The 46th NAACP Image Awards was broadcasted live February 5. It honored people of color in a multitude of areas. As an African American, I thought the show was nothing short of spectacular—honoring African Americans at their best. The sea of beautiful, talented, and productive attendees and honorees was a testament of the beauty of a diverse and talented group of people. The show honored and acknowledged both young and old recipients, resonating a bond of love, respect and pride among African Americans.
Anthony Anderson was the versatile host, highlighting a plethora of talents. His rap portrayal recognizing social injustices was right on time. The beauty of recognizing and honoring our own reverberated throughout the event by presenters and awardees alike.
This was a much needed event at a time when our worth seems questioned by many in White America. The event showed the world that regardless of the negative things they may have been told about Blacks (especially by the media) in America, we’re nobody’s joke. We can represent in a grand fashion an elegance and creativity second to none.
The practice of identifying or stereotyping all Blacks collectively has done irreparable damage in denigrating the accomplishments and achievements of many outstanding and productive African Americans. It is when we honor our own that we can truly show the world (so often leaving us out) that we also count. As the adage goes, “They showed up and showed out.” The best of people of color was manifested, showing that we as individuals have unprecedented attributes and talents to offer the world when we are positively motivated.
It was a program our young children needed to see to be given hope and a vision that people who look like them can rise beyond their circumstances to meet their dreams. It offered encouragement as well as appreciation that we as African Americans are offering our gifts and talents just like others to make this country great. It helped dismiss the veil of doom and gloom held by so many African Americans that their situation is hopeless. This award show helped to act as a conduit to tear down the walls of self-hate and worthiness. I am addressing a mindset subliminally ingrained systemically in the minds of many Blacks (especially Black children).
There may have been a backlash from some Whites declaring that this award show was no different from the Oscars through its omission of White awardees. Let some holler reverse racism if they want to and it’s okay—because we know that historically the Oscars have generally omitted people of color, occasionally throwing them a bone. It is because of not being recognized in many venues by our White counterparts we find it necessary to showcase those who look like us—because, if no other reason, to show the world we matter. Who else is diligently fighting for our right to be recognized?
In all honesty, the truth of the matter was that it wasn’t about White American feelings. It was about African Americans, honoring and recognizing people of color.
We did not have to have White America’s approval to be validated. I guess you can say White America is getting a little taste of its own medicine. This is not meant to be a racist remark, but the truth. Maybe one day we will live in a country where all its people will be recognized and appreciated not just in words but opportunities and acknowledgement.
The only oversight was the omission of Dr. Francis Cress Welsing when remembering those African American giants who passed away recently. The contributions this psychiatrist, scholar, and author of the Isis Papers made is immeasurable.
Once again I want to offer kudos to those honored and recognized in the 46th NAACP Image Awards. Truly, there were no losers. They were all winners in every sense of the word. Continue to showcase and honor the achievements of people of color to show the world who we really are. It is important to show our children examples of excellence who look like them, so they can continue our rich legacy of perseverance and achievement. The country and the world wins in the end.