King-Tisdell Award Recipient to Appear in Spike Lee Movie


Omari Hardwick
Omari Hardwick

The King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation announces that its Arts Award recipient for 2008, Omari Hardwick, will appear in the new Spike Lee film set to open in theatres around the country on September 26, 2008. The movie, “Miracle at St. Anna”, will be released by Touchstone Pictures and is directed by Spike Lee. The screenplay is written by James McBride, the author of the acclaimed novel by the same name. “Miracle at St. Anna” chronicles the story of four black American soldiers who are members of the US Army as part of the all-black, 92nd Buffalo Soldier Division stationed in Tuscany, Italy during World War II. They experience the tragedy and triumph of the war as they find themselves trapped behind enemy lines and separated from their unit after one of them risks his life to save an Italian boy.

Omari Hardwick, who will be present in Savannah, will receive the King-Tisdell Arts award the next day after the release of the film, during the eleventh annual Awards Banquet, which will be held on Saturday, September 27, 2008, at 7:30 p.m. in the Hyatt Regency Savannah. A reception will precede the banquet at 6:30 p.m. At the awards banquet, five awards are given annually to individuals, whose work has been significant in affecting progress, promoting human dignity and positively impacting either the city of Savannah, the state of Georgia or the nation.

Omari Hardwick was born in Savannah, Georgia. He is the grandson of retired City of Savannah Alderman, Clifford Hardwick and nephew of School Board Attorney and Assistant City Attorney, Lester Johnson. Omari grew up in Decatur, Ga., where he excelled in athletics and established himself as an excellent athlete, eventually earning a college football scholarship. Omari was a starting defensive back in college for Furman University, before transferring and playing the same position for the University of Georgia Bulldogs. After years of perseverance and struggle, attempting to making it as an actor, Omari eventually caught the eye of Spike Lee and landed his first major role as Dante’ in Spike Lee’s “Sucker Free City”.

Omari starred as the lead in the TNT drama series “Saved” as well as appearing in films “The Guardian” alongside Kevin Costner and alongside Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson in the “Gridiron Gang”. He also appeared in the film “Beauty Shop,” starring Queen Latifah and Alfre Woodard. The consummate working actor, his future credits include roles in “Bolden!” (Anthony Mackie and Jackie Earle Haley), “Next Day Air” (Mos Def and Debbie Allen), “Linewatch” (Cuba Gooding Jr.), “Kick- Ass” (Nicolas Cage) and “Burning Sands”.

Founded in 1981 by renowned civil rights leader and preservationist, W.W. Law, The King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation was established in 1981 in Savannah to research, collect, and present the African- American historical and cultural experience to the public. The Foundation owns and operates the King-Tisdell Cottage and the Beach Institute African American Cultural Center, which houses the internationally recognized Ulysses Davis Folk Art Collection and art and artifacts from around the African Diaspora, and the Negro Heritage Trail Tour: An African American Journey, a bus tour of Savannah from an African American perspective.

The KTCF Awards Banquet is the Foundation’s primary activity for securing operating and personnel support. The Awards Banquet is sponsored by: Wachovia, St. Joseph’s / Candler, Savannah Morning News, and Georgia Power. For more information call 912-234-800.

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