The 50th NAACP Image Awards was peak Blackness this past Saturday as the biggest and best Black entertainers this year came together to celebrate their collective greatness.
It was no surprise that the most coveted award of the evening went to Black Panther for Outstanding Motion Picture, or that Beyoncé beat out Lebron James for Entertainer of the Year. And while the evening ceremony, full of glamour and glitz, belonged to Hollywood’s biggest Black entertainers the non-televised awards dinner was a celebration of the gifted women and men creators behind it all.
The 50th NAACP Image Awards honored some of the best literary works of the year and if you haven’t already added these titles to your reading list–you should!
OUTSTANDING LITERARY WORK – BIOGRAPHY/AUTO
Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s NAACP Award win should come as no surprise. Not only is her memoir still at the top of bestselling lists but it became the best selling book of the year after selling 1.4 million copies in its first week. In it, Michelle chronicles the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms.
OUTSTANDING LITERARY WORK – FICTION
A profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. “An American Marriage” takes a look deep into the souls of a newlywed couple as their marriage is tested when the husband is convicted and incarcerated for a crime he didn’t commit. They must reckon with their past choices while moving forward—with hope and pain—into the future.
OUTSTANDING LITERARY WORK – NONFICTION
From Jessie Jackson’s first campaign to Barack Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s– Donna Brazile, Yolanda Caraway, Leah Daughtry, and Minyon Moore―a group of women who call themselves “The Colored Girls” have been behind the scenes. Filled with personal stories that bring to life heroic figures we all know and introduce us to some of those who are still hidden, “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics” gives us a sweeping view of American history over the last 30 years and insight into the friendship of the most powerful Black women in politics.
OUTSTANDING LITERARY WORK – DEBUT AUTHOR
The dynamic husband and wife duo who’ve delighted us through music, movies, and plays share the secrets of their 30 year marriage with fans. In “Us Against the World”, the Manns relate the story of their first encounters as teenagers, the importance of communication, and how they’ve been able to keep that spark burning through all these years.
OUTSTANDING LITERARY WORK – POETRY
A timely collection of passionate and powerful poetry that bears witness to our troubled times, while also chronicling a life well-lived.
Walker offers us a window into her magical, at times difficult, and liberating world of activism, love, hope and, above all, gratitude. From poems of painful self-inquiry, to celebrating the simple beauty of baking frittatas, Walker encourages us to honor the divine that lives inside all of us and brings her legendary free verse to the page once again, demonstrating that she remains a revolutionary poet and an inspiration to generations of fans.
OUTSTANDING LITERARY WORK – YOUTH/TEENS
In her first middle-grade novel since National Book Award winner “Brown Girl Dreaming”, Jacqueline Woodson’s “Harbor Me” celebrates the healing that can occur when a group of students share their stories.
Discussing everything from a father’s deportation, incarceration, to racial profiling and adjusting to changing family fortunes six students express the feelings and fears they have to hide from the rest of the world while giving each other the strength they need to grow braver and more ready for the rest of their lives.
OUTSTANDING LITERARY WORK – CHILDREN
Based on the New York Times bestselling book and the Academy Award–nominated movie comes the true story of
Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden –four African American mathematicians at NASA, known as “colored computers. In a time when limits were placed on what African Americans could do, these women used their extraordinary skill in mathematics to overcome gender and racial barriers to succeed in a highly challenging STEM-based career and launch men into space.
OUTSTANDING LITERARY WORK – INSTRUCTIONAL
Fashion mogul and Shark Tank investor returns with a follow-up to the bestselling “The Power of Broke” for a close look at the hard-charging routines and winning secrets of individuals who have risen to the challenges in their lives and grinded their way to the very tops of their fields. Along