NAACP Image Award

NAACP Image Award
47th NAACP Image Awards
Awarded for Excellence in film, television, music, and literature by outstanding people of color
Country United States
Presented by NAACP
First awarded 1967
Official website NAACP Image Awards

An NAACP Image Award is an accolade presented by the American National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to honor outstanding people of color in film, television, music, and literature.[1] Similar to other awards, like the Oscars and the Grammys, the over 30 categories of the Image Awards are voted on by the award organization's members (that is, NAACP members). Honorary awards (similar to the Academy Honorary Award) have also been included, such as the President's Award, the Chairman's Award, Entertainer of the Year and The Image Award Hall of Fame.

The award ceremony was first presented in 1967 and was first nationally televised in 1994 on the Fox Network. There was no awards ceremony in 1973. The first live broadcast of the event, also on the Fox Network, occurred in 2007 for its 38th edition (up until 2007, the ceremony had been broadcast with tape delay) and the annual ceremonies usually take place in or around the Los Angeles, United States area, in February or early March. The 44th edition aired on NBC. Sources have had trouble verifying the winners in the top categories from 1983-1995.

The New York firm Society Awards manufactures the trophy since its redesign in 2008.

Past shows

Year Day Host Location
1967 (1st) February 4 Beverly Hilton Hotel
1968 (2nd)
1969 (3rd)
1970 (4th) November
1971 (5th)
1972 (6th) November
1974 (7th) January 19 Hollywood Palladium
1975 (8th) January
1976 (9th)
1977 (10th) April
1978 (11th) June
1980 (12th)[2] January 27 Louis Gossett, Jr./Rita Moreno/Ted Lange/Benjamin Hooks Hollywood Palladium
1980 (13th) December
1981 (14th) December
1982 (15th) December 5 Robert Guillaume Hollywood Palladium
1983 (16th) December Jayne Kennedy/George Peppard/Michael Warren
1984 (17th) December 4 Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
1985 (18th) December
1986 (19th) December
1987 (20th) December 13 Debbie Allen/Denzel Washington
1988 (21st) December
1989 (22nd) December
1990 (23rd) December 9
1991 (24th)
1992 (25th) January 11
1993 (26th) January 16 Pasadena Civic Auditorium
1994 (27th) January 5
1996 (28th) April Whitney Houston/Denzel Washington Pasadena Civic Auditorium
1997 (29th) February 8 Arsenio Hall/Patti LaBelle
1998 (30th) February 14 Vanessa L. Williams/Gregory Hines
1999 (31st) February 14 Mariah Carey/Blair Underwood Pasadena Civic Auditorium
2000 (32nd) February 12 Diana Ross
2001 (33rd) February 23 Chris Tucker Universal Amphitheatre
2002 (34th) March 3 Chris Tucker
2003 (35th) March 8 Cedric the Entertainer
2004 (36th) March 6 Tracee Ellis Ross/Golden Brooks/Persia White/Jill Marie Jones
2005 (37th) March 25 Chris Tucker Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
2006 (38th) March 3 Cuba Gooding, Jr. Shrine Auditorium
2007 (39th) March 2 LL Cool J
2008 (40th) February 14 D. L. Hughley
2009 (41st) February 12 Halle Berry/Tyler Perry
2010 (42nd) February 26 Anika Noni Rose/Hill Harper
2011 (43rd) March 4 Wayne Brady/Holly Robinson Peete
2012 (44th) February 17 Sanaa Lathan/Anthony Mackie
2013 (45th) February 1 Steve Harvey
2014 (46th) February 22 Anthony Anderson[3] Pasadena Civic Auditorium
2015 (47th) February 6
2016 (48th) February 5


In 1987 the NAACP came under fire for dropping their Best Actress award for that year. They defended this position, citing a lack of meaningful roles for black women.[4] In 1990, they were criticized once again for not awarding Best Actress.[5] This was the fourth time it could not find enough nominees for Best Actress.[5] Sandra Evers-Manly, president of the organization's Beverly Hills/Hollywood branch, said "The [film] industry has yet to show diversity or present realistic leading roles for African-American women."[5]

The NAACP Image Awards have been the subject of controversy due to prior claims that certain nominees were undeserving of NAACP attention. In response, parties have argued that the quality of an artist's work is the salient issue, with factors such as criminal charges inconsequential in this regard. For example, in 1994, Tupac Shakur was a nominee for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture for the film Poetic Justice following sexual assault charges in December 1993.[6] More specifically, Shakur was accused of felony counts of forcible sodomy and unlawful detainment in New York City, when a woman alleged that Shakur and two other men held her down in a hotel room while a fourth man sodomized her.[7] Shakur was also indicted with two counts of aggravated assault in an unrelated incident in which he supposedly shot and wounded two off-duty police officers.[7] In the same year, Martin Lawrence was criticized for winning outstanding actor in a comedy series and outstanding comedy series and the show was criticized for its sexual controversy.[7] In 2004, R. Kelly's Chocolate Factory was nominated for Outstanding Album[8] while he was under indictment for charges related to child pornography.[9]

Other nominees have faced controversy due to their portrayals of major civil rights figures. In 2003, the movie, Barbershop, received five nominations, including Outstanding Motion Picture and Outstanding Supporting Actor (for Cedric the Entertainer's performance). In the film, Cedric's character makes pejorative remarks about Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., Michael Jackson and Jesse Jackson, content that elicited criticism, including a boycott of the awards event by Parks herself.[10] The rap group OutKast received six nominations in 2004 but faced criticism because they had previously recorded a song titled "Rosa Parks" which had resulted in them being sued by Parks over the use of her name.[9]

For 2014, the NAACP was criticized for nominating white nominees.

Award categories

These are the major categories:

Motion picture




Special awards


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