LOS ANGELES — Following the week-long virtual experience, tonight the NAACP celebrated the stellar achievements of the “53rd NAACP Image Awards” winners during a special LIVE broadcast on BET hosted by seven-time NAACP Image Awards winner Anthony Anderson and presented by Wells Fargo. 

Watch an encore presentation of the “53rd NAACP Image Awards” Monday, February 28 at 9 PM ET/PT on BET. Internationally, the show will air on BET UK on My5 and Sky On Demand on Monday, February 28, BET France on March 2 at 8:45 pm CEST, and MTV Brazil on Thursday, March 3.

#NAACPImageAwardsWinners of the night included Jennifer Hudson (Entertainer of the Year and Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture – “Respect”), Angela Bassett (Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series – “9-1-1”), Will Smith (Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture – “King Richard”), Sterling K. Brown (Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series  – “This is Us”), Issa Rae (Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series – “Insecure”), Anthony Anderson (Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series – “black-ish”), Nikole Hannah-Jones (Social Justice Impact) and “The Harder They Fall” (Outstanding Motion Picture).During the ceremony, NAACP President and CEO, Derrick Johnson, presented the President’s Award to Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex who together have heeded the call to social justice and have joined the struggle for equity both in the U.S. and around the world.

“Through the work of their foundation and their unwavering commitment to the causes we believe in and share, [The Duke and Duchess of Sussex] have demonstrated they are so deserving of this honor,” said NAACP President Derrick Johnson.

NAACP Image Award winner and Academy Award-nominated actor and producer Samuel L. Jackson was recognized with the prestigious Chairman’s Award during the ceremony. In his acceptance speech, Jackson quoting Marion Wright: “Service is the rent we pay for being. The very purpose of life and not something we do in our spare time,” prompted the audience to continue “to put [their] legs, [their] bodies, and our voices to work to make sure that people do get out and vote no matter what they do keep us from doing it.”

The ceremony also featured a spectacular performance by nine-time Grammy Award-winning singer and two-time Academy Award-nominated actress and producer Mary J. Blige. Additional guest appearances included Kerry Washington, Lil Nas X, LL Cool J, Megan Thee Stallion, Michael Strahan, Morgan Freeman, Regina King, Paula Patton, Simu Liu, Tiffany Haddish, and Zendaya.

Tonight’s LIVE show followed the week-long NAACP Image Awards Virtual Experience, which invited fans to join the Image Awards in a celebration of the outstanding achievements and performances of people of color across more than 80 competitive categories – including the non-televised awards program, and a curated conversation series. Fans can relive all of the Image Awards moments from the week on naacpimageawards.net and YouTube.

The 53rd NAACP Image Awards are presented by Wells Fargo and sponsored in part by AT&T Humanity of Connection, Google, T-Mobile, Bank of America, Gushers, FedEx, and Airbnb.MEDIA ASSETS FROM SHOW:

For all information and the latest news, please follow NAACP Image Awards on Instagram @NAACPImageAwards.NAACPFounded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. We have over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2M activists. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.

In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP.NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund – also referred to as the NAACP-LDF was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but separated in 1957 to become a completely separate entity. It is recognized as the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization, and shares our commitment to equal rights.

 Following is the complete list of winners for the 53rd NAACP Image Awards:


 Outstanding Comedy Series Insecure

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series Anthony Anderson 

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Issa Rae

 Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Sterling K. Brown

 Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Angela Bassett 

Outstanding Motion Picture The Harder They Fall 

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture Will Smith 

Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture Jennifer Hudson 

Entertainer of the Year Jennifer Hudson 

Social Justice Impact Nikole Hannah-Jones


Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction “Long Division” – Kiese Laymon

Outstanding Literary Work – Non-Fiction “The 1619 Project:  A New Origin Story” – Nikole Hannah-Jones

Outstanding Literary Work – Debut Author “Just As I Am”  – Cicely Tyson

Outstanding Literary Work – Biography/ Autobiography “Will”- Will Smith

Outstanding Literary Work – Instructional “Feeding the Soul (Because It’s My Business)” – Tabitha Brown

Outstanding Literary Work – Poetry “Perfect Black”- Crystal Wilkinson

Outstanding Literary Work – Children “Stacey’s Extraordinary Words” – Stacey Abrams, Kitt Thomas

Outstanding Literary Work – Youth/Teens “Ace of Spades”- Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

Outstanding Podcast – News and Information Blindspot: “Tulsa Burning”

Outstanding Podcast – Arts and Entertainment “Jemele Hill is Unbothered”

Outstanding Podcast – Society and Culture “Jemele Hill is Unbothered” 

Outstanding Podcast – Lifestyle / Self-Help“Two Funny Mamas” – Sherri Shepherd & Kym Whitley

Special Award: Youth Activist of The Year Channing Hill 

Outstanding Short-Form Series – Comedy or Drama “Between the Scenes” – The Daily Show

Outstanding Short-Form Series or Special – Reality/Nonfiction “Token of a Great Day” – Lynching Postcards

Outstanding Short-Form (Live Action)“When The Sun Sets (Lakutshon’ Ilanga)”

Outstanding Short-Form (Animated)“Us Again”

 Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series

Issa Rae- “Insecure” – Episode #510 “Everything’s Gonna Be, Okay?!”

Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series Davita Scarlett – “The Good Fight” – 505

Outstanding Writing in a Television Movie or Special Abdul Williams – “Salt-N-Pepa”

Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture Shaka King, Will Berson, Kenny Lucas, Keith Lucas- “Judas and the Black Messiah”

Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series Bashir Salahuddin, Diallo Riddle – “South Side” – “Tornado”

Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series Barry Jenkins – “The Underground Railroad”

Outstanding Directing in a Television Movie or Special Kenny Leon – “Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia”

Outstanding Directing in a Documentary Samantha Knowles, Yoruba Richen, Geeta Gandbhir, Nadia Hallgren- “Black and Missing”

Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture Shaka King – “Judas and the Black Messiah”

Special Award: Activist of The Year Scot X. Esdaile

Outstanding Talk Series “Red Table Talk”

Outstanding Host in a Talk or News/Information (Series or Special) – Individual or EnsembleJ ada Pinkett Smith, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, Willow Smith- “Red Table Talk”

Outstanding Reality Program/Reality Competition Series “Wild ‘n Out”

Outstanding Host in a Reality/Reality Competition, Game Show or Variety (Series or Special) – Individual or Ensemble Trevor Noah- “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah”

Outstanding Variety or Game Show (Series or Special)“The Daily Show with Trevor Noah”

Outstanding News/Information (Series or Special)“The ReidOut”

Outstanding Documentary (Television)“High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America”

Outstanding Children’s Program “Family Reunion”

Outstanding Animated Series“We The People”

Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance (Television)Cree Summer – “Rugrats”

Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance – Motion Picture Letitia Wright – “Sing 2”

Outstanding Breakthrough Performance in a Motion Picture Danny Boyd Jr. – “Bruised”

Outstanding Breakthrough Creative (Motion Picture) Jeymes Samuel – “The Harder They Fall”

Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture “The Harder They Fall” Outstanding International Motion Picture7 Prisoners

Outstanding Guest Performance Maya Rudolph – “Saturday Night Live”

Special Award: Roy Wilkins Civil Rights Award The Mexican American Legislative Caucus, Texas House Democratic Caucus, and Texas Legislative Black Caucus Outstanding Jazz Album – Instrumental “Sounds from the Ancestors” – Kenny Garrett

Outstanding Jazz Album – Vocal “Generations”- The Baylor Project

Outstanding Gospel/Christian Song “Help Me”- Tamala Mann feat. The Fellas

Outstanding Gospel/Christian Album “Overcomer”- Tamela Mann

Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration (Traditional) Silk Sonic- “Leave the Door Open”

Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration (Contemporary) Tobe Nwigwe feat. Fat Nwigwe- “Fye Fye”

Outstanding Soundtrack/Compilation Album “The Harder They Fall (The Motion Picture Soundtrack)” – JAY-Z & Jeymes Samuel

Outstanding International Song “Essence” – Wizkid feat. Tems & Justin Bieber

Outstanding Music Video/Visual Album “Essence”- Wizkid feat. Tems

Outstanding New Artist Saweetie – “Best Friend” feat. Doja Cat

Outstanding Male Artist Anthony Hamilton – “Love Is The New Black”

Outstanding Female Artist Jazmine Sullivan – “Heaux Tales”

Outstanding Soul/R&B Song “Pick Up Your Feelings” – Jazmine Sullivan

Outstanding Hip-Hop/Rap Song “Fye Fye” – Tobe Nwigwe feat. Fat Nwigwe Outstanding Album“Heaux Tales”- Jazmine Sullivan

Special Award: NAACP Humanitarian of the Year Darnella Frazier

 Outstanding Television Movie, Limited–Series or Dramatic Special “Colin in Black & White”

Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Limited–Series or Dramatic Special Kevin Hart – “True Story”

Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Limited–Series or Dramatic Special Taraji P. Henson – “Annie Live!”

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Television Movie, Limited–Series or Dramatic Special Courtney B. Vance – “Genius: Aretha”

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Television Movie, Limited–Series or Dramatic Special Regina Hall – “Nine Perfect Strangers”

Outstanding Performance by a Youth (Series, Special, Television Movie or Limited–series) Miles Brown – “black-ish”

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Deon Cole – “black-ish”

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Natasha Rothwell – “Insecure”

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Cliff “Method Man” Smith – “Power Book II: Ghost”

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Mary J. Blige – “Power Book II: Ghost”

Outstanding Drama Series “Queen Sugar”

Outstanding Breakthrough Creative (Television)Angel Kristi Williams- “Colin in Black & White”

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Daniel Kaluuya – “Judas and the Black Messiah”

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Regina King – “The Harder They Fall”

Outstanding Documentary (Film)“Barbara Lee: Speaking Truth to Power”

Outstanding Independent Motion Picture“CODA”

Outstanding Animated Motion Picture “Encanto”