Black Excellence: Top Moments From 48th Annual NAACP Image Awards

Black Excellence: Top Moments From 48th Annual NAACP Image Awards

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The NAACP celebrated all of the amazing strides that people of color have made over the past year at the 48th Annual NAACP Image Awards. If you didn’t get a chance to tune in, check out our rundown of the evening’s top moments.

The 59th GRAMMY Awards - Roaming Show

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Thanks, Obama
The 48th Annual NAACP Image Awards started out with a tribute to President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Given the recent changes in Washington, it’s safe to say we all have a case of OSA (Obama Separation Anxiety).

48th NAACP Image Awards - Show

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Anthony Anderson’s Gives Us All The Giggles

He touched on everything from the Obamas living their best life on a well-earned vacay and Chadwick Boseman’s run of biopics (we laughed waaay too hard at that one) to the need for perseverence in the current social and political climate in the wake of the 2016 election. He also made sure to give a shoutout to the ladies who shined all of their Black Girl Magic for the world in 2016. He even had to give it up for Viola’s tearful performance in Fences.

48th NAACP Image Awards - Press Room

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Denzel Washington Inspires Us All
Denzel Washington reminded everyone that greatness does not come easy, and you need to be willing to put in the hard work. If it were easy, your faves would not be who they are. And he urged us all to keep pushing to achieve our goals no matter the obstacles because, as he said, “Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship.”

48th NAACP Image Awards - Press Room

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Taraji Wins Twice
Taraji P. Henson, who had won 13 NAACAP Image Awards before tonight, was nearly speechless when she won Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Cookie Lyon on Empire. After facing off against the likes of Viola Davis, Kerry Washington, Rutina Wesley, and Jurnee Smollett, she had nothing but words of encouragement for her fellow nominees. The competition was tough, but Taraji came out on top, and she used her victory speech to share the shine. Later on in the evening, she also snagged the award for Outstaning Actress in a Motion Picture for her starring role in Hidden Figures. This time, Taraji had a clear idea of what she wanted to say, explaining why taking on the role was so important to her and what it meant to her.

Shade On The Stage
Angie Tribeca co-stars Rashida Jones and Deon Cole had some tense moments while presenting the award for Outstanding Comedy Series. Oh, sure, things started out light and funny…but then their exchange got really real in a hilarious way.

48th NAACP Image Awards - Show

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Black-ish Has (Another) Big Night
The Johnsons better clear a little more space on their trophy shelf because Black-ish had yet another big night, after sweeping all of its categories for the night. Tracee Ellis Ross won Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series. Likewise, Anthony earned the Outstanding Actor in a Comedy series. The show locked up the night with Outstanding Comedy series to no one’s surprise because the show is a must-watch.

48th NAACP Image Awards - Show

Source: Earl Gibson III / Getty

John Legend Gets Jazzy
John Legend came through to slow things down and add a little more soul to the night with his debut of “Surefire.” We fully expect some director to use this cut.

48th NAACP Image Awards - Press Room

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Hidden Figures Wins
With two wins under her belt for the evening, Taraji P. Henson took a step back once Hidden Figures won the award for Outstanding Motion Picture. After welcoming her co-stars Janelle Monae and Octavia Spencer to the stage, Taraji made way for Janelle to give the acceptance speech.

48th NAACP Image Awards - Backstage and Audience

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Dwayne Johnson Is Entertainer Of The Year
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson closed out the night with his win for Entertainer of the Year. Considering he was up against the likes of Viola Davis, Beyonce, Regina King, and Chance The Rapper, this was a bit of a surprise. Still, he is a hardworking entertainer that has been in the game for years–and he’s taken his craft way beyond the wrestling ring. He’s also been in some movies we love, including Moana. Kudos!

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