The 50th NAACP Image Awards were the Blackest of all time. From Black Panther winning big to Jay Z and Beyonce accepting the night’s most prestigious awards to Chris Rock making light skin jokes, it doesn’t get much Blacker.
Keep scrolling for highlights from the show…
Chris Rock Jokes On Jussie
Apparently Chris Rock was told not to make any jokes about Jussie Smollett, but it’s Chris Rock, you can’t tell him what to do. It wasn’t a few seconds before Rock stepped up to the mic and delivered his first shot at the embattled Empire actor. In Rock’s defense, it was quite hilarious and a great way to kick off the show.
“They said no Jussie Smollett jokes. Yeah, I know. I know. What a waste of light skin. You know what I could do with that light skin? That curly hair? My career would be out of here. F—ing running Hollywood,” Rock said.
“What the hell was he thinking?” the comedian added. “You’re Jessie from now on. You don’t even get the ‘u’ no more. That ‘u’ was respect. You ain’t getting no respect from me.”
Jay Z Accepts The President’s Award
Jay Z and Beyonce have been on an award world tour. After accepting the GLAAD Media Vanguard award, they hit the NAACP Image Awards to collect their next honors. Jay looked dapper in a classic blue suit as he stared at his Image Award, delivering his acceptance speech.
Keeping everyone on edge, Jay used a quote from our “very humble and kind-hearted president.” But it’s not the president you’re thinking of. He took it back to Abe Lincoln.
“It’s not the amount of years in your life, it’s about the life in your years that count in the end.”
“Thank you to the NAACP for allowing me to forward this so she can put this on her mantle next to her favorite grandson. And when she’s, like, sneaking pork, and, like, her legs swell up, she can remember how much of a G she is.”
Beyonce Thanks Regina King In Her Acceptance Speech
Beyonce May have won the Image Award for “Entertainer Of The Year,” but she used her acceptance speech to thank her fellow nominees.
“Regina King, I love you so much. You taught us patience, persistence, and how to be masterful in your craft,” she said dressed in a stunning white Balmain gown straight off the runway. “Chadwick Boseman is teaching children to dream and to see themselves as kings. LeBron James has taught us strength of all forms in leading by example and providing education for our kids. Ryan Coogler tells our story in a way that celebrates our history and proved that we do have power at the box office, and I’m honored to be included among all of you and to a part of a vital, thriving, beautiful community. Thank you so much, NAACP, God bless you. I hope ya’ll had a great night.”
Black Panther Wins Big
As if there was any doubt, Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther took home eight awards, including “Outstanding Motion Picture.” Chadwick Boseman won “Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture” and Letitia Wright took home the “Breakthrough Performance” award.
Auntie Maxine Waters Flexes
Congresswoman Maxine Waters accepted the NAACP Chairman’s Award and, per usual, left us feeling empowered and captivated but unrelenting fight and spirit.
“After a long career journey, tonight I stand before you as the first woman and the first African-American to chair the powerful U.S. House Financial Services Committee,” she said. “Yes, I got the gavel and I’m not afraid to use it.”