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September 1, 2014

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What Are The NAACP Image Awards?

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Hosted this year by Holly Robinson Peete and Wayne Brady, the 42nd annual NAACP Image Awards, set to air March 4, will continue a tradition of honoring the "outstanding achievements and performances of people of color in the arts (television, recording, literature, motion picture and writing & directing), as well as those individuals or groups who promote social justice through their creative endeavors."

BlackVoices.com takes a look at the history of the awards show and some of the most notable Image Award recipients.

In 1915, the D.W. Griffith film 'Birth of a Nation' inspired the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to launch a nationwide protest against the film. Set during the Civil War era, the film was racist, featuring abhorrent depictions of African Americans. White-controlled depictions of black people on screen exposed the need for African Americans to have greater participation in film to challenge existing depictions.

Independent African-American filmmakers like the George P. and Noble Johnson, known as the Johnson Brothers, and Oscar Micheaux sought to produce films that explored the black experience through positive images. By the 1940s, these "race films" had vanished, and there was still more work to do in the way of challenging such negative depictions as those found in 'Birth of a Nation' and just about all the films in Hollywood, which presented blacks as inferior.

In 1951, 1963 and 1964, the NAACP adopted resolutions to improve opportunities for black performers, who were often relegated to such roles as maids, cooks and comics. In 1967, the Beverly Hills/Hollywood branch of the NAACP formed the NAACP Image Awards.

Notable recipients of the Image Awards include Denzel Washington, Oprah Winfrey, Victoria Rowell, Will Smith, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Halle Berry, Hill Harper, Janet Jackson, Lauryn Hill,Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson, Nikki Giovanni, Shonda Rhimes, Sidney Poitier, KeKe Palmer, Cornelius Smith, Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston.

Since the inception of the Image Awards, there have been some non-black winners as well, which shouldn't come as a surprise, since NAACP stands for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. America Ferrera, Carlos Santana and Silvio Horta are just a few of those winners.

In the nearly 50 years since the founding of the Image Awards, there have been strides made toward a greater balance in the depictions of the black experience; however, the work continues. And, ultimately, the power lies in black hands to steer the wheel and use such influential platforms as film, music and literature to inspire change.



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Black Music Notes Jan. 19

1/24/10: Kanye West
In the midst of promoting his forthcoming album, 'Watch the Throne,' alongside Jay-Z, Kanye West has also announced details about his next solo effort. The 33-year-old superstar took to his Twitter page to reveal his big music plans for the next coming months. "I'll be back this summer," he wrote. "Watch the Throne coming in 2 months! My new album coming this summer." In addition, West is also set to close this year's annual Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival on April 17.

Black Music Notes Jan. 19

1/19/10: Diddy/Janelle Monae
In celebration of this year's annual Grammy Awards, Essence magazine and Sean 'Diddy' Combs are teaming up to recognize Grammy nominee Janelle Monae at the 2nd annual Essence Black Women in Music. The exclusive, invite-only event is scheduled to take place during Grammy week and is hosted by essence.com Managing Editor Emil Wilbekin, Joy Bryant and Taraji P. Henson. "Janelle Monae is a remarkable creative force and a passionately talented young performer, who perfectly personifies ESSENCE as the 'voice and soul' of black women," said Wilbekin. "As fans around the world continue to embrace Janelle's artistic vision, we are recognizing her tremendous influence among her peers with a salute to her contributions at the 2nd annual ESSENCE Black Women in Music event."

Black Music Notes Jan. 19

1/19/10: Snoop Dogg
Last month international hip-hop star Snoop Dogg released his latest single, 'Wet,' in honor of Prince William's engagement announcement. And this week the self-proclaimed "Doggfather" officially announced the release date of his 11th studio album, 'Doggumentary,' will hit stores on Mar. 29. In support of the forthcoming opus, Snoop will be hitting the road for the 'Get Wet' tour. The 'Get Wet' tour begins Jan. 18 in San Francisco and concludes Feb. 25 in West Virginia.

