Everyone knows that Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston is the most powerful person in Guilford County government.
However, his influence extends outside the county as well and, this week, Black Business Ink magazine – in celebration of its 20th anniversary – is honoring Alston and 99 others from the state at the Black Business Ink 20th Anniversary Power 100 Awards Ceremony at the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Greensboro.
Alston is frequently running county commissioner meetings on Thursday nights. However, at 7 p.m. on June 8, he’ll be recognized at The Power 100 Awards Ceremony, which is meant to honor those who Black Business Ink has chosen as 100 of “the most influential leaders from across North Carolina in a variety of sectors, including educators, healthcare professionals, politicians, clergy, and other professions and organizations.”
The evening – which will be a sort of “Who’s Who” of black leaders in the state – will also be a celebration. There will be music and dance that pay tribute to African American history and African American recording artists. The entertainment will also have a North Carolina focus, including the music of Nina Simone, John Coltrane and Shirley Caesar.
Alston, who’s been a political fixture in Guilford County for over three decades, has served as the president of the state NAACP organization and been a staunch advocate for minority rights on the Board of Commissioners. He was the key force behind Greensboro getting a street named after Martin Luther King Jr., as well as the founder of the parade that travels down that street every January. Alston is also one of the founders of the International Civil Rights Museum in the old Woolworths store in downtown Greensboro.
Alston is a very busy man right now. He and eight other commissioners are busy putting together a new budget for Guilford County that’s expected to be adopted seven days after the Power 100 celebration.