The Image Awards Were the Perfect Antidote to #OscarsSoWhite

By Kenrya Rankin Feb 08, 2016

#OscarsSoWhite, but the Friday (February 5) broadcast of the NAACP’s Image Awards overflowed with people of color being all kinds of magical. Actor Anthony Anderson (“black-ish”) hosted, and he opened the show with an N.W.A.-inspired medley about Hollywood’s lack of diversity: 

Straight out of Hollywood, they say he’s colder than an Ice Cube. From the group Nominees with Attitude. Boy they make me sick, trying to be slick, not respecting Black people when we make a flick. … Image Awards make us all feel good, and when you see me, I’m coming straight out of Hollywood.

“Look at all these shades of people in the audience,” he said after the song. “Hollywood needs to know that this is what diversity is supposed to look like.”

During a characteristically outspoken moment while accepting her award for outstanding actress in a drama series, Taraji P. Henson summed up the sentiment of the night: “We don’t need to ask for acceptance from anyone. We are enough, we’ve been enough and we always will be enough.” 

Michael B. Jordan was the huge deal of the show. Not only did he win the award for outstanding actor in a motion picture for his star turn in “Creed,” but he was also crowned entertainer of the year. “I’m just proud to be Black in this room," he said. "I used to sneak into the Image Awards, and now I’m standing here as the entertainer of the year, which is mind-blowing.”

Here are the biggest winners of the night:

Entertainer of the Year
Michael B. Jordan

-Outstanding Comedy Series: “black-ish”
-Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series: Anthony Anderson (“black-ish”)
-Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series: Tracee Ellis Ross (“black-ish”)
-Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Mike Epps (“Survivor’s Remorse”)
-Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Marsai Martin (“black-ish”)

-Outstanding Drama Series: “Empire”
-Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series: Terrence Howard (“Empire”)
-Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series: Taraji P. Henson (“Empire”)
-Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Joe Morton (“Scandal”)
-Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Regina King (“American Crime”)

Motion Picture
-Outstanding Motion Picture: “Straight Outta Compton”
-Outstanding Independent Motion Picture: “Beasts of No Nation”
-Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture: Michael B. Jordan (“Creed”)
-Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture: Sanaa Lathan (“The Perfect Guy”)
-Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture: O’Shea Jackson Jr. (“Straight Outta Compton”)
-Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture: Phylicia Rashad (“Creed”)

-Outstanding Documentary-Film: “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution”
-Outstanding Documentary-Television: “Muhammad Ali: The People’s Champ”

-Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture (Theatrical): Ryan Coogler (“Creed”)
-Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture (Television): Dee Rees (“Bessie”)

-Outstanding New Artist: Jussie Smollett
-Outstanding Male Artist: Pharrell Williams
-Outstanding Female Artist: Jill Scott

-Outstanding Literary Work-Fiction: “Stand Your Ground” by Victoria Christopher Murray
-Outstanding Literary Work-Nonfiction: “Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benta” by Pamela Newkirk
-Outstanding Literary-Debut Author: “The Fishermen” by Chigozie Obioma
-Outstanding Literary-Biography/Autobiography: “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates

See the full list of winners on, or watch the show yourself below.