Angela Bassett, Issa Rae, Jennifer Hudson, Sterling K. Brown and Will Smith were among the big winners of the 53rd NAACP Image Awards ceremony.

This year’s 53rd NAACP Image Awards programme culminated in a live broadcast following a week-long virtual experience, where the best in the world of film and television entertainment were honoured. Host of the night was seven-time NAACP Image Awards winner Anthony Anderson during a glittering ceremony on Saturday 26 February.


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Jennifer Hudson
Image credits: Earl Gibson III/NAACP)

Winners on the night included TV shows and films covered in Melan Magazine during the last year. Jennifer Hudson received the “Entertainer of the Year” and “Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture” awards for Respect, while Will Smith was awarded the “Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture” for King Richard.

Outstanding Actress and Actor in a Drama Series went to Angela Bassett for 9-1-1 and Sterling K. Brown for This is Us, respectively.

A fitting salute to the end of two pioneering and iconic TV shows, Issa Rae received “Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series” for her role in Insecure, with Anthony Anderson, combining hosting duties for the ninth year in a row, receiving the same for Black-ish. Insecure was also named “Outstanding Comedy Series”. The Harder They Fall took the “Outstanding Motion Picture” award.


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During the ceremony, NAACP President and CEO, Derrick Johnson, presented the President’s Award to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, “In recognition of special achievement and distinguished public service”. Previous recipients have been Muhammad Ali, Jesse Jackson, Rihanna, Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter and Lauryn Hill, among others.

Duke and Duchess of Sussex
Image credits: Earl Gibson III/NAACP)

Both wearing outfits by Black designers, Meghan’s blue gown was designed by Christopher John Rogers, while Harry’s tuxedo was designed by Ozwald Boateng, the couple took the opportunity to acknowledge the upheaval in Ukraine, by saying: “We stand with you”.


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The Duke and Duchess, through their Archewell foundation, have also partnered with the NAACP on a newly created annual NAACP-Archewell Digital Civil Rights Award, with Dr Safiya Noble announced as the inaugural recipient. In 2021, Dr  Safiya Noble was recognized as a MacArthur Fellow for her ground-breaking work on algorithmic discrimination, which enabled her founding of Equity Engine, a non-profit committed to creating the conditions for Black women and women of colour to thrive through access to education, investments, mentorship, and mutual aid.

On their new collaboration, Meghan said: “We are proud to partner with NAACP”. “Thank you so much for joining us in this work, and thank you again for this incredible honour. Truly.”


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NAACP Image Award winner and Academy Award-nominated actor and producer Samuel L. Jackson was recognised with the prestigious Chairman’s Award during the ceremony.

A highlight performance on the night came from nine-time Grammy Award-winning singer and two-time Academy Award-nominated actress and producer Mary J. Blige. Additional guest appearances and presenters included Kerry Washington, Lil Nas X, LL Cool J, Megan Thee Stallion, Michael Strahan, Morgan Freeman, Regina King, Paula Patton, Tiffany Haddish, and Zendaya.

The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) was founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people in America.

Check out the winners of the live show categories below

Outstanding Comedy Series

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series
Issa Rae

Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series
Sterling K. Brown

Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
Angela Bassett

Outstanding Motion Picture
The Harder They Fall

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Will Smith

Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Jennifer Hudson

Entertainer of the Year
Jennifer Hudson

Social Justice Impact
Nikole Hannah-Jones


View the full list of winners and nominees here.

Watch the 53rd NAACP Image Awards on Monday 28 February at 9pm ET/PT on BET UK on My5 and Sky On Demand.

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