Arts & Culture

Nominations For 2021 NAACP Image Awards Highlight Strong, Resilient Black Voices And Talent

The nominations for the 52nd annual NAACP Image Awards have been unveiled! Nominees for the 15 categories were announced via the NAACP’s Instagram page on February 2nd. 

“We are excited to recognize and celebrate this year’s nominees, who at times throughout this unprecedented year have provided moments of levity, brought our communities together, and lifted our spirits through culture when we needed it the most,” NAACP President/CEO Derrick Johnson told The Root

The NAACP’s newly created Social Impact honor has nominated April Ryan, Debbie Allen, Lebron James, Stacey Abrams and Tamika Mallory. As for the entertainer of the year award, D-Nice, Regina King, Viola Davis, Trevor Noah, and Tyler Perry are all nominated. 

Here are a few highlights for this year’s upcoming ceremony celebrating Black voices in film, music, and literature. 




In regards to film, Netflix took the lead with a grand total of 48 titles receiving accolades.

In the Outstanding Motion Picture category, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, One Night In Miami, Da 5 Bloods, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey, and Bad Boys For Life are in the running. Chadwick Boseman, who starred in both Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Da 5 Bloods, received two posthumous nominations for each film. 

Indie films within the Outstanding Independent Motion Picture category include Miss Juneteenth, The 24th, Emperor, Farewell Amor, and The Banker

Well-deserving nominees lie within the Outstanding Television Movie, Limited–Series or Dramatic Special category: Hamilton, Little Fires Everywhere, Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker, Sylvie’s Love and The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel.

Among those nominated for Outstanding Drama Series are Bridgerton, Lovecraft CountryAll Rise, Power Book II: Ghost, and This Is Us.

 The nominees for Outstanding Animated Motion Picture are Soul, Trolls World Tour, Over the Moon, Scoob!, and Onward.  

Comedy series brought much-needed laughter in the trying times of 2020. The noms for Outstanding Comedy Series include #blackAF, Black-ish, grown-ish, Insecure, and The Last O.G.




In the realm of music, Outstanding New Artists include Doja Cat, Chika, D Smoke, Giveon, and Skip Marley.  Outstanding Male Artist nominees are Big Sean, Black Thought, Charlie Wilson, Drake, and John Legend.

Beyoncé, E.R., Jazmine Sullivan, Ledisi, and Alicia Keys are all among the Outstanding Female Artist nominees.  Honored for an Outstanding Album nomination: Alicia by Alicia Keys, b7 by Brandy, Bigger Love by John Legend, Chilombo by Jhené Aiko, and  The Wild Card by LEDISI. 

A few songs that have been nominated are “I Can’t Breathe” by H.E.R., “Savage Remix” by Megan Thee Stallion feat. Beyoncé, “Deep Reverence feat. Nipsey Hussle” by Big Sean, and “Do It” by Chloe x Halle. 




Ah, books! A category perhaps overlooked by a fast-paced society with no patience for reading, these literary works by Black authors are incredibly significant and deserve all the acclaim. 

Nominees for Outstanding Literary Work In Fiction are The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, Lakewood by Megan Giddings, Black Bottom Saints by Alice Randall, The Awkward Black Man by Walter Mosley, and Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi. 

In the non-fiction category, A Promised Land by Barack Obama, A Black Women’s History of the United States by Daina Berry, We’re Better Than This by Elijah Cummings, Long Time Coming: Reckoning with Race in America by Michael Eric Dyson, and Driving While Black by Gretchen Sorin are honored. 

Lastly, outstanding works from debut authors are A Knock at Midnight by Brittany Barnett, Greyboy: Finding Blackness in a White World by Cole Brown, Lakewood by Megan Giddings, The Compton Cowboys by Walter Thompson-Hernandez, and We’re Better Than This by Elijah Cummings.

The 52nd NAACP Image Awards will premiere on Saturday, March 27th at 8 p.m. ET across all ViacomCBS Networks including BET, CBS, and MTV.  The full list of honorees can be viewed on NAACP Image Awards.

Ayanna Nicole

Hi! I’m Ayanna, a 27-year-old writer and artist. Although I graduated from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte with two degrees in art and psychology, I’ve had a passion for writing for as long as I can remember. By following my dreams and utilizing my creativity, I designed Jaro Magazine with the ultimate intention of bringing more positive stories in the black community to the forefront, while also highlighting our versatile and vibrant culture through Jaro’s four modes: film, books, art, and music. I’m into spirituality, nature walks, music festivals, poetry, traveling without a destination in mind, painting, and discussing everything out of the ordinary with other curious minds.

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