Black Music Notes Jan. 19

1/12/10: Boosty Collins
Iconic funk bassist Boosty Collins is set to release his first new studio project in five years, 'The Funk Capital of the World' on April 26. On Collins' latest effort, he chose to tap into an all-star lineup of collaborators, including former Parliament Funkadelic member George Clinton, rappers Snoop Dogg, Chuck D and Ice Cube among others. "There are real messages on this album that I wanted to share," explains Collins, "whose soul-deep rhythms and layered melodies are punctuated by lyrics that range from meditations on the nature of truth and spiritual transcendence, to blissed-out joy."

Black Music Notes Jan. 19

1/12/10: Corinne Bailey Rae
Just in time for Valentine's Day, Corinne Bailey Rae is paying homage to some of her favorite musicians with the release of 'The Love EP.' The Grammy nominee's five-track opus finds Bailey Rae covering Prince's 'I Wanna Be Your Lover,' Bob Marley's 'Is This Love,' Paul McCartney's 'My Love,' Sly & The Family Stone's 'Que Sera, Sera' and Belly's 'Low Red Moon.' Corinne Bailey Rae's 'The Love EP' hits stores Jan. 25.

Black Music Notes Jan. 19

1/10/10: Janet Jackson
As previously reported by Black Music Notes, Janet Jackson is set to kick off her intimate 35-city 'Janet Jackson Number Ones, Up Close and Personal' international tour in Singapore on Feb. 7. In addition to Jackson's global trek, the platinum-selling singer will begin the North America leg on Mar. 7 in Chicago. During each show one lucky fan will have the chance to accompany Janet as one of her VIP guests. "I'm asking my fans and their friends, Parents, relatives, neighbors and teachers to nominate five people to qualify as one of the 20 under 20 in each place I will perform," she said in a statement. "At each concert the 20 people chosen and the person who nominated them will be VIP guests at my show. " Janet Jackson's North American tour concludes on April 23 in Las Vegas.

Black Music Notes Jan. 19

1/10/10: Rihanna
International Pop star Rihanna recently made history in the UK by becoming the first female artist to score five #1 singles in consecutive years. Her current single 'What's My Name' landed at the number one spot on the Singles Chart last week surpassing Elvis Presley, who previously held the record for his span of #1 hits from 1957 to 1963.

Black Music Notes Jan. 19

1/7/10: Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj has overcome all critics and disbelievers of her debut opus, 'Pink Friday.' The critically acclaimed album has reached platinum status within six weeks of its release, outpacing Kanye West's 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy' which was also released on Nov. 22. To date, 'Pink Friday' remains the #2 Rap Album and the #4 Album in the country on Billboard's 200 charts.

Black Music Notes Jan. 19

1/7/10: Cee Lo Green, Sade, Michael Jackson
In preparation of the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards, set to take place on Feb. 13, comes the release of the 2011 Grammy Nominees album. The Jan. 25 release highlights 19 songs from various artists who are up for nominations this year including Cee Lo Green ('Forget You'), B.o.B ('Nothin On You'), Sade ('Babyfather'), and Michael Jackson ('This Is It') among others. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the album will benefit the MusiCares Foundation and the Grammy Foundation.

Black Music Notes Jan. 19

12/29/10: Janet Jackson
Good news for Janet Jackson fans of Southeast Asia. The multi-talented Pop singer will kick off her 35-city tour in Singapore on Feb. 7. Jackson will perform tracks from her 2009 greatest hits album, 'Number Ones' and plans on dedicating a song during each tour stop, which she promises will be "more intimate and more personal" than ever before. "It's not about effects, it's not an extravaganza, it's not about being as big as in the past," she said. "This one is all about you and me. I love you Singapore. Let's go!" Tickets for Janet Jackson Number Ones, Up Close and Personal tour go on sale Jan. 7.

Black Music Notes Jan. 19

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