'It's The Only Validation That Matters': 5 Tearjerking Speeches From The NAACP Image Awards
Issa Rae shouted out bad b***hes, KevOnStage gave praises to his wife and Chadwick Boseman's partner urged people to get tested for colon cancer.
March 29, 2021 at 1:26 pm
Some of the most beloved Black entertainers were honored on Saturday at the 52nd annual NAACP Image Awards, which recognized celebrities for their talents and their impact on society. While graciously accepting their awards, the honorees delivered powerful words to inspire the world. The recipients included comedians Issa Rae and KevOnStage, as well as actress Viola Davis, basketball superstar LeBron James and the late Chadwick Boseman.
Here are the most impactful speeches that were heard during the virtual ceremony.
Issa Rae said it's the only award that matters.
Comedian Issa Rae, who won the award for Outstanding Actress in Comedy Series, said the recognition from the NAACP is the only one that matters.
"It's the only validation that matters, is Black people's validation, so I really appreciate NAACP for honoring us," she said. "It means so much."
The first-time NAACP Image Award winner was up against Tracee Ellis Ross, Regina Hall, Yara Shahidi and Folake Olowofoyeku in the category, according to PopSugar. Rae expressed gratitude for her fans and colleagues as well as fellow nominees, particularly Ross.
“First of all, thank you to Tracee Ellis Ross for losing. Bad b***hes don’t lose often, but when they do, they don’t care,” the comedian said.
KevOnStage was overcome with emotion while thanking his wife.
Comedian KevOnStage, who has proven his talent as a writer, director and producer, took the award for Outstanding Social Media Personality. The beloved star broke down while thanking his wife, Melissa Fredericks, who organized a party with family and friends to celebrate the occasion.
“Melissa is just everything. She has been so instrumental," KevOnStage said in a 20-minute video uploaded to Instagram. "She worked when I got fired, she built my confidence back up, she was the first investor. She literally did everything. This is her idea. I would’ve been at home playing FIFA in my drawers if she didn’t plan this.”
The multi-talented celebrity also thanked his friends during his speech.
"I’m happy to be nominated for the award, but if I don’t win, it doesn’t really matter, and I mean that," he said. "This is my win, being with my friends and family. I don’t have to win the award because the journey is the award.”
Viola Davis showed gratitude while taking home two awards.
Davis won the award for Outstanding Actress award in Drama Series and Motion Picture, earning recognition for her roles in How to Get Away with Murder and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.
The actress first thanked the producers and cast of How to Get Away with Murder while accepting the award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series.
"It was the joy and journey of my life to go on this ride with you," she said. "You know I love you, love you, love you. Shonda Rhimes, thank you. Pete Nowalk, for redefining what it means to be a leading lady, what it means to be a woman, what it means to be Black on network television. Thank you for the ride of my life.”
Davis gave another gracious speech while accepting the award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture, the honor she received for her role in Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
“Thank you so much! Thank you August Wilson," the actress said while showing gratitude for the writer. "Thank you for honoring us with your Century Cycle of plays. Thank you for loving us, thank you for leaving this legacy.”
The 55-year-old added shoutouts to Netflix and the rest of the crew, including Boseman, who died shortly after filming.
"To the beautiful Chadwick Boseman, I love you Chad," she said.
LeBron James continued to speak up for the Black community.
James, who has been focused on fighting against voter suppression as part of his public service effort, continued to speak for his community while taking the award.
“There’s a lot of voter suppression going on in the Black community where they try to take away our right to vote, take away our right to be heard and just take away anything we can do to make change,” James said. “For us to come together with some of my fellow athletes and fellow artists; it meant so much to do what we did in the November election, being able to bring things to where we felt like it would be better for our community and better for America.”
Simone Ledward Boseman accepted an award on behalf of her husband.
Simone Ledward Boseman accepted the award on behalf of her late husband which he won for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture award for his role in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.
"As always, he would give all honor and glory to the most high God," Simone said. "He would thank his mom and dad, and he would give honor to the ancestors as we now honor him. Thank you NAACP Image Awards for always giving him his flowers. He was an uncommon artist and an even more uncommon person. But the manner in which we lost him is not uncommon at all. Not in our community."
She then raised awareness about the disease that took the actor's life, emphasizing a call to action for colon cancer screenings.
Outstanding Actor In A Motion Picture goes to… Chadwick Boseman! Congratulations! We can honor his legacy by visiting https://t.co/gmZDyIUWxI to gain awareness. #NAACPImageAwards
— BET (@BET) March 28, 2021
"Black people in this country are 20 percent more likely to be diagnosed with colon cancer and 40 percent more likely to die from it," she said. "The age for routine screening has recently been lowered to 45 so if you are 45 years of age or older, please get screened. Don't put it off any longer, please get screened."