2023 NAACP Image Awards was a night of Black Excellence in Every Category!

Actress and legendary rapper, Queen Latifah, hosted the ceremony full of the best in today’s entertainment. She grabbed the mic to talk about the struggles of Black people and the unfair hand the Black community can be dealt. Latifah emphasized the importance of remaining diligent because you can achieve success regardless of the obstacles. The stars flocked to their seats as momentous awards that celebrated entertainers such as Ryan Coogler and “Abbott Elementary” creator Quinta Brunson. Though untelevised, the overall celebration lasted a full week, with Saturday being the summation of the week’s events.

“Abbott Elementary”, the hottest new show on streaming network Hulu, took home the prize for best comedy series. For his work in “Emancipation”, Will Smith won best actor in a motion picture, Janelle Monáe accepting the award on his behalf. He later took to Instagram to spread thanks to director of the film Antoine Fuqua, NAACP representative Derrick Johnson, and the entire award show team. EGOT recipient Viola Davis was given the NAACP Image Award for her stellar performance as the lead actress in “The Woman King”.

Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade delivered a powerful speech about the wellness of Black trans youths. A spoken word that has had a great impact on the LGBTQ+ community and that left social media quaking. Benjamin Krump was given the “Social Justice Impact” award for his work as a revolutionary attorney for the families of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery. In a welcome surprise, Brittney Griner made her return to the stage with her loyal wife in hand. She was greeted by a standing ovation having miraculously survived being a prisoner up for gamble in Russia.

Angela Bassett was awarded “Entertainer of the Year”, making a quick comedic break when she referenced Ariana De Bose’s viral performance that mentioned her influence. “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” was an overall winner with best motion picture, making awards collected, an outstanding 8 to date. Ryan Coogler, the director of both Black Panther films, paid tribute to late actor Chadwick Boseman in his acceptance speech. Kerry Washington was on duty as a presenter when she handed tennis-master Serena Williams the Jackie Robinson Sports award. In every sector, Black talent is underestimated but their greatness always shines through. The show highlighted people who are currently making Black history; a fitting pair for the month. For more info

Kamaya Tarpley