Sunday , July 21 2024

NAACP Image Awards

The NAACP “honors projects and individuals who have demonstrated exemplary works by and for people of color” with the annual Image Awards. The 35th annual awards were handed out Saturday night in Los Angeles:

    [Luther] Vandross is recovering from a stroke and was not at Universal Amphitheatre to pick up his prizes for best male artist and his music video, song and album titled “Dance With My Father.” The sentimental favorite won four Grammys last month.

    The Gospel music comedy “The Fighting Temptations” won for best movie. Cuba Gooding Jr. was honored as best actor for “Radio,” and Queen Latifah was named best actress for “Bringing Down the House.”

    Hip-hop group OutKast won for outstanding duo or group, and rotund young R&B star Ruben Studdard won best new artist after crooning from his seat in a performance early in the night.

    Studdard thanked his grandmother for “being part of the struggle in the ’60s,” one of several references to politics and the civil rights movement.

    Ray Charles was inducted into the NAACP Hall of Fame after a tribute performance by B.B. King, Stevie Wonder and Bonnie Raitt.

    ….Toni Morrison won best fiction literary work for her novel “Love.”

    Special awards went to the Dave [“some folks is even whiter than me”] Matthews Band and T.D. Jakes, a nationally known evangelist and pastor of Dallas-based The Potter’s House, one of the nation’s fastest-growing churches with 59 ministries.

    Comedian Bernie Mac, who won outstanding actor in a comedy series and outstanding comedy series for Fox’s “The Bernie Mac Show,” thanked those who supported him when he was making the rounds of comedy clubs.

    ……..The awards by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People are determined by show business professionals and NAACP officials nationwide. The ceremony will be broadcast Thursday on Fox.[AP]

I like the Bernie Mac Show a lot – after a promising but iffy beginning, the show has really grown and has become consistently funny, touching, with a solid grounding in human dynamics, the rituals and realities of showbiz, and the joys and pains of maintaining a family – the sugar and the lemon juice complement each other exceptionally well. Last night’s episode where Bernie and his father-in-law confronted their difficult relationship was particularly good.

Regarding Luther: though I admire his spectacular voice, I am not a huge Vandross fan, but I do think “Dance With My Father” is one of his best efforts. When the AP writer says “sentimental favorite,” I am not sure if he is referring to Luther’s stroke or to the song – probably both.

I just recevied a press release regarding the nomination process for the Image Awards:

    Members of the black conservative organization Project 21 are applauding the NAACP for “seeing the light” by determining that a morals clause may be warranted for future NAACP “Image Award” nominations.

    The goal of the NAACP’s annual Image Awards is to honor “those who strive for the portrayal of positive images and meaningful opportunities for African-Americans.”

    Project 21 played a leading role in bringing public attention to the NAACP’s nomination of controversial musician R. Kelly for an Image Award this year in the best album category.

    R. Kelly — Robert Sylvester Kelly — was nominated in the “Outstanding Album” category for his 2003 “Chocolate Factory” album. However, the musician made headlines in 2002 for his indictment on 21 child pornography counts (seven of which have since been dropped) in Illinois. He’s also facing child pornography charges in Florida.

    Appearing on the Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” on January 14, Project 21 member Mychal Massie questioned the appropriateness of honoring Kelly at this time, and called the NAACP “out of touch” with the needs of black America. Subsequent criticism from Project 21 of the NAACP on this matter appeared in more than 95 African-American and establishment newspapers, magazines and entertainment industry websites.

    As recently as a month ago, NAACP President Kweisi Mfume defended the process by which R. Kelly was nominated. Mfume’s position now has changed — for the better, says Project 21.

    ….At its quarterly board meeting on February 21, the NAACP leadership began a process to change the way artists will be nominated for future Image Awards. Admitting that many past nominees “fail to meet the standards for positive images,” Mfume said, “It’s more important that Image Awards nominees be able to do more than sing, dance, write and act.”

    Project 21 member Massie responds to Mfume’s and the NAACP leadership’s change of heart: “We are pleased that the more rational elements with the NAACP have prevailed and are looking into a morals clause pursuant to the goals of the Image Awards. It should be viewed as nothing less than lamentable that an organization with such an august beginning allowed irrational minds to permit this embarrassment to happen in the first place.”

Obviously, if this is about “image,” “image” should be taken into account. Duh. But for “winners” in this dispute, Project 21’s tone seems a bit on the indignant side.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted,, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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