Saturday, February 6, 2016
"We Don't Need to Seek Acceptance From Anyone"
With the possibility of Straight Outta Compton getting nominated for a Best Picture Oscar now null and void, it was great to see the film receive top honors at Friday night's NAACP Image Award ceremony. The win capped off a beautiful evening that was not only about awarding excellence on the big and small screens; it also underscored the importance of recognizing people of color in Hollywood.
But the Image Awards aren't "the response to #OscarsSoWhite," and they're not a trending topic (to borrow Viola Davis's analogy) that merely contributes to the ongoing conversation about diversity and inclusion in Hollywood. The Image Awards, like the Alma Awards and the Asian Film Awards, have not been around for years to pick up the Oscars' slack. They exist to honor their own. Period. And if the Oscars ever decide to honor non-white actors on a permanent basis, these awards will still be around. Because, as Taraji P. Henson, winner of Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series (Empire), stated: "We don’t need to ask for acceptance from anyone. We are enough, we’ve been enough and we always will be enough."
Stanley Nelson's The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, took home the trophy for best documentary (sadly beating out my pick, What Happened, Miss Simone?), while Michael B. Jordan (Creed), Sanaa Lathan (The Perfect Guy), O’Shea Jackson, Jr., (Straight Outta Compton) and Phylicia Rashad (Creed) took home awards for their performances.
To see the complete list of winners, visit the NAACP Image Awards website.