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Serena Williams accepted the Jackie Robinson Sports Award at the 54th NAACP Image Awards with Queen Latifah on Saturday evening in Pasadena, California. She was recognized for her accomplishments in tennis, business success and commitment to uplifting society.
Williams is a 23-time Grand Slam winner and an inspiring figure in the sporting world, as well as having her own venture capital firm, fashion brand, wellness brand and publishing venture. Recently she joined forces with two veterans to launch cruelty-free topical pain relief and daily muscle care solutions to reimagine recovery for athletes.
Serena Williams is an iconic tennis player and one of the greatest athletes of all time. A 23-time Grand Slam winner, she has received numerous awards for her accomplishments on court as well as in business, philanthropy and fashion. Additionally, Serena was honored with the Jackie Robinson Sports Award - presented by NAACP and named after legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson who broke color barriers in his sport - which honored her achievements.
Actress Kerry Washington presented tennis great Serena Williams with the award during this year's NAACP Image Awards. Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, stated that Williams is an "exemplary example of Black excellence," from her record-breaking tennis wins to her philanthropic initiatives.
After the ceremony, Williams entered the stage wearing a custom gown designed by New York-based designer Brandon Blackwood. As she shared on Instagram before, the ensemble featured a bodycon bodice with long sleeves and flowing slit skirt made of luxurious black velvet. A deep neckline featuring sheer bustier base added an eye-catching element, while her Xivkarats lariat necklace completed the look.
She styled her hair in tousled curls and gave her makeup a movie star flair. Makeup artist Farzana Zaman applied light pink lipstick, silver eye shadow, and vibrant blush to achieve an alluring finish.
She finished off with a pair of sophisticated black pumps adorned with jewels. The set was completed with satin-coated vamp buckles topped off by bars of sparkling silver crystals for an opulent touch.
Finally, the 41-year-old looked stunning in her custom black velvet gown designed by New York-based designer Brandon Blackwood. She accessorized it with floral diamond rings, massive black and silver statement drop earrings, as well as a lariat necklace for complete perfection.
At the award presentation of NAACP Image Awards host and actress Kerry Washington, the Pasadena Civic Auditorium burst into applause as Williams spoke of how their Black-centric organization works together to elevate Black athletes who are leading change.
At the 2023 NAACP Image Awards on Sunday, Serena Williams looked stunning in a custom gown designed by Brandon Blackwood to accept her Jackie Robinson Sports Award. The figure-hugging garment featured long sleeves and an elegant slit skirt made of luxurious velvet material.
She embodied Williams' legendary athleticism and was inspired by Jackie Robinson - the first African-American to play Major League Baseball. Kesha McLeod and designer Brandon Blackwood collaborated on an evocative ensemble that paid homage to Robinson's legacy of impact on society.
Blackwood's custom velvet gown featured a deep V neckline with sheer silk corset foundation, creating an eye-catching peek-a-boo at the front in contrast to its luxurious velvet texture. Additionally, there was a draped asymmetric waistline, high slit, silk charmeuse lining, fitted sleeves and circular train for extra drama.
Onstage, the 23-time Grand Slam champion accepted her award amid thunderous applause at Pasadena Civic Auditorium. For her remarkable accomplishments on and off the court as well as in business, philanthropy and fashion design, this honor was bestowed upon her by those present.
"Serena Williams is the epitome of Black excellence," declared Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP in a statement. "From her record-breaking wins on the tennis court to her business acumen and philanthropic works, she has set an inspiring example for athletes everywhere."
Actress Kerry Washington presented Williams with her award, honoring her achievements on the court, in business, philanthropy and fashion - noting that she has been a "longtime friend" for decades.
The NAACP selected Williams to receive this honor for her sports accomplishments as well as her contributions to the black community worldwide. She joined Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Magic Johnson, Wilma Rudolph and the Harlem Globetrotters as previous recipients of this prestigious award.
After receiving her award, the tennis champion expressed her gratitude to family and friends for their unfailing support throughout her illustrious career. Additionally, she thanked her team for accompanying her to the award show.
Serena Williams looked stunning in a custom black velvet gown at the 2023 NAACP Image Awards. Designed by New York-based designer Brandon Blackwood, Williams' dress featured an empire waistline with long sleeves and flowing slit skirt crafted out of smooth black velvet. A deep neckline featuring sheer bustier base completed the look for this special occasion in Pasadena, California.
Williams completed her look by donning black pumps adorned with sparkling jewels. She styled her hair into bouncy curls and finished off the glamorous ensemble with bold pink lips.
At her acceptance speech, she spoke of the Jackie Robinson Sports Award which recognizes athletes for their exceptional achievements both on the field and off. Past recipients have included Steph Curry, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Wilma Rudolph and the Harlem Globetrotters.
The NAACP selected Williams for this honor, which recognizes her remarkable contributions in sports, business, philanthropy and fashion. At the ceremony she donned a custom velvet gown designed by Brandon Blackwood and received an enthusiastic applause from those present as she accepted her award.
She then spoke of the NAACP's concerted efforts to uplift and empower Black athletes who are driving change. According to her organization's vision, they strive to help athletes realize their aspirations and aspirations.
Her velvet gown was designed by Brandon Blackwood, and the 41-year-old actress accessorized it with black pointed-toe heels and sparkling jewelry. To complete her ensemble, she added floral diamond rings as well as massive black and silver statement drop earrings from Xivkarats.
This is Williams' first time wearing a custom Brandon Blackwood gown, and she looks absolutely stunning in it! To complete her ensemble, she added subtle silver eye shadow and bright blush to her brown tresses that were styled into large barrel curls with a Hollywood side part, before finishing off with her signature lip color.
Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, lauded Serena Williams for her remarkable accomplishments both on the court and off. He said she "set an example for Black excellence" through her record-breaking wins on the tennis court as well as her philanthropic activities. Additionally, Johnson noted that Williams has set a standard for athletes around the world.
Serena Williams donned a custom Brandon Blackwood velvet gown for the NAACP Image Awards this evening, where she will be honored with the Jackie Robinson Sports Award recognizing her athletic achievements as well as business, philanthropy and fashion design.
Williams' ensemble, shared previously on Instagram, features a bodycon bodice with long sleeves and flowing slit skirt. Crafted from smooth black velvet, the piece boasts an intense neckline with sheer bustier base for an edgy, seductive finish perfect for any special occasion.
The 41-year-old took the stage wearing her custom gown and accepted her award amid thunderous applause from a packed Pasadena Civic Auditorium. Actress Kerry Washington, a longtime friend of Williams's, presented her with the honor. In her remarks, Washington highlighted both Williams' long contributions to her community and athletic achievements as well as her role in raising awareness about racism and discrimination within America itself.
Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, recognized Williams for her "remarkable achievements," including her record-breaking victories on the tennis court as well as her business acumen and philanthropic work. He added that Williams' accomplishments serve as an inspiration to all people of color and we are proud to honor her with this prestigious award."
Before she took to the carpet, Williams spoke about how it is "essential for us to remember our history is in sports" and that it is essential to honor athletes like herself who have overcome obstacles throughout their careers. Additionally, she stressed the importance of being grateful for what one has and expressed her admiration for her teammates and coaches who have contributed to her success.
Williams graced the carpet in a Brandon Blackwood sleeveless black velvet dress that elongated her figure. The ruffle-adorned ensemble featured an eye-catching lace panel running up the back for an attractive effect.
She completed the look with drop pearl earrings and red lipstick. Her hair was styled in loose curls.