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54th NAACP Image Awards - Show

Source: Amy Sussman / Getty / Angela Bassett

The 54th NAACP Image Awards went down last night live for the first time in front of an audience for the first time in three years, and it was an evening full of Black excellence.

Queen Latifah held down the hosting duties during the 2-hour special that aired on BET and was held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California.

Understandably, the awards show has not had a live component since the coronavirus pandemic came and shut every damn thing down. Last year’s show was a hybrid presentation because it was partially virtual and featured live appearances from live presenters, award winners, and honorees.

As expected, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever took home the big honor of winning the Image Award for Outstanding Motion Picture.

Wakanda Forever star Angela Bassett took home three awards: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for emotional performance as Queen Ramonda in the MCU film, Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for 911, and night’s biggest honor Entertainer of The Year.

During her speech, Bassett showed love to Ariana DeBose, who was ridiculed for her BAFTA Awards rap featuring the lyric “Angela Bassett Did The Thing.”

DeBose wound up deleting her Twitter account following the ridicule she received. Bassett did reveal she reached out to the West Side Story star to see if she was okay following the “ridicule.”

Other Notable NAACP Image Award Winners

Will Smith, who was not in attendance, won the Outstanding Actor award for his performance in the AppleTV+ film Emancipation.

Viola Davis, the most recent person to reach EGOT status, won Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for her performance in The Woman King.

Beyoncé didn’t get the recognition she deserved at The Grammys, but her latest project, Rennaissance, was appreciated at the Image Awards, winning Outstanding Album.

It was a night of celebrating nothing but Black Excellence in many different categories.

You can see some of the winners from the night below and here for the complete list.

Motion Picture Categories

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Motion Picture

Tenoch Huerta Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Outstanding Independent Motion Picture

The Inspection 

Outstanding International Motion Picture

Bantú Mama

Outstanding Breakout Performance In A Motion Picture

Jalyn Hall, Till

Outstanding Ensemble Cast In A Motion Picture

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Outstanding Animated Motion Picture 

Wendell & Wild

Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance – Motion Picture

Keke Palmer, Lightyear 

Outstanding Short-Form (Live Action)

Dear Mama…

Outstanding Short-Form (Animated)

More Than I Want to Remember

Outstanding Breakthrough Creative (Motion Picture)

Ericka Nicole Malone, Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story

Television Categories

Outstanding Comedy Series

Abbott Elementary

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series

 Cedric The Entertainer, The Neighborhood

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series

Quinta Brunson, Abbott Elementary

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Janelle James, Abbott Elementary

Outstanding Drama Series


Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series

Nicco Annan, P-Valley

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Cliff “Method Man” Smith, Power Book II: Ghost

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Loretta Devine, P-Valley

Outstanding Television Movie, Limited Series or Dramatic Special

The Best Man: The Final Chapters

Photo: Amy Sussman / Getty

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