Angela Bassett, 'Wakanda Forever' top NAACP Image Awards

Viola Davis won outstanding actress for the action epic 'The Woman King'


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Published: Sun 26 Feb 2023, 9:36 AM

Last updated: Sun 26 Feb 2023, 12:44 PM

Angela Bassett won entertainer of the year at Saturday's NAACP Image Awards on a night that also saw her take home an acting trophy for the television series 9-1-1.

The Bassett-led Marvel superhero sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever won best motion picture at the ceremony, which was broadcast live on BET from Pasadena, California.

Viola Davis won outstanding actress for the action epic The Woman King, a project she championed and starred in. Will Smith won for the slavery drama Emancipation, his first release since last year's Academy Awards, where he slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage before winning his first best actor trophy.

“I never want to not be brave enough as a woman, as a Black woman, as an artist," Davis said, referencing a quote from her character in the film, which she called her magnum opus. “I thank everyone who was involved with The Woman King because that was just nothing but high-octane bravery.”

Abbott Elementary won for outstanding comedy series. Creator and series star Quinta Brunson invited her co-stars onstage and praised shows like black-ish for paving the way for her series.

The 54th NAACP Image Awards were presented Saturday in Pasadena, California, with Queen Latifah hosting. Serena Williams received the Jackie Robinson Sports award, which recognizes individuals in sports for high achievement in athletics along with their pursuit of social justice, civil rights and community involvement.

The ceremony honours entertainers, athletes and writers of colour. Special honorees included Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union and civil rights attorney Ben Crump.

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