Who is going to celebrate Black talent if we don't? Over the weekend, thousands of Black authors, comedians, directors and creatives came together to celebrate the diaspora at the 52nd Annual NAACP Image Awards. Throughout the night, Eddie Murphy, Anthony Anderson, Stacey Abrams and Issa Rae shared their thoughts, emotions and words with fans across the world. All in all, it was an incredible evening.
"Black culture is American culture. Black history is American history. And Black stories are essential to the ongoing story of America," host Anthony Anderon said.
Let's take a look back at the five best moments from this year's NAACP Image Awards.
The Black Panther Wins Again
The world seemingly stopped when Chadwick Boseman passed away in August. The man that the world had come to know as Jackie Robinson, James Brown and Black Panther appeared to be larger than life. Shortly after his sudden passing, Netflix debuted Boseman's final appearance in a major motion picture, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Jumping off of the screen and into viewer's hearts, Boseman's performance reminded fans why we came to love him in the first place. Honoring his work, the NAACP awarded Boseman with the "Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture" award for his performance in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Accepting the award on his behalf, Boseman's wife, Simone Ledward, delivered a gutwrenching acceptance speech.
The Kiss That Wasn't
As mentioned previously, Viola Davis was able to take home a few awards for her work on Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, How To Get Away With Murder and a few other incredible projects this year. However, fans weren't just talking about her victories tonight. They were also talking about the humorous interaction when she earned her first win of the night. As she celebrated, her husband, Julius Tennon, leaned in for a kiss, but they couldn't connect. Luckily, Davis won another award and they two were able to make up for the missed opportunity.
Verzuz Wins Big
It is truly amazing what can happen within the course of a year. As the COVID-19 pandemic locked down nations across the world, two producers took to Instagram Live to provide a bit of light. Going hit for hit on social media, Timbaland and Swizz Beatz brought a bit of joy to their fans through what we know now as the Verzuz series. Quickly, the two music industry veterans turned their battle into showdowns between Scott Storch and Mannie Fresh, Teddy Riley and Babyface and Sean Garrett and The-Dream. One year later, Verzuz is one of the most recognizable names in entertainment. Their work was honored at the 52nd Annual NAACP Image Awards with the "Outstanding Variety Show" award.
DJ D-Nice Gets His Flowers
For decades, DJ D-Nice has been a staple in Hip-Hop. From joining Boogie Down Productions to DJ'ing parties for former President Barack Obama, the New York native has paved the way for so many that have come after him. Still, the majority of young Hip-Hop fans were unaware of who he was until this past year when he launched Club Quarantine. Playing music until the early hours of the morning, he brought joy at a time when so many were in search of something to make them smile. Honoring his noble work, the NAACP Image Awards presented him the "Entertainer of the Year" award.
Regé-Jean Page Wins Big
Regé-Jean Page took another step forward in his incredible acting career. The Bridgerton star snagged the first major award of his budding career and his excitement could be felt through the camera. He called the award the "highest honor" of his young career.
“It is the highest honor to represent us in our glamour, in our royalty. I will do my absolute best to be worthy of that," he said.
“I think I see my job as a representative job…you are representing the world around you, you represent the political climate around you. That is integral into how we navigate together."
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