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Urban Entertainment and the Importance of the NAACP Image Awards


Urban Entertainment and the Importance of the NAACP Image Awards

47th Annual NAACP Image AwardsAward season is typically the busiest time of the year in the entertainment world. This time of the year is when most shows are returning from hiatus and new shows are preparing to debut. All of the entertainers are anticipating winning big, too.

It’s no secret that race relations in the United States have struggled since the inception of the nation. Fact of the matter is, urban entertainment has a way to go to catch up. Around the board, there is much more work to be done.

After watching the Academy Awards nominees, Jada Pinkett Smith went on a rant about the Academy. This prompted the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag on social media and it led to the Academy making some big changes. Although, Janet Hubert would speak out, calling Jada out for not speaking up on more serious racial topics.

Last year, Kanye West spoke out about mainstream award shows. He said the entertainers in the urban world should attend and embrace the urban awards. Similar sentiments were made by Mo’Nique, when she spoke out, early last year. The first award show to celebrate the urban culture was the NAACP Image Awards. It was fitting for the organization to create this entity.

In 2004, Radio One and their partners joined forces to create TV One to showcase the urban lifestyle. A match made in heaven came when TV One secured broadcast rights to air the Image Awards, which is now a staple on their network. Many of the biggest names in urban entertainment did show up, such as cast and crew from “Power” and “Empire,” along with athletes, and musicians.

Some have tried to make this a racial debate and it is to some people, but the fact of the matter is the Image Awards does celebrate urban greatness, as a whole. In a world seemingly filled with evil, the Image Awards represents the things that are going right in the world. As the future is here, a change should begin to show itself and the urban figures embrace the Image Awards and vie for them the way they do the mainstream awards.

This year’s NAACP Image Awards were star-studded, with the likes of Roland Martin, Jussie Smollett, Naturi Naughton, Affion Crockett, Mary Mary, Terrence Howard, Gabrielle Union, Taraji P. Henson, and Michael B. Jordan present, among others. There were some fans on Twitter who were debating the winners of the awards. In the future, there should be more embracing of these entities, as the Image Awards will celebrate 48 years in 2017.

Anthony Anderson hosted the show, Tracee Ellis Ross held it down, KeKe Palmer, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Morris Chestnut, Will Smith, Jada, and more put forth a phenomenal show, last night. Terrence J did his thing, as he hosted the red carpet awards.


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