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FutureStarrAngela Bassett and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Win 2023 NAACP Image Awards
On Saturday night, the 54th NAACP Image Awards took place and it was an exciting night for Black entertainment. Angela Bassett and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever were two big winners on the night.
Method Man earned himself an Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his role as Davis McLean on Starz's Power Book II: Ghost. P-Valley also took home several awards including Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series (Nicco Annan).
On Saturday night, the 54th NAACP Image Awards were a star-studded affair hosted by Queen Latifah from Pasadena Civic Auditorium in California. Will Smith took home the best actor prize for Emancipation while Viola Davis, recently an EGOT winner, took home Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture award for her role on The Woman King.
For the first time in three years, award-winning show aired live before an audience. This year's hosts ignited lively discussions and gave heartfelt speeches about their work and fight for justice.
At a ceremony honoring Serena Williams and Dwyane Wade, athletes for their athletic accomplishments as well as dedication to social justice, civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump received the Jackie Robinson Sports Award for his work in Trayvon Martin, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tyre Nichols' cases; basketball star Brittney Griner made her first public appearance since being released from captivity in Russia with her wife Cherelle.
Bassett earned the top honor of Entertainer of the Year, which she accepted with a heavy heart. She thanked her family for their support and said it had been "a dream come true." Her dress - a white one-piece pantsuit with ruffled accents - was an elegant choice.
In the days leading up to the Image Awards, several big winners were announced in non-televised events. Beyonce's album Renaissance was named Best Artist but lost out on Album of the Year to Harry Styles; Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was named Outstanding Motion Picture and its writers Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole were recognized for their writing. P-Valley's Nicco Annan earned himself a place among other winners such as Elegance Bratton's The Inspection.
On Saturday night, Black entertainment came to a close with Angela Bassett taking home the Entertainer of the Year award and Viola Davis, Will Smith and Ryan Coogler all taking home top acting honors. Hosted by Queen Latifah herself, Queen Latifah paid homage to 114-year-old civil rights organization by calling for action to uplift African Americans.
After a brief introduction, Bassett expressed her delight at receiving the award from her family members. She then thanked all her fans for their love and support.
In an effort to show her love and support for the Black community, she recognized trailblazing political figures such as House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. Echoing EBONY February 2023 cover star Jonathan Majors, she exhorted everyone present to "love each other, as much as you love yourself."
Bassett also thanked her husband, Method Man, for their devotion to their daughter Zaya. The couple's offspring was one of the night's big winners, taking home the Jackie Robinson Sports Award.
Special honorees included Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), who received the Chairman's Award, and civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump who received the Social Justice Impact Award. These awards recognize those who have worked to defend Black lives and promote equality, justice, and progressive change for all peoples of color.
Other winners included ABC's Abbott Elementary, which led the comedy category with nine nominations; Starz's P-Valley won drama with six nominations; Peacock's The Best Man: The Final Chapters was the big winner among limited series with seven nods.
At the 2023 NAACP Image Awards in California, Queen Latifah hosted and presented awards to actors and actresses such as Janelle Monae, Taye Diggs, Kerry Washington, Jonathan Majors and Zendaya.
On the night, Will Smith earned an award for his role in Emancipation - Beyond Freedom. The film follows Peter as he struggles to escape slavery with only his wits and unshakeable faith.
Smith stars as Peter, a slave who escapes through several daring escapes. Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Equalizer), the film will be released in 2022.
On Saturday evening in Pasadena, California, Will Smith emerged victorious over Daniel Kaluuya, Jonathan Majors, Joshua Boone and Sterling K Brown to win the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture. The show had previously taken place at Hollywood & Highland Center earlier in the day.
Smith won his first award since slapping Chris Rock on stage at last year's Oscars, sparking speculation about whether or not his character would be dropped from future projects. Apple TV+ delayed 'Emancipation' release date due to Smith's altercation, and Netflix suspended development on several films featuring him as well.
After being awarded the award, Will Smith took to Instagram to celebrate. In a photo with the trophy, he thanked Black-focused organizations for overlooking his Oscar controversy and also thanked the cast of 'Emancipation' for their hard work and success.
Smith, who co-starred in Bad Boys 4 with Martin Lawrence, will return to the long-running franchise for another installment in 2020.
Quinta Brunson looked stunning in her floor-length design at the 54th NAACP Image Awards, her first red carpet event back in three years. The actress and creator of ABC's "Abbott Elementary" looked stunning in a strapless silhouette with a light brown base complemented by its draped train and daring thigh-high slit.
She was joined by co-stars Tyler James Williams, Janelle James and Brittani Nichols, all of whom took home awards for their work on the show. Additionally, the ensemble featured large gold statement earrings and several white diamond rings.
On Saturday night's live broadcast from Pasadena Civic Auditorium in California, Bassett and her fellow winners received the Entertainer of the Year award - presented to someone who has made an immense impact on either entertainment or society at large. She paid homage to trailblazing Black political figures and encouraged those in attendance to keep fighting for justice.
The awards ceremony aired on BET and was simulcast across a dozen Paramount Global networks including CBS, MTV and VH1. It kicked off with a week of non-televised ceremonies to recognize the achievements of people of color in television, music and filmmaking.
This year's ceremony featured several major triumphs, such as Bassett's Marvel superhero sequel "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," taking home both the Outstanding Motion Picture category and Social Justice Impact Award.
This year's awards show was no different, hosted by Queen Latifah and broadcast live on BET as well as simulcast across a dozen Paramount networks including CBS, MTV and VH1. Honorees included Method Man, Damson Idris, Taye Diggs, Harold Perrineau, Issa Rae Monae James Majors Washington Morris Chestnut Ms Pat and Sheryl Lee Ralph.
On Saturday night, the 2023 NAACP Image Awards took place and several renowned entertainers and athletes were recognized for their achievements. Serena Williams received the Jackie Robinson Sports Award while Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union claimed the President's Award.
Queen Latifah hosted the ceremony, offering a stirring opening speech with an inspiring tribute to Black women. She also invited WNBA star Brittney Griner and civil rights attorney Ben Crump onto the stage for special performances.
Bassett was an impressive winner on the night, taking home multiple awards including Entertainer of the Year for her roles in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Fox network series 9-1-1.
She looked stunning in a white jumpsuit featuring ruffled sleeves. As she thanked her family and fans for their love and support, there was no stopping the beauty.
On Tuesday evening, she won the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture category for her role as Nakia in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Nominated alongside co-stars Danai Gurira and Lupita Nyong'o for this honor, she went on to accept it on behalf of herself and all those associated with the movie.
On the night, Silk Sonic emerged as a major winner by winning Best Duo Group or Collaboration with their song Love Train. This is their second time winning this award for this duo.
On the telecast, Bassett won the Entertainer of the Year award and expressed her deep honor at receiving it from her family. She even quoted Ariana DeBose's popular BAFTA rap about her, saying: "I guess Angela Bassett did the thing!"
On the night, ABC's Abbott Elementary was named Outstanding Comedy Series and earned itself Breakthrough Creative honoree Quinta Brunson with Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series (Quinta Brunson) and Supporting Actor Award (Tyler James Williams). Hip-hop artists Scott "Kid Cudi" Mescudi, Ian Edelman and Maurice Williams were also recognized for their contributions to television.