The 49th annual NAACP Image Awards took place at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on Monday evening and the stars came out in droves.
The event took place on Martin Luther King’s birthday and the significance of the day was not lost on the numerous celebrities who took time to take a stand once they got onstage.
Several stars used their mic time to offer wise words and call out injustice.
Here’s a rundown of some of our favorite moments when stars took a stand at the NAACP Image Awards.
When black-ish star, Trace Ellis Ross was honored as Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series, she noted how important the show is to the culture. “It’s an extraordinary thing to be able to show what a beautiful black family looks like on television,” she said.
Earlier in the night, Ross stood with Kerry Washington, Lena Waithe, Angela Robinson, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, and Laverne Cox delivered a speech in support of #TimesUp that urged the public to participate in the midterm elections.
“We are America’s black women,” Washington said, before Ross added,”Forces of nature.”
Smollett continued with the call to action. “We cannot sit this one out. If we can take back a senate seat in Alabama then we have the ability to shift the balance of power.”
After being honored with the NAACP President’s Award, Danny Glover used much of his time onstage to shed light on the link between civil rights and labor rights, noting, “Labor rights are civil rights,” He also spoke about the need to continue to fight for justice. “People of African descent represent a distinct group whose human rights must be protected and honored.” He also quoted James Baldwin.
“When we cannot tell ourselves the truth about our past we become trapped in it.” –@mrdannyglover, quoting James Baldwin and referring to race in America. #ImageAwards #MLKDay pic.twitter.com/DHbId2zRze
— Omar Moore (@popcornreel) January 16, 2018
Ava DuVernay snagged the award for Entertainer of the Year and spent her time celebrating the long list of black creators who are making huge moves for the culture with their projects including Kenya Barris, Ryan Coogler, Shonda Rhimes, and Gina Prince-Bythewood. She also quoted MLK during her awesome acceptance speech.
“This is our time,” she said. “We can say we were here when all this gorgeous art was happening, and that we supported it — that we lifted each other up, that we did as Dr. King said we would do: Live the dream. We’re the dream.”
Girl’s Trip director, Will Packer, responded to Trump’s disgusting comments about “shithole countries” when he nabbed the award for Outstanding Film. “Sisters, especially the ones from Haiti and Africa, we love you as your brothers,” he said.