HOLLYWOOD—On Saturday, March 16, it was all about Black excellence as the 2024 NAACP Image Awards were held. Coming into the ceremony it was the musical/remake of the 1985 classic, “The Color Purple” that led all nominees with a total of 16 nominations but took home a total of 11 awards. Be aware a bevy of the awards were handed out over several days leading up to the ceremony. Actress and musician Queen Latifah hosted the ceremony for the second consecutive year.

The ceremony didn’t actually start on time at 8 p.m. as scheduled, it was almost 30 minutes late kicking things off, with Latifah having a special call with Vice President Kamala Harris who urged people to get out and vote for the 2024 Presidential Election. There was also discussion about pay equity in Hollywood especially for actresses of color, as previously pointed out by actress Taraji P. Henson during “The Color Purple” press tour that was a bit of a debacle, if you’re asking me. The host encouraged other actresses of color to stand up and make sure their voices are heard as that is the only way to encourage change.

Henson earned the prize for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for her performance in “The Color Purple.” I did expect Danielle Brooks, if not Oscar-winner Da’Vine Joy Randolph to walk away with that prize. Henson’s co-star, Colman Domingo was a double winner during the ceremony picking up trophies for Outstanding Supporting Actor for “The Color Purple” and Lead Actor in a Motion Picture for “Rustin.” Domingo was not in attendance at the awards show.

Singer Fantasia Barrino won the Image Award for Lead Actress in a Motion Picture for her performance in “The Color Purple.” Barrino was emotional as she took to the stage to thank her co-stars and the actors and actresses from the 1985 film that gave them a chance to introduce the iconic story to a new audience.

On the TV side of things, Damson Idris won the Image Award for Lead Actor in a Drama Series for “Snowfall,” while “Queen Charlotte” star India Ria Amarteifio won for Actress in a Drama Series. Quinta Brunson took home the prize for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, while Mike Epps won Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for “The Upshaws.”

The iconic boy band New Edition was inducted into the NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame. The accolade was presented by former boy bander Donnie Walhberg from New Kids on the Block. Usher picked up two prizes for the night winning the President’s Award and was honored with the highest honor: Entertainer of the Year by Oprah Winfrey. Overall, an entertaining ceremony that made sure the pace was solid and moved faster than most award shows that clock in at three hours plus if not longer. Congrats to all the winners.