The 49th Annual NAACP Image Awards took place on Monday (Jan. 16) on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It couldn’t be more of a perfect coincidence to celebrate the achievements of black creators—on the very day where the nation honors the man who fought for them to have the right to live out their dreams.
The red carpet was littered with black Hollywood’s most elite stars like Tracee Ellis Ross, Michael B. Jordan, and Anthony Anderson. It’s also worth noting that some of your favorite stars and films won the coveted awards like director Ava DuVernay, who won the Entertainer of the Year accolade. 50 Cent’s Starz series Power took home the Outstanding Drama Series award, and Jay Ellis won best Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for HBO’s Insecure.
On the night of the show, VIBE was present on the red carpet where prominent honorees of the night revealed what the NAACP Images Awards mean to them, and how they hope to keep Dr. King’s legacy moving forward.
“I am just hyped to be here,” Issa Rae told host/producer Jazzie Belle. “This is the one award show where it feels like it’s block party/family reunion.”
“If Dr. King were here today he would be proud of us,” said actress Jenifer Lewis of Blackish. “Because if he were here today, not only are we entertaining but we are educating. And we are inspiring.”
VIBE also chatted with Lil Rel, Lance Gross, LeToya Luckett, Natalie Paul, and more.