The inaugural Rochester Black Men Achieve Awards (RBMAA) takes place Saturday night. Organizers wanted to create this event because negative stereotypes about black men often overshadow the good work many of them work to do in the community. RBMAA will honor those men while also inspiring others.

It's an historical event honoring a special group of people for the first time. Hundreds of people will gather to celebrate Rochester's black men.

The inaugural Rochester Black Men Achieve Awards (RBMAA) takes place Saturday night. Organizers wanted to create this event because negative stereotypes about black men often overshadow the good work many of them work to do in the community. RBMAA will honor those men while also inspiring others.

Jermayne Myers came up with the idea of the awards to spread positivity.

"Throughout the City of Rochester, there are thousands of men who are doing mentoring, giving selflessly of their time, talent or resources," Myers said. "Having events like this recognizes them for it and sort of counters those negative images portrayed against black men."

The event will combat the negativity with 26 categories ranging from community service to business. There will also be five special honorees.

Captain Charles Price is one of those special honorees. He was sworn into the Rochester Police Department in 1947. Price became the first black man to serve in the force. Price moved up the ranks and eventually became a captain before he retired after serving the community for nearly four decades.

Greg Hopkins is a nominee for Sportsman of the Year. Hopkins says he's honored to be among men like Cpt. Price. Hopkins' non-profit Changing the Community (CTC) has helped dozens of young men earn athletic scholarships to college since 2010.

"Being nominated for an award like this with the people who have been nominated puts you in a different light," Hopkins said. "It makes me feel good to be recognized for the continuous work that we've been putting into the community."

Myers says since the awards were announced in 2017, the community has overwhelmingly supported the initiative.

"I've had people walk up to me crying, saying this is a beautiful thing and it's about time that it's happening," Myers said. "This is definitely something we will continue."

As of Thursday night, the Rochester Black Men Achieve Awards at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center is completely sold out. Five hundred tickets were available to the event. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.