On Thursday (January 9), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) announced the nominees for the 51st NAACP Image Awards via livestream on Facebook. Actors Tichina Arnold, Trevor Jackson and Marsai Martin, along with author Erica Campbell, announced the nominees for the award show that celebrates Black excellence.
Before the names were released, NAACP President Derrick Johnson reminded the audience of the battles the Black community is currently fighting. “2019 was an important year for the arts but also for civil rights,” he said. “At a time when states across the country are trying to pass laws to suppress our right to vote, when African Americans are harassed and even killed in their homes and when some of our elected leaders sit on the sidelines rather than fulfil their responsibility to the Constitution, 2020 must be the year to hold people accountable, to mobilize and to take action.”
The television and film titles that led the nominations similarly centered freedom fighting and the struggle to claim identity. They included the Ava DuVernay-directed “When They See Us” (nine noms), the biopic “Harriet” (nine noms) and Jordan Peele’s “Us” (seven noms). Angela Bassett, Billy Porter, Lizzo, Regina King and Tyler Perry are all up for entertainer of the year.
To see the complete list of nominees, click here.