Major League Baseball will pay homage to best-selling author and poet Maya Angelou, Motown founder Berry Gordy and NFL icon Jim Brown at the annual MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon as part of the 2014 Civil Rights Game festivities in Houston this May.
Each of the three will receive an MLB Beacon Award at the event, which is scheduled for May 30 at the Hilton of Americas. They'll also be recognized on the field at Minute Maid Park before the game later that day when the Astros take on the Orioles.
"Decades ago, the Civil Rights Movement opened our country's eyes to the struggles faced by many of its people and sparked the progression toward equality for all," Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. "It is important for our society, especially our youth, to learn about the individuals who have made a positive difference in our world and symbolize the spirit of this movement. Major League Baseball is proud to present three such individuals -- Dr. Maya Angelou, Berry Gordy and Jim Brown -- with MLB Beacon Awards in recognition of their extraordinary lives and achievements."
The annual event was developed by Major League Baseball to "pay tribute to those who fought on and off the field for equal rights for all Americans. Accordingly, the MLB Beacon Awards recognize individuals whose lives and actions have been emblematic of the spirit of the Civil Rights Movement."
The game will air live from Minute Maid Park on MLB Network. Tickets sales and more information on the event can be found at mlb.com/civilrightsgame. Proceeds from the luncheon will benefit charities to be announced.
"It will be an honor for us to host the three distinguished MLB Beacon Award winners, all of whom have had a tremendous influence on our nation," Astros president Reid Ryan said in a statement. "We are so very proud to host the Civil Rights Game, which is one of MLB's most significant events each year."
Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.