This past weekend, our people got some much needed appreciation and recognition with the 51st NAACP Image Awards being held in Los Angeles, CA. Every year, this is a star-studded event, featuring some of the most polarizing Black people in the industry. Saturday was nothing short of amazing, as they gathered to celebrate and recognize each other.
The night saw three people receive special awards in addition to the awards given to those in the 60+ plus categories of music, television, film, and literary works. General Charles S. McGee received the Key of Life Award, for his work in World War II as a Tuskegee Airman, piloting one of the famed Red-Tailed planes in Naples, Italy.
The recipient of the Chairman's Award, Congressman John Lewis of Alabama was honored with the award just a day after his 80th birthday. His fearlessness in standing up for what s right for Black people on capitol hill. He was a member of the Civil Rights movement, being inspired by the Montgomery Bus Boycott. His efforts during the freedom rides led to him being a key student leader during the Civil Rights Era and was even given a major speaking role during the March on Washington. Lewis is a true American hero; one we need to thank for some of the freedoms we have today along with Martin Luther King, Jr.
The highlight of the night was the speech that came after the awarding of the President's Award to Rihanna. While she in her own right is a great entertainer, we have grown to love her even further for her activism and business acumen. She used her three minute speech to call out those of us who have friends of other races to recognize the problems we are marching, posting, and protesting, these are their problems too. Rihanna said, "If they like you, tell your friends to pull up!" She said that "my part is a very small part of the work in the world that is being done and the work that is to BE done." After speaking on founding the Clara Lionel Foundation in 2012, Rihanna goes on to say, "we can only fix this world together. We cant do it divided." To see her full speech, click here.
Again, this night was full of Black Excellence celebration. Marsai Martin, the Little star and Lizzo also highlighted the evening as winners. To see the full list of nominees and winners on the evening, click here.