beverly johnson & tene croom

Beverly Johnson & article author, Tené Croom

*McDonald’s 365Black Awards are given annually to salute outstanding individuals who are committed to making positive contributions that strengthen the African-American community.

Awards were given live during the 2013 Essence Festival in New Orleans. But, you can see the show when it airs on the cable TV network, BET tonight (Sunday, Aug 25) at 10 ET.

Among the 2013 honorees are supermodel Beverly Johnson, Gladys Knight, the Empress of Soul and teenager Leanna Archer, who started her own hair care business at nine years old.

“McDonald’s is proud to recognize this year’s recipients for positively shaping our communities each day,” said Rob Jackson, McDonald’s U.S. marketing director. “We are excited to share this historic ceremony with the consumers whose lives are impacted by the work of our honorees.”

“I am honored to receive the award,” Johnson said in an exclusive interview. “It’s always great to be acknowledged. I’ve worked really hard. It’s always great to show people if I can do it you can do it too.”

Johnson made history when she became the first African American women to grace the cover of the coveted fashion magazine, Vogue.

“The reason I got into modeling was to make money and to make money for my family. So I realize that’s where my passion is,” she recalls.

While being an entrepreneur, Johnson is also giving back to the community, “Recently I’ve been working with a lot of children. I think because I’m a grandmother of two children and the international spokesperson for the Global Down Syndrome. ”

Johnson revealed she has a niece who has Down Syndrome.

Nearly 90 percent of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by local businessmen and women.

See Tené Croom red carpet interviews and more of her exclusive interview with Beverly Johnson in this video.  Reach Tené at [email protected]