Black America’s head is still kind of spinning after the whirlwind of critical acclaim and recognition black-led films and television series’ are getting this awards show season.
And if the fact that Viola Davis, Naomie Harris and Octavia Spencer are all nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role at this year’s Oscars isn’t enough, the NAACP Image Awards is giving major snaps to everyone giving us life these days.
Get ready, because from Malachi Kirby and Omari Hardwick, to “Queen Sugar” and “Fresh Off the Boat,” awesome attention to some of this season’s biggest snubs and most underrated writers, actors and musicians Will. Be. Paid.
While mainstream academies managed to showcase performances from films and series such as “Fences,” “Black-ish,” “Moonlight” and “Lion,” there were quite a few inspiring projects featuring minority groups that went unacknowledged. Thankfully, the NAACP Image Awards are picking up the pieces.
Duking it out for Outstanding Comedy Series, shows in addition to “Black-ish” include pilot-season favorites “Insecure” and “Atlanta,” as well as lesser-known series such as STARZ’s Lebron James-inspired “Survivor’s Remorse” and controversial comic Jerrod Carmichael’s “The Carmichael Show.”
While “Survivor’s Remorse” is still going strong as it heads into its fourth season, the comedy centered on a young professional basketball player, his familial entourage and newfound fame has yet to reach considerable popularity, even in featuring black comedic heavyweights Tichina Arnold and Mike Epps (Yo, AND that dude who played Tyreke, Tia’s boyfriend on “Sister, Sister” way back when! #90sbaby).
However, Arnold is nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series along with her co-star Erica Ash, Laverne Cox for her portrayal of Sophia in “Orange is the New Black,” child star Marsai Martin from “Black-ish,” and newcomer Yvonne Orji for her role on “Insecure.”
Though “Empire” and “This is Us” are no stranger to critical acclaim, the NAACP has also chosen to celebrate fan-favorite “Power,” as well as two debut programs for Outstanding Drama Series: “Queen Sugar” and “Underground.”
“Queen Sugar,” an Oprah Winfrey Network original series guided under renowned director Ava Duvernay, tells the story of three siblings in Louisiana struggling to keep their personal lives afloat as they come together to redeem their deceased father’s farm and further the family legacy. While Duvernay’s name attracted some initial hype to the show, attention has since dwindled down some despite overwhelmingly positive reviews.
As for film, “Birth of a Nation” leads the pack in face of significant snubs from all major award show academies. The film, directed by and starring Nate Parker as 1831’s prominent American slave rebellion leader Nat Turner, snagged multiple nominations, including Outstanding Motion Picture, Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture and Outstanding Independent Motion Picture.
Other movies receiving praise are “Queen of Katwe,” “Southside With You,” and “Captain America: Civil War” along with popular choices such as “Moonlight,” “Loving,” “Fences,” and “Hidden Figures.”
Of course, the NAACP Image Awards also take time to salute informational series (C’mon Neil deGrasse Tyson!), literary works and voiceover performances.
In fact, Dwayne Johnson, who received a nomination for Entertainer of the Year (I mean, it’ll probably go to Beyonce and everything, but it’s all good), was also recognized for his voice acting in Disney’s “Moana.” The Samoan performer is considered alongside Idris Elba for both “The Jungle Book” and “Finding Dory,” as well as Kevin Hart and Loretta Devine.
Meanwhile, “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah earned two literary nominations for Outstanding Literary Work- Debut Author and Outstanding Literary Work- Biography/Autobiography for his work entitled, “Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood,” a collection of thoughts the comedian has about growing up mixed in a country facing apartheid and its aftermath.So, there you have it. This show has everything: the old, the new, the seriously revered and the tragically forgotten. Tune into the NAACP Image Awards Saturday, Feb.11 on TV ONE at 9pm/8c, and check out the complete list of nominees here.