Last Saturday night, the biggest names in Black entertainment gathered to recognize some of the greatest performances of 2020 at the 52nd NAACP Image Awards. Highlighting everything from music to film and entertainment, the night was full of fun, laughter, and comedy. With actor Anthony Anderson hosting the show, the night was full of surprises and triumphs as both first-time winners and seasoned talent took home their awards. Among some of the biggest winners of the night included Regé-Jean Page for Best Actor in a Drama Series for his heartthrob role as Duke Hastings. A first-time winner, the actor gushed when he won the award as the “highest honor.” Actress Issa Rae also claimed her first NAACP Image Award for her role on Insecure, after being snubbed by the Golden Globes. The actress brought her usual humor and levity to her acceptance speech, jokingly thanking her fellow nominees for losing. Viola Davis took home two NAACP awards that night, one for her role on How To Get Away With Murder and the other one for her amazing performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom which she’s also been nominated for an Oscar. Late star Chadwick Boseman also won several awards which his wife accepted on his behalf thanking the NAACP for recognizing her husband, but also imploring audiences to get tested for colon cancer.
In the music category, DJ De-Nice took home the award for Entertainer of the Year for his beloved quarantine jam sessions. While Beyoncé took home several awards, including Outstanding Music Video/ Visual Album fresh off of breaking the Grammy’s record for most Grammys won by a female artist. Other winners included Megan Thee Stallion, Chloe x Halle, Drake, and Doja Cat, meanwhile, singer Jazmine Sullivan spiced up the night with a performance of her song “Pick Up Your Feelings.”
Lebron James received the highest honor of the night with the President’s Award. Virtually accepting his award, James also took the time to call out voter suppression in relation to the new controversial law passed by the Georgia legislature. James spoke on Black voter suppression stating: “There’s a lot of voter suppression going on in the Black community where they try to take away our right to vote, take away our right to be heard, and just take away anything we can do to make a change. For us to come together with some of my fellow athletes and fellow artists; it meant so much to do what we did in the November election, being able to bring things to where we felt like it would be better for our community and better for America”
Echoing this sentiment President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris also made an appearance, reminding viewers of the importance and historical significance of the NAACP awards. A night of celebration and honoring, the NAACP Image Award is a strong reminder of how far Black Americans have come but also how much further we have to go.