To live up to its assessment as the premiere multicultural award show and truly acknowledge the excellence in the broad scope of creative expression the NAACP Image Awards would be one long show or as it plays out currently, a two day fête. The winners of the 50th NAACP Image Awards in the non-televised categories were announced during a gala dinner celebration that took place March 29 at The Beverly Hilton and the weekend culminated with the best of the best being honored for the world to see on Saturday, March 30, with a live broadcast on TV One from The Dolby Center in Los Angeles. Highlights of the televised edition were the special awards that were doled out to the following and included:

Congresswoman Maxine Waters—NAACP Chairman’s Award.

Tom Joyner—Vanguard Award

Ne-Yo—the inaugural Black & Positively Golden Music Honor sponsored by McDonald’s.

Rounding out the pack were The Carter’s, who were recipients of the nights’ most prestigious honors as Beyoncé was honored as the NAACP Entertainer of the Year, and Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter was granted the President’s Award. Says Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP, “The President’s Award is an honor we carefully bestow upon an individual, maintaining its significance and commitment to recognizing excellence in service that directly affects our community. Shawn Carter has been committed to shedding light on the issues that plague the Black community including systematic racism and unjust treatment under the law, utilizing his global platform to create everlasting change. There is no better time than now, as we celebrate our 50th year, to honor him with this award.”

The complete listing of the two days went as follows:


Outstanding Comedy Series

“Atlanta” (FX Networks) “black-ish” (ABC)

“Dear White People” (Netflix) “grown-ish” (Freeform) “Insecure” (HBO)

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson, “black-ish” (ABC)

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series

Tracee Ellis Ross, “black-ish” (ABC)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Marcus Scribner, “black-ish” (ABC)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Marsai Martin, “black-ish” (ABC)

Outstanding Drama Series

“Power” (Starz)

Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series

Omari Hardwick, “Power” (Starz)

Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series

Taraji P. Henson, “Empire” (FOX)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Jesse Williams, “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Lynn Whitfield, “Greenleaf” (OWN)

Outstanding Guest Performance in a Comedy or Drama Series

Kerry Washington—“How to Get Away with Murder” – Lahey v. Commonwealth of

Pennsylvania (ABC)


Outstanding New Artist

Ella Mai (10 Summers/Interscope Records)

Outstanding Male Artist

Bruno Mars (Atlantic Records)

Outstanding Female Artist

H.E.R. (MBK/RCA Records)

Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration

“All The Stars” – “Black Panther”— Kendrick Lamar, SZA (Top Dawg

Entertainment/Aftermath/Interscope Records)

Outstanding Jazz Album

“The Story of Jaz”—Jazmin Ghent feat. Jeff Lorber, James P. Lloyd, Kim Scott, Philippe Saisse (Jazmin Ghent Music)

Outstanding Gospel Album (Traditional or Contemporary)

“Unstoppable”— Koryn Hawthorne (RCA Inspirational)


Outstanding Literary Work—Fiction

“An American Marriage”—Tayari Jones (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill)

Outstanding Literary Work—Nonfiction

“For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics”—Donna Brazile (Author), Yolanda Caraway (Author), Leah Daughtry (Author), Minyon Moore (Author), Veronica Chambers (With), (St. Martin’s Press)

Outstanding Literary Work—Debut Author

“Us Against The World: Our Secrets to Love, Marriage, and Family”—David

Mann (Author), Tamela Mann (Author), Shaun Saunders (With), (W Publishing)

Outstanding Literary Work—Biography/Autobiography

“Becoming”—Michelle Obama (Crown)



Outstanding Documentary (Film)

“Amazing Grace” (Sundial Pictures/Neon)

Outstanding Documentary (Television)

“Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland”



Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture

Chadwick Boseman—“Black Panther” (Marvel Studios)

Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture

Amandla Stenberg—“The Hate U Give” (20th Century Fox)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

Michael B. Jordan—“Black Panther” (Marvel Studios)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

Danai Gurira—“Black Panther” (Marvel Studios)

Outstanding Independent Motion Picture

“If Beale Street Could Talk” (Annapurna Pictures)

Outstanding Breakthrough Performance in a Motion Picture

Letitia Wright—“Black Panther” (Marvel Studios)

Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture

“Black Panther” (Marvel Studios)

Outstanding Motion Picture

“Black Panther” (Marvel Studios)

On most occasions the examples led by these people would offer cause to celebrate the best of our culture. Yet we still find a way to get in our own way. Sunday, March 31, another example of Black excellence was mourned when 33-year-old Ermias Asghedom—an urban developer, burgeoning real estate agent, philanthropist, and doting father of two children, amongst other adjectives, was tragically gunned down at his place of business. Known to the world as hip-hop artist Nipsey Hussle, millions need to realize those attributes are the bigger loss in this tragic, senseless murder.

More on that later. Over and out for now. Til then enjoy the nightlife.