Editor, The Commercial:
It looks like Pine Bluff’s image is about to get a face-lift. For the first time in its 21-year history, the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame is inducting four natives of Pine Bluff/Jefferson County all in one evening. On today, Willie Roaf, Gerald Alley, Raye Jean Montague and Morris Hayes will be inducted at the 21st Annual Induction Ceremony in the Wally Allen Ballroom at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.
Roaf, the son of Dr. Clifton Roaf and the late Judge Andree Layton Roaf, is a former NFL player and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012. Roaf’s late mother, Andree, was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 1996. With Willie’s induction, the pair will become the first mother and son to receive this honor.
Alley, who is the son of the late Troy and Gladys Alley and a Dallas businessman, is the founder and president of Con-Real Inc., the largest African-American construction and real estate firm in Texas and the southwest. Alley also serves on the Dean’s Executive Advisory Board of the University of Arkansas Sam Walton College of Business.
Montague is an internationally recognized engineer and graphic designer and creator of the first computer-generated draft of a U.S. naval ship. Montague graduated from Pine Bluff’s Merrill High School and AM&N college (now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff).
Hayes, a former art student and a graduate of University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, is the lead keyboardist for the New Power Generation. The NPG is the brainchild of the superstar Prince. Hayes has been with the group since 1992.