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Steve Harvey drops Neighborhood Awards, adds the Harvey 100 and Sand & Soul Festival

This was posted on Thursday, January 26, 2017 by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio &  TV Talk blog

After 14 years in three different cities, part-time Atlantan Steve Harvey has scrapped his popular annual Neighborhood Awards in favor of two events: a small business Harvey 100 giveaway and the Sand & Soul Festival at the Atlantis on Paradise Island in the Bahamas in October over three days.

The Daily Mail broke the story yesterday about the end of the Neighborhood Awards. (The awards show in its early years was called the Hoodies but he changed it a few years ago to make it sound more friendly for corporate sponsors.)

The Sand & Soul Festival features many of the entertainment elements of the Neighborhood Awards weekend such as comedy sets, concerts, pool parties, a beach BBQ, casino tournaments and more. Talent signed up, according to the website, includes Keith Sweat, En Vogue, Salt -N- Pepa, DJ Spinderella, DJ Mars and comedy from Sommore and Junior. You can buy packages here.

Harvey's assistant tonight exclusively sent me a link to He has plans to honor 100 small businesses and give away up to $150,000 in prizes. There are no details on the site yet on the logistics. I presume some ceremony will be held.

Here is part of what Harvey wrote, calling this an evolution from the previous awards:

With the new Harvey 100, the categories are broader so more are able to participate.

And instead of just voting for and picking 12 winners, we’re going to honor 100 small businesses

and leaders. Every finalist will receive national recognition, be awarded a cash prize, and also

have the chance to compete for the grand prize of $50,000, regardless of their category.

Harvey 100 will be bigger and better- more can participate, more businesses will be

acknowledged, and we’re giving out more money, a total of $150,000. In addition, we will share

invaluable info aimed at empowering those who aspire to start their own business. It takes

extraordinary courage, faith and hard work to be a successful business owner. I hope you will

join me in celebrating these pillars of our community, the people who help make our

neighborhoods great. To be the first to get info on how to participate, go to

Harvey's original awards show honored educators, community groups and local black businesses in the cities where his syndicated radio network airs, including Atlanta's Majic 107.5/97.5.

He based the awards show in Atlanta in 2014 and 2015, then moved it back to Las Vegas last year. It originated in Los Angeles in the early 2000s. The weekend has included a huge bazaar, comedy shows and concerts.

But Harvey and his long-time manager Rushion McDonald  cut ties last year. McDonald oversaw and owns the Neighborhood Awards concept, according to the Daily Mail. (I have reached out to McDonald but have not heard back regarding this news.) It's clear Harvey needed to come up with something new.

Harvey has been a busy man lately, recently meeting with Donald Trump, which upset a lot of his African-American listeners. He also offended plenty of Asian Americans with jokes on his talk show about how white and black women are not attracted to Asians at all. He is now on his way to again host Miss Universe, where he messed up who the winner was a year ago but managed to get past the controversy.

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About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.