NAACP Image Awards: Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis Win, Eddie Murphy Honored

Oscars 2021. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom leads the SAG Awards nominations. (Credit: Netflix)

After handing out pre-show prizes over five nights, the 52nd NAACP Image Awards concluded Saturday with Viola Davis picking up two statuettes and Chadwick Boseman winning a posthumous honor.

The virtual ceremony began with a recorded message from President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris recognizing the importance of the NAACP and the civil rights organization’s work.

“Black culture is American culture, Black history is American history, and Black stories are essential to the ongoing stories of America,” Biden said.

“As a nation, we are at a major turning point. We have surpassed more than 100 million shots in arms. We have sent out more than one million checks. And we are making historic investments in schools, small businesses and communities throughout the country,” Harris added. “And still there’s so much more to be done, so tonight let us celebrate and tomorrow let’s get back to work.”

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Viola Davis picked up two honors — outstanding actress in a drama series for How To Get Away With Murder and outstanding actress in a motion picture for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Her co-star in the film, the late Chadwick Boseman, was named outstanding actor in a motion picture for his performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Boseman’s wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, accepted the award.

“He would give all honor and glory to the most high God,” she told the audience. “He would thank his mom and dad, and he would give honor to the ancestors as we now honor him. Thank you NAACP Image Awards for always giving him his flowers. He was an uncommon artist and an even more uncommon person. But the manner in which we lost him is not uncommon at all. Not in our community.” Boseman died last August at age 43 after battling colon cancer.

At another moment in the show, Eddie Murphy was inducted into the NAACP Image Awards Hall Of Fame. Murphy’s longtime friend and Coming 2 America collaborator Arsenio Hall presented the award.

Other winners included Regé-Jean Page for outstanding actor in a drama series for Bridgerton. Issa Rae was named outstanding actress in a comedy series for Insecure. Stacey Abrams took home the social justice impact award and action film Bad Boys For Life was named outstanding motion picture.

Below is the list of winners from Saturday’s 52nd NAACP Image Awards. The full list of winners from the non-televised awards can be found here.

Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series
Regé-Jean Page “Bridgerton”

Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
Viola Davis “How To Get Away With Murder”

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series
Issa Rae “Insecure”

Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Viola Davis “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Chadwick Boseman “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Outstanding Motion Picture
“Bad Boys For Life”

Chairman’s Award
Rev. D. James Lawson

President’s Award
LeBron James

Hall of Fame Award
Eddie Murphy

Entertainer of the Year

Social Justice Impact
Stacey Abrams