BEVERLY HILLS-The 44th NAACP Image Awards, which takes place Friday, is certain to be a grand event with comedian and actor Steve Harvey hosting the show. Actress Kerry Washington has already been designated as the recipient of the President’s Award. High-profile movies such Denzel Washington’s “Flight,” George Lucas’ “Red Tails” and Jamie Foxx’s critically celebrated film, “Django Unchained,” will no doubt bring a lot of buzz and the stars to the awards ceremony. The NAACP Image Awards, however, are not just about the highlighting the work of those making a living in the entertainment industry.
It is a celebration. It is a grand showcase of honoring the men and women who best exemplify the work of the NAACP and its storied legacy of fighting for justice and equality. The NAACP Image Awards is about individuals and those making a difference and illustrating the wondrous talents of African Americans and people of color that is too often ignored or rarely honored. And that’s a lot more than the entertainment field. As the annual NAACP Image Awards Nominees luncheon at the Montage Beverly Hills indicates, the flow of societal contributions by African Americans and people of color, comes from many walks of life.
That includes literature, the arts, military, recording and television and film. Walking the red carpet at the NAACP Image Awards nominees luncheon were individuals with a high visibility in the public’s eye like basketball Hall of Fame center Kareem Abdul Jabbar, nominated for a NAACP Image Award for his children’s book, “What Color is My World?” about black inventors. Then there were people like Janine Sherman Barrios (Criminal Minds), nominated in the “Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series” whom the public may not be aware of. The greatness in the NAACP Image Awards is the diversity of talent it recognizes every year that may or may not be fully appreciated.