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Black excellence was strongly represented and ready to be celebrated at the 2016 NAACP Image Awards. A dignified night of honor for exceptional people of color in movies, television, music, and books, selected by members of the American National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The 47th Annual NAACP Image Awards was a hot night of A-listers hitting the red carpet and stage in style, but intelligence, and cultural awareness remained in the spotlight as the dialogue continued on about Hollywood’s deficiency of racial diversity.

The NAACP Image Awards winners’ circle is a long list of greatness, and among them, a few really stood out.

Creed star Michael B. Jordan named Entertainer of the Year and Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture, was beyond deserving of the award for his brilliant performance. The recently turned 29 years old actor has a rather impressive resume, to include playing police shooting victim, Oscar Grant in the 2013 critically acclaimed film, Fruitvale Station.

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“I used to sneak into the Image Awards, and now I’m standing here as the entertainer of the year, which is mind-blowing,” Jordan said.

O’Shea Jackson Jr., took home the statue for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture. O’Shea hit the ground running portraying his legendary father Ice Cube in the riveting motion picture, Straight Out of Compton. The story of the pioneering rap group N.W.A., took to the big screen at just the right time of renewed relevance and relatability to this generation. Host Anthony Anderson, started the celebratory night by channeling N.W.A in a rap about the absence of racial diversity at ‘other’ award shows. Comedic yet profound.

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Cookie has done it again, Empire star Taraji P. Henson, our home girl from around the way (in our minds), slayed the stage, reminding us that, “We don’t need to ask for acceptance from anyone. We are enough, we’ve been enough and we always will be enough,” she said while accepting her award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series. Taraji has earned every nomination and even more so, every award she has accepted, long overdo actually. Henson who studied acting at Howard University appeared in guest-roles on several television shows before capturing us as fans in her breakout role in the 2001 movie Baby Boy, alongside Tyrese Gibson.

While Empire and black-ish joined each other at the top of the long list of NAACP Image Awards winners, both receiving three awards, black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross put on for her set. Ross who we first fell in love with as Joan on the 2000 CW series, “Girlfriends,” has been

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winning awards for her current television performance as “Rainbow Johnson” and was honored Friday night as Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series. As always, Tracee got our fashion attention with her style, rocking a hot black Rubin Singer gown, detailed with a high slit and low neckline.

It was a good night, a proud night, and this is only a glimpse of all the greatness that filled the room, took the stage and was recognized.

Written By: Tinita Tennant, MD Staff Writer

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