Xernona Clayton was born August 30, 1930 in Muskogee, Oklahoma and is recognized as a civil rights leader and broadcasting executive.
During the Civil Rights Movement, Ms. Clayton was an active participant on the front lines. She organized events for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), under the direction of Martin Luther King, and she developed a deep friendship with Dr. King’s wife, Coretta Scott King.
Ms. Clayton’s persistent fight for human rights has been credited by a former Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan with influencing him to denounce the Klan.
In 1968, Clayton became the first Southern African American female to host a daily prime time talk show. The show was broadcast on WAGA-TV in Atlanta and would eventually be renamed The Xernona Clayton Show.
Ms. Clayton plays an active role in organizations across the country, for instance, she is on the board of directors of The King Center.
In 1993, Ms. Clayton, in concert with her employer Turner Broadcasting, created the Trumpet Awards to honor exceptional diverse Americans.
Information courtesy of