The NAACP Image Awards is an annual gala that celebrates the achievements and performances of people of color in the arts, as well as those who promote social justice through creative and entertaining endeavors. The monumental 50th Annual awards show was celebrated over the weekend and featured a number of memorable moments and repeat winners.
Blackish snagged its fourth consecutive award for Outstanding Comedy Series, right along with the show’s stars Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson (who also hosted the ceremony) who took home the award in the lead actor categories. The show walked away with a total of 6 statuettes. Another repeat winner was Taraji P. Henson, who won Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for Empire for the third year in a row.
Jesse Williams of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ beat out Empire star Jussie Smollett in the race for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, receiving his first NAACP award ever. Another first-time winner was Ella Mai, who won a total of 3 awards for Album, Contemporary Song (Boo’d Up) and New Artist.
Black Panther swept the movie category, racking up 9 total awards for the night, to include Chadwick Boseman winning Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture, Ryan Coogler winning Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture and Michael B. Jordan winning Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture.
Jay-Z and Beyonce were in attendance at the ceremony as Jay accepted the President’s Award, which he dedicated to his 93-year-old grandmother Hattie White, his mother Gloria Carter, and his wife Beyonce, stating in his speech, “I grew up knowing I could do anything because of those strong women in my life.” Beyonce also accepted an award for Entertainer Of The Year.
Aside for the awards, the show also featured a few trending moments, like when Chris Rock joked about Jussie Smollett while presenting the award for outstanding comedy series. “They said no Jussie Smollett jokes,” Rock began. “I know. What a waste of white skin. You know what I could do with that light skin? That curly hair? My career would be out of here. F*cking running Hollywood.” Chris continued, “What the hell was he thinking? From now on, you’re Jessie from now on. You don’t even get the ‘U’ no more. That ‘U’ was respect. You don’t get no respect from me.”
Congresswoman Maxine Waters was honored with the Chairman’s Award and used her acceptance speech as a means to get some things off her chest. She first addressed the “haters” who have threatened her and her family, stating, “I’ve gotten four of them convicted. If you come for me, I’m coming for you.”
Waters also mentioned her belief that Donald Trump should be impeached and reveled in her accomplishments. She stated, “After a long career journey, tonight I stand before you as the first woman and the first African American to chair the powerful U.S. House Financial Services Committee. And it is indeed an honor to hold the chairwoman’s gavel and yes, I got the gavel and I’m not afraid to use it.”
Did you catch the 50th Annual NAACP Awards?