Barack Obama, Elijah Cummings, and More Among the First Round of 52nd NAACP Image Award Winners


Monday kicked off night one of the 52nd NAACP Image Awards as winners were announced in the non-televised categories: literary, documentary (film and television), activist, and youth activist of the year. The awards were announced as part of the NAACP Image Awards’ Virtual Experience presented by Wells Fargo and hosted by Nischelle Turner.

The night’s winners included President Barack Obama for Outstanding Literary Work – Nonfiction category, Walter Mosely for Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction, “John Lewis: Good Trouble” for Outstanding Documentary (Film), and as previously announced Reverend Dr. Wendell Anthony for Activist Of The Year and Madison Potts for Youth Activist Of The Year.

The night additionally featured appearances from presenters including entrepreneur and Shark Tank investor Daymond John, star of Netflix’s Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey, Madelen Mills, and Emmy-Award Winning Actor Terrence Terrell. Performers included Tonya Boyd Cannon and Zul-Qarnain who put together a creative mash-up of both a traditional and a reimagined interpretation of the Negro National Anthem.

The full list of Monday’s winners can be found below:

  • Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction – “The Awkward Black Man” – Walter Mosley
  • Outstanding Literary Work – Nonfiction – “A Promised Land” – Barack Obama
  • Outstanding Literary Work – Debut Author – “We’re Better Than This” – Elijah Cummings
  • Outstanding Literary Work – Biography/Autobiography – “The Dead Are Arising” – Les Payne, Tamara Payne
  • Outstanding Literary Work – Instructional – “Vegetable Kingdom” – Bryant Terry
  • Outstanding Literary Work – Poetry – “The Age of Phillis” – Honorée Jeffers
  • Outstanding Literary Work – Children – “She Was the First!: The Trailblazing Life of Shirley Chisholm” – Katheryn Russell-Brown, Eric Velasquez
  • Outstanding Literary Work – Youth/Teens – “Before the Ever After” – Jacqueline Woodson
  • Outstanding Directing in a Documentary (Television or Motion Picture) – Keith McQuirter – “By Whatever Means Necessary: The Times of Godfather of Harlem”
  • Outstanding Writing in a Documentary (Television or Motion Picture) – Melissa Haizlip – “Mr. SOUL!”
  • Outstanding Documentary (Film) – “John Lewis: Good Trouble”
  • Outstanding Documentary (Television – Series or Special) – “The Last Dance”
  • Special Award – Youth Activist of the Year – Madison Potts
  • Special Award – Activist of the Year – Reverend Dr. Wendell Anthony

The Virtual Experience, presented by Wells Fargo, will invite fans into a curated “Black Excellence” experience right from the comfort of their own home. The experience will include:

  • The non-televised awards program will include a pre-awards show hosted by Entertainment Tonight’s Nischelle Turner and celebrity presenters Nicole Beharie, the cast of BET’s Bigger, Tamar Braxton, Damson Idris, Daymond John, Leslie Jones, Javicia Leslie, Madalen Mills, MAJOR., Method Man, Retta & Reno Wilson (from Good Girls), Marcus Scribner,  JB Smoove, Terrence Terrell, Susan Kelechi Watson, and CeCe Winans.
  • Virtual red carpet hosted by Tanika Ray.
  • A conversation and panel series with the NAACP Hollywood Bureau featuring Miles Brown and President Derrick Johnson.
  • The Our Stories, Our Culture program including “A Conversation With…” presented by Ford Motor Company which will salute Essential Workers as well as a web series called Fashion Pull-Up hosted by celebrity wardrobe stylists, GooGoo Atkins and Apuje Kalu which will explore the most-notable fashion moments from the NAACP Image Awards’ red carpet.
  • The NAACP Theatre will showcase past Image Awards’ performances and speeches. Additionally, all content that airs in the Virtual Experience throughout the week will be made available on-demand the next day in the theatre.
  • A virtual photo booth and selfie station, where fans can take a photo with their personal device and post to their social media platforms.
  • Post-gala Afterparty immediately following the live broadcast on BET which will feature classic cuts by DJ Questlove, current cuts by DJ Kiss, and a Jazz Lounge performance by Robert Glasper and Lalah Hathaway.

Attendees can RSVP/pre-register for the 52nd NAACP Image Awards Virtual Experience here. The 52nd NAACP Image Awards will air on BET, and simulcast across ViacomCBS Networks including CBS, BET Her, VH1, MTV, MTV2, and LOGO on Saturday, March 27th, 2021 at 8/7c.

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