Black media
Image Credit : Kayla Oaddams/FilmMagic; Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

Black Excellence Shines at 2024 NAACP Image Awards

Usher, along with the cast of The Color Purple and other prominent figures, celebrated significant victories at the 2024 NAACP Image Awards on Saturday night. However, the true essence of Black Hollywood also radiated on the red carpet during the pre-show of the live telecast.

Dressed in stunning ensembles from designers like Laquan Smith, Hanifa, Ferragamo, Versace, Tom Ford, Vivienne Westwood, and Christian Siriano, among others, many actors took the opportunity to emphasize the importance of Black media in sharing, documenting, and representing our narratives.

Recipient of the Vanguard Award, June Ambrose, emphasized the crucial role of Black media, stating, “It’s for us, by us. Who knows us better than our own? Allowing us to be able to tell our own stories is one of the most powerful, liberating experiences. We get to narrate and dictate how we want to be seen and how we want to be heard.”

Comedian-actress Michelle Buteau described Black media as a form of education, highlighting its significance in preserving Black history amidst attempts to erase it. “They’re banning books and tryna erase Black history. Black media, art, and culture are everything because it is history,” she emphasized.

Filmmaker Dewayne Perkins echoed the sentiment, stressing the necessity of Black media in shaping pop culture. “Black people have created a lot of pop culture and we kinda created the pulse. So, without us, it’s pulseless and without a pulse, you’re dead. Honestly, we are the life of pop culture.”

Executive producer Stephen G. Hill shared a poignant anecdote about the importance of Black media in understanding and appreciating Black culture. Reflecting on a critical review of Robert Townsend’s The Five Heartbeats by a white writer, Hill remarked, “What’s great about Black media is that it is our culture. They understand the culture because they are the culture.”

Singer Lalah Hathaway emphasized the significance of authentic storytelling, stating, “If we don’t tell our stories, then someone else is going to tell them for us.”

Beyond the glamour of the red carpet, the stars brought depth and insight to the Image Awards, underscoring the invaluable role of Black media in preserving, promoting, and celebrating Black culture and history.

Repurposed article originally published in Vibe

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