Xernona Clayton

Back to Awards page

Lifetime Achievement Award

Xernona Clayton has been employed at Turner Broadcasting System, in Atlanta, Georgia, for over twenty-five years and has served in a number of capacities over the years. She currently serves as Corporate Consultant and Executive Producer for Turner Broadcasting’s Trumpet Awards.

As the Corporate Vice President for Urban Affairs, 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 groups in Atlanta and across the country. As a corporate executive, Ms. Clayton was one of the highest-ranking female employees in Turner Broadcasting System.

Prior to joining WTBS, Ms. Clayton was the nationally-acclaimed host of The Xernona Clayton Show. Beginning her broadcast career in 1967, she became the South’s first Black person to have her own television show.

Xernona moved to Atlanta in 1965 where she accepted a position with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and worked closely with the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ms. Clayton also traveled extensively with Mrs. Coretta Scott King on her nationwide concert tours.

Dedicated to promoting racial understanding, Xernona Clayton has been a leader in civic projects and civil rights activities for several years. In 1966, she coordinated the activities of Atlanta’s Black doctors in a project called the Doctors’ Committee for Implementation, which resulted in the desegregation of all hospital facilities in Atlanta. This project served as a model and a pilot for other states throughout the country and received national honor from the National Medical Association for its impact.

Her persistent fight against the dragons of prejudice and bigotry was never more apparent than in 1968, when the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan denounced the Klan and credited Xernona’s influence with his change.

Ms. Clayton’s dedication to the community is reflected in the many hours she spends promoting human relations through bi-racial groups devoted to improving racial understanding. A recipient of numerous media awards, Xernona has been widely honored for her contributions to humanity. She is included in various editions of some very impressive biographical publications. She has also received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters Degree from Clark Atlanta University.

In private life, she is married to Judge Paul L. Brady. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

Xernona is the creator and executive producer of Turner Broadcasting’s Trumpet Awards, a prestigious event highlighting African-American accomplishments and contributions. She also created the Generation Connection, an education incentive program for high school students.

Upon the announcement of Xernona’s appointment as the first Black female corporate executive, Ted Turner said, “Xernona has an impressive record of accomplishments and we are proud to recognize her commitment to bettering human relations with this promotion.”