On Saturday, the NAACP held their 52nd annual NAACP Image Awards to celebrate Black stories and excellence in entertainment. As part of the special awards segment of the show, Michelle Obama presented Stacey Abrams with the Image Awards’ first Social Justice Impact Award.
“Her courage… it’s contagious, her approach is inclusive, and her eyes are fixed on the mountaintop that has always brought out the best within us,” the former first lady said. “And that’s why it’s my honor to present the inaugural NAACP Social Justice Impact Award to the unstoppable Stacey Abrams.”
Abrams has received well-deserved praise for her voting rights work in Georgia. “I appreciate the recognition, but more importantly, I am grateful for the NAACP’s century of dedication to racial justice, democracy, and equality”, Abrams said. “I share this award with all those who champion progress, equity, and the truth of who we are and who we must become as a nation.”
After Abrams served eleven years in the Georgia House of Representatives, including seven as Minority Leader, Abrams became the Democratic nominee for Governor of the state in 2018. She was the first Black woman to become gubernatorial nominee for a major party in the US, and in her 2018 run she won more votes than any other Democrat in Georgia’s history.
After the state’s voter suppression efforts in 2018 and the mismanagement of that election, Abrams founded Fair Fight Action, an organization dedicated to ensuring every Georgian is represented fairly in elections. She has founded multiple organizations to expand and protect voting rights, and has dedicated her career to protecting democracy.
The late Chadwick Boseman won best actor in a motion picture for his role in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Boseman passed away last year at 43 from colon cancer. His wife, Simone Ledward Boseman, accepted the award on his behalf. She thanked his family and the NAACP for the honor, and encouraged Black people over the age of 45 to get screened for colon cancer.
The Image Awards also recognized LeBron James for his public service work, including his LeBron James Family Foundation and his I PROMISE School, an educational initiative. He also launched More Than a Vote, a coalition of Black artists and athletes dedicated to educating and protecting Black voters.
Sources: NAACP Image Awards; Hollywood Reporter 3/27/21; AP News 3/27/21