NAACP Image Awards 2022: Top 5 biggest moments

Check out all the major moments from this year's NAACP Image Awards

The NAACP Image Awards are back and better than ever this year with appearances from A-list stars, a standout performance, laugh-out-loud moments and more.

The star-studded ceremony hosted by Anthony Anderson went down on Saturday night and aired live on BET. Several celebrities took home top prizes during the night, including Issa Rae for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series, Angela Bassett for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series, and Will Smith for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture. Several honorees and presenters served up some powerful speeches and comedic moments that made quite an impact.

Keep reading to see the top five moments you might have missed from the 53rd annual NAACP Image Awards.

Mary J. Blige’s Performance

Mary J. Blige dominated the stage during her performance this year, singing a medley of her biggest hits, including “Love Without A Limit,” along with her newest single, “Good Morning Gorgeous.”

It was Blige’s fashion choices, however, that sparked an outpouring of love and support. Black Twitter couldn’t get enough of Blige’s stunning ensemble: a form-fitting purple gown with black trim and cutout details. Fans gushed about the singer, calling the dress was “amazing” and “gorgeous.” Yas Mary!

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Take the Stage

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry made a truly royal entrance at the NAACP Image Awards, where they received the President’s Award for their commitment to public service. The Duchess of Sussex dazzled in one-shoulder blue gown, created by Black designer Christopher John Rogers. Prince Harry opted for a classic black tuxedo, which was also designed by a Black designer, Ozwald Boateng.

Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, was in attendance, receiving a special shoutout from her daughter during the couple’s acceptance speech.

Addressing the audience, Meghan called for voting rights and remarked how she “couldn’t be prouder that we’re doing this work together.” Harry acknowledged the Russian invasion of Ukraine before sharing that he believes “our lives were brought together for a reason.”

Anthony Anderson’s One-Liners

Anthony Anderson‘s opening monologue caused quite the conversation on social media, with the veteran host joking that the show is “the one place where they can’t stop Black people from voting.” He went on to praise Ketanji Brown Jackson, who became the first Black woman to be nominated to the Supreme Court on Friday, Feb. 25.

Anderson’s standout moments didn’t stop there. The 51-year-old actor also brought out his mother, Doris Hancox, during his acceptance speech for Outstanding Actor In A Comedy Series.

“I’d like to thank my mama for sleeping with my daddy,” Anderson joked. “I’d like to shout out my family. I’m just a kid from Compton. So shout out Compton, California – if you have a dream and you believe, anything is possible.” The host then asked his mother if she’d like to add anything to which she replied: “Bout time ya’ll got it right.”

“No mama, they got it right the last eight years,” Anderson responded.

Nikole Hannah-Jones delivers powerful acceptance speech

Kerry Washington and Nikole Hannah-Jones showed the power of Black womanhood when the former Scandal star presented the activist with the the Social Justice Award. Washington praised Hannah-Jones, the Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of The 1619 Project, for “defending and uplifting our history and the spectacular truth of our stories on this shared land.”

Hannah-Jones made sure to deliver a powerful and thought-provoking speech, saying, “This award is not really about me. As of now, some 36 states have passed or are considering bills to make it harder to teach about racism and inequality. Politicians are using the power of the state to whitewash an already whitewashed history.”

She continued, “Books and ideas about the black experience, about the LGBTQ community, are being banned. These anti-history laws go hand in hand with regressive policies that aim to restrict our civil and voting rights. A healthy society does not ban ideas, and attacks on books are an attack on democracy.”

Jennifer Hudson Takes Home Entertainer of the Year

Jennifer Hudson finally got her flowers from her stellar performance in 2021’s Respect, winning Entertainer of the Year. The Oscar winner also took home the Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture award for her portrayal of Aretha Franklin, which many critics lauded as one of the best of the year.

Hudson remarked, “This is for Ms. Franklin’s legacy, to her family, I want to dedicate it to each and every one of them. To everybody who’s always supported me. …To the fellow actresses, from Zendaya to Halle Berry, Andra Day—all of you ladies have inspired me so much. I did not see this coming by any means but Lord knows I am grateful.”

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