.”
“Everyone has an opportunity to be extraordinary, don’t be afraid to be a hero,” said Legend.
The BET honorees are:
Teenager Justin Blackman the only teen to walk out of his North Carolina classroom in protest and spent 17 minutes outside the school to demonstrate alone in memoriam of the 17 lives lost in the Parkland, Florida, school shooting just one month before.
Borges had a third of his lung removed, one bullet came close to his liver, and he was hit three times in the legs during the shooting.
Mamoudou Gassama is being called the “Spiderman of Paris” after his heroic act of climbing up four stories of an apartment building to rescue a dangling child. The Malian migrant has now been given honorary French citizen by French President Emmanuel Macron as a result of his bravery.
It was a jaw-dropping feat captured on video that went viral and also captured the hearts of onlookers who were stunned as they watched in awe, but their senses were probably tingling with appreciation.
James Shaw Jr. the Waffle House customer who tackled a raging gunman who killed four people is being hailed as a hero for wrestling the gun away and bringing the killing spree to an end Sunday morning.
A week after his heroic quick thinking stopped a shooting at a Nashville Waffle House from getting far worse, the 29-year-old proved his altruism with a GoFundMe effort for the four shooting victims approaching $250,000.
11- year-old Naomi Wadler of Alexandria gave an empowering speech at the march For Our Lives rally and spoke on behalf of all the women and girls who look like her yet are often forgotten or dismissed during these discussions.
“I am here to represent the African-American women who are victims of gun violence, who are simply statistics instead of vibrant, beautiful girls full of potential,” the 11-year-old said with a wisdom well beyond her years.