The 52nd NAACP Awards Honors Black Excellence.

NAACP Image Awards Chicago Defender

The 52nd NAACP Image Awards aired live Saturday evening. The star-studded evening began with an appearance by President Joe Biden and vice president Kamala Harris. In their appearance, they highlighted the importance of the work done by the NAACP. The live broadcast of the Image Awards followed a weeklong virtual experience celebrating the accomplishments of people of color. During the week, fans celebrated the Image Awards with a Virtual Experience. The virtual experience included a virtual experience and a curated conversation series. The NAACP celebrates the best in television and film. The NAACP Image awards featured star-studded appearances by Michele Obama, Arsenio Hall, Swizz Beats, Regina King, and more. Image award nominee, Jazmine Sullivan performed her latest single, “Pick up Your Feelings.” Soul crooner, Maxwell also performed in celebration of the 25th anniversary of his debut album, “Urban Hang Suite.”

NAACP Image Awards Chicago Defender

DJ D-Nice won entertainer of the year for his “Club Quarantine” IG live show. Viola Davis won two Image awards for her performances in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and her role in “How to Get Away with Murder.” Other winners included Rege-Jean Page, Issa Rae, and the late Chadwick Boseman. Comedian, Eddie Murphy was inducted into the NAACP Hall of Fame.

Other winners received awards during non-televised events. Those winners included:

Outstanding Social Media Personality

Tabitha Brown

Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction

“The Awkward Black Man” – Walter Mosley

Outstanding Literary Work – Nonfiction        

“A Promised Land” – Barack Obama    

Outstanding Literary Work – Debut Author

“We’re Better Than This” – Elijah Cummings

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Outstanding Directing in a Documentary (Television or Motion Picture) 

Keith McQuirter – “By Whatever Means Necessary: The Times of Godfather of Harlem”

Outstanding Writing in a Documentary (Television or Motion Picture)     

Melissa Haizlip – “Mr. SOUL!”

Outstanding Documentary (Film)

“John Lewis: Good Trouble”

Outstanding Documentary (Television – Series or Special)

“The Last Dance”

Outstanding Directing in a Television Movie or Special  

Eugene Ashe – “Sylvie’s Love”

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Outstanding New Artist        

Doja Cat – “Say So”       

Outstanding Male Artist       

Drake – “Laugh Now, Cry Later”

Outstanding Female Artist    

Beyoncé – “Black Parade”

Outstanding Soul/R&B Song

“Do It” – Chloe x Halle

Outstanding Hip Hop/Rap Song       

“Savage Remix” – Megan Thee Stallion feat. Beyoncé       

Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration (Traditional)     

Chloe x Halle – “Wonder What She Thinks Of Me”

Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration (Contemporary)           

Megan Thee Stallion feat. Beyoncé – “Savage Remix”

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Outstanding Album   

“Chilombo” – Jhené Aiko

Outstanding Producer of the Year


Outstanding Music Video/Visual Album      

“Brown Skin Girl” – Beyonce’ feat WizKid, SAINt JHN, Blue Ivy Carter

Outstanding Gospel/Christian Song

“Touch from you” – Tamela Mann

Outstanding Gospel/Christian Album          

“The Return” – The Clark Sisters

NAACP Image Awards Chicago Defender

The NAACP Image Awards also honored those who promote social justice. Rev. D. James Lawson received the Chairman’s Award in recognition of his work as a social change advocate. NBA Superstar, LeBron James, received the NAACP President’s Award highlighting his work with the LeBron James Foundation. Stacey Abrams received the social justice impact award for her work fighting voter suppression.

The NAACP Image Awards was followed by a virtual afterparty with DJ Questlove, DJ Kiss, and a jazz lounge performance by Robert Glasper and Lalah Hathaway.

Danielle Sanders is a writer and journalist living in Chicago. Find her on social media @DanieSandersOfficial.


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