The NAACP Image Award nominations are out and even though I’m rarely moved by and have often found reason to criticize the awards, they are a celebration of people of color’s contributions to culture this year. A questionably skewed and somewhat silly celebration, yes, but a worthwhile celebration just the same.
We picked out a handful of selections. You can check out the full list here.
The Silly: Willow Smith, who goes by the artist name of simply Willow, is an pint-sized phenom with a hit song under her belt, and now she’s a NAACP Image Awards nominee for Outstanding New Artist. And she’s 10 years old.* Willow is up against B.o.B., Bruno Mars, Jason Derulo and Nicki Minaj. It’s a family affair too. Willow’s brother Jaden has been nominated for his role in the The Karate Kid and is up against Common, Anthony Mackie, Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman.
The Serious: Ohio State University law professor Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow” was a thorough evisceration of the criminal justice system and the war on drugs that’s resulted in the mass incarceration of black men. And it’s been nominated as an Outstanding Literary Work of Nonfiction. There are actually a plenty more Colorlines favorites in the literature section, including Isabel Wilkerson’s “The Warmth of Other Suns.”
The Colorlines favorites: “La Mission” was nominated in the Best Independent Film category alongside movies Night Catches Us, Mother and Child, Conviction and Frankie & Alice. While they’re all worthy, we at Colorlines have a soft spot in our hearts for the film about a San Francisco Latino gay teen’s relationship with his father. It’s a beautiful film, heartbreaking and honest.
Wanna share your favorites? If you’ve got more to say on a nominee, or something that should have been nominated, leave it in the comments.
* A previous version of this article incorrectly started that Willow Smith was 8 years old.