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The NAACP Image Awards honor the accomplishments of African-American artists in film, television, music and literature. The weeklong celebration culminates with a live televised ceremony on Saturday night.
This year's show was hosted by Queen Latifah and celebrated the works of artists across multiple platforms. From a star-studded red carpet to backstage moments and afterparties, television cameras missed some of the best parts of this televised event.
Yara Shahidi is one of television's most recognizable faces, having earned multiple nominations and becoming a household name with her portrayal of Zoey Johnson on "Black-ish."
In addition to her acting career, Marsai Martin is also a producer. Recently, she launched the video series Money With Marsai Martin which seeks to boost young people's financial literacy.
She's also using her platform to advocate for 20/20 vision care for children, working with Essilor of America to highlight the significance of total eye care among both children and women of color.
Of course, she's been a major part of the natural hair movement. Together with her co-stars on "Black-ish," she has helped advance awareness about natural hair in various styles.
She's an up-and-coming star, with her career already making her one of Hollywood's most beloved actresses. Fueled by both her beautiful looks and remarkable talent, she's won thirteen awards and been nominated for twelve more.
On Saturday night's NAACP Image Awards, Queen Latifah hosted an impressive lineup of nominees. However, some of the most poignant moments from the ceremony weren't captured on television - luckily we have exclusive access to what the cameras missed from Pasadena Civic Auditorium, California.
Tracee Ellis Ross is a veteran actress who made her acting debut in 1996's Far Harbor. Since then, she has starred in multiple films and is best known for her roles on Black-ish and the UPN sitcom Girlfriends for which she received three NAACP Image Awards.
Diana Ross' daughter is an entrepreneur and owns the hair-care line Pattern Beauty. She has collaborated with renowned fashion houses such as Versace, Chanel and Gucci on projects.
Ross has made a name for herself with her sharp wit and captivating charisma, appearing on shows such as CSI and Girlfriends (2000-2008). Additionally, she has acted in feature films such as Hanging Up and Life Support (2008) alongside Queen Latifah.
Her latest role is in Focus Features' The High Note, in which she stars alongside Dakota Johnson - an up-and-coming young actor whose potential to become one of Hollywood's biggest stars. Directed by Nisha Ganatra from a screenplay by Flora Greason, the film also stars Kelvin Harrison Jr., Ice Cube, Zoe Chao, Bill Pullman and Diplo.
Gina Prince-Bythewood, a Black woman director, is renowned for telling stories about empowered and successful Black women. Her semi-autobiographical 2000 film Love & Basketball has achieved classic cult status and cemented Sanaa Lathan's place as an iconic Hollywood figure.
She began her career in 1992 writing episodes of "A Different World" and an episode of "South Central," starring Tina Lifford and Larenz Tate, before transitioning into directing. Her first feature, Love & Basketball, earned 12 award nominations and developed a devoted cult following.
Her next two projects, Oscar-nominated "The Woman King" and Netflix blockbuster "The Old Guard," both focused on African history, including her own ancestry. Both films earned her dozens of award nominations and some wins; however, she took exception to being passed over for this year's Best Director category by the Academy.
She's an accomplished writer, with credits including "Shots Fired," a 10-hour special event series she and her husband Reggie Rock Bythewood co-created and executive produced for Fox in 2017. Together they have two sons and are looking to launch their own production company. At present they're working on a script about a family in a small Southern town after two racially charged shootings.
On Saturday night in Pasadena, California, the NAACP Image Awards were held and hosted by Queen Latifah. Throughout the evening, honorees included entertainers, athletes and writers of color.
Viola Davis and Angela Bassett were among the many winners, taking home Entertainer of the Year and outstanding supporting actress in a motion picture, respectively. During their speeches, both honorees paid homage to Black women who had made history for them.
Bassett reflected on her early days in Hollywood, noting how it took her some time to break through stereotypical roles assigned to African-American women. She began with a bit part in F/X before landing John Singleton's groundbreaking anti-gang movie Boyz 'N the Hood and then got the opportunity to portray Betty Shabazz in Spike Lee's Malcolm X.
In the years that followed, she starred in films like What's Love Got to Do with It? and Waiting to Exhale. Additionally, she and her husband Courtney B. Vance collaborated on writing the inspirational book, "Friends: A Love Story," which became an international success.
Her recent starring roles in Widows and The Woman King, both released this past year, have earned her critical acclaim. Additionally, she was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close which examined the civil rights movement of 2011.
On Saturday night, BET broadcast live from Pasadena Civic Auditorium the 54th NAACP Image Awards. Presenters such as Cliff "Method Man" Smith, Issa Rae, Kerry Washington, Taye Diggs, Queen Latifah and Zendaya made this an event to remember.
One of the biggest surprises was Loretta Devine. She's new to TV Land and will star as Della, mother to Cedric the Entertainer's Reverend Boyce Ballantine.
On Boyce's birthday, he plans a relaxing celebration with his wife Lolli (Nicy Nash), daughter Lyric (Jazz Raycole) and son Stamps (Wesley Jonathan). However, his plans are disrupted when Paul and Robin (Cedric Yarbrough and Yvette Nicole Brown) visit from out of town.
Ice-T hosts this series that follows shocking true stories involving sex, money and obsession - often with unexpected twists and discoveries. Through in-depth interviews and archival footage, the show showcases expert detective work. Plus, Ice-T's distinct voice guides viewers through each tale as he guides them along. The series has become a big hit for TV Land; currently in its fifth season.
The NAACP Image Awards were a star-studded affair, boasting plenty of nominees across TV and film. However, some of the greatest moments from Saturday night weren't captured by television cameras.
One of the highlights was an heartfelt moment between Dwayne Wade and Gabrielle Union during their speech. The couple expressed their appreciation for Zaya, the transgender daughter they both support, as she inspired them to be better advocates and strengthen their family bonds.
Dwyane and Union have been married for almost seven years, despite facing several obstacles in their marriage. Dwyane had fathered a child with another woman back in 2013, which caused major strain in their union. Despite these hardships, they remain committed to one another.
Union and Wade, who have been married since 2014 and parents to Kaavia James (seven months old), say they are happier than ever. Despite all these years together, Union and Wade remain blissfully contented.
Union, who is stepmom to Wade's children Zaire, Zion and Xavier, has expressed her admiration for the athlete's parenting abilities in an interview with Us Weekly. Her endorsement of him came as no surprise as Union is proud of their accomplishments as parents.
Wade and Union have always shown their love for one another and their family, whether through sweet messages on social media, support at her daughter's events or standing as allies for LGBTQIA+ people. Their bond has kept their marriage strong while keeping it moving forward.
Benjamin Crump is a renowned civil rights attorney who has been advocating for the rights of people of color since 2002. He has achieved many victories and established himself as one of the most admired and effective advocates in America. Recently, Benjamin published Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People which can be purchased now.
He has represented the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd as well as residents of Flint and Henrietta Lacks in a landmark reparations case. Additionally, he won a $411 million verdict for Duane Washington who suffered severe brain injury after being struck by a truck.
On October 10, 1969, Benjamin Lloyd Crump was born in Lumberton, North Carolina to an extended family and attended school with his grandmother. Upon graduating South Plantation High School in Plantation, Florida he went on to Florida State University, earning both a bachelor's degree in criminal justice as well as a Juris Doctor.
Crump is the founder and managing partner of Ben Crump Law PLLC, a law firm dedicated to fighting for justice and social change. He has received recognition from numerous organizations such as the NAACP, Innocence Project and National Bar Association.