The 43rd NAACP Image Awards

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    Anthony Mackie_and_Sanaa_Lathan_webOn Friday, Feb. 17, the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles was the place to be. It was the venue for the presentation of the 43rd NAACP Image Awards, an event that now ranks “up there” with the Golden Globes, the Grammys, the Emmys, the Oscars and others.

    African American achievers in show business and other fields turn out en masse for the glittery affair that always has a tremendous build-up and never disappoints once the big day arrives.

    The prestige of the Image Awards is now such that in 1996 the televised ceremony was moved from late night to prime time. It is a major programming event.

    “To understand the importance of the NAACP Image Awards, it has to be placed in a social and historical context,” says the venerable civil rights organization. 

    “Ideas and images create the belief systems that control our individual and societal actions. When it comes to forming ideas, reinforcing stereotypes, establishing norms and shaping our thinking, nothing affects us more than the images and concepts delivered into our lives on a daily basis by television, motion pictures, recordings and literature.

    “Accordingly, there is ample cause for concern about what does or does not happen in these mediums when there is little or no diversity in either opportunities or the decision-making process.”

    Individuals and organizations committed to promoting social justice are also given recognition at the Image Awards. 

    Among the 2012 winners are Jill Scott (Outstanding Female Artist), Cee Lo Green (Outstanding Male Artist), George Benson (Outstanding Jazz Album), LL Cool J (Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series), Regina King (Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series), 

    “The Help” (Outstanding Motion Picture), Viola Davis (Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture), Laz Alonso (Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture) and Mike Epps (Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture). 

    We are presenting a collection of “images,” all captured via the camera of one of the nation’s foremost photographers, Detroit’s own Monica Morgan

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