The NAACP honored nominees for the 51st Image Awards in Los Angeles. (Photo: NAACP)

The NAACP honored nominees for the 51st Image Awards in Los Angeles. (Photo: NAACP)

The NAACP celebrated the achievements of the 51st NAACP Image Awards nominees during a special luncheon at the W Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles.

Luncheon hosts Roy Wood, Jr. and Gina Yashere kicked off the event with remarks applauding 111 years of the NAACP fighting for equality.

“Not only does the Image Awards celebrate the artistic endeavors, but also has special honors such as the Chairman’s and President’s awards for those championing social justice and making significant impacts in the community,” said Roy Wood, Jr.

Yashere and Wood stressed the importance of continued support of ceremonies that recognize diverse talent and art forms.

NAACP President Derrick Johnson congratulated the nominees and encourage them to continue crafting impactful and inclusive stories celebrating people of color.

The importance of diverse representation is becoming increasingly recognized across entertainment, politics, social justice and the corporate landscape.

“Positive representation, across entertainment and the arts, has the power to shape perceptions and change communities. How people see us on the screen, can affect how people treat us in the street,” Johnson said.

“By projecting a positive, diverse picture of who we are as a people, both in front of and behind the camera, we can truly make progress and uplift communities. Our nominees this year have done just that, giving us a voice through their art, and telling stories of freedom, hope, and justice.”

Singer/songwriter Mykal Kilgore provided a special musical performance of songs from his debut album release, A Man Born Black.

Winners of the 51st NAACP Image Awards will be revealed during the two-hour live TV special which airs on BET, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020 at 8 p.m./7 p.m. CT from the Dolby Theatre in Pasedena.

Voting is now open to the public for all general categories of the 51st NAACP Image Awards.

Individuals do NOT need to be members of the NAACP in order to cast their votes and are welcome to participate at vote.naacpimageawards.net/ All votes must be submitted no later than February.

The NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas at NAACP.org.

51st NAACP Image Awards Nominees
Adrienne Bailon-Houghton, Loni Love (Outstanding Talk Series – The Real)
Anya Adams (Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series – GLOW)
Beverly Bond (Founder of Black Girls Rock!)
Debra Martin Chase (Outstanding Motion Picture – Harriet)
Devon Shepard (Outstanding Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special – Being Mary Jane)
Ethan Herisse (Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special – When They See Us)
Harold Perrineau (Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – Claws)
Janice Cooke (Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture (Television) – I Am Somebody’s Child: The Regina Louise Story)
JD McCrary (Outstanding Soundtrack/Compilation Album – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Loretta Devine (Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – Family Reunion)
Lyric Ross (Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series; Outstanding Performance by a Youth (Series, Special, Television Movie or Limited-Series) – This Is Us)
Malinda Williams, Marsai Martin (Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, Outstanding Performance by a Youth (Series, Special, Television Movie or Limited-Series) – black-ish; Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture, Outstanding Breakthrough Performance in Motion Picture – Little)
Mati Diop (Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture (Film) – Atlantics)
Matthew A. Cherry (Outstanding Literary Work – Children – Hair Love)
Michael Starrbury (Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series – When They See Us)
Nathan Mitchell (Outstanding Jazz Album – SoulMate)
Nichelle Tramble Spellman (Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series – Truth Be Told)
Pat Charles (Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series – Black Lightning – The Book of Secrets: Chapter One: Prodigal Son)
Patrik-Ian Polk (Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture (Television) – Being Mary Jane)
Paul Eckstein (GodFather of Harlem)
Randall Winston (Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series – Grace and Frankie – The Pharmacy)
Reginald Hudlin (Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture (Film) The Black Godfather)
Roshon Fegan (Outstanding Drama Series – Greenleaf)
Ruth Carter, Sharon Braithwaite (Outstanding News/Information (Series or Special) – Unsung)
Yvette Nicole Brown (Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture (Television) – Always a Bridesmaid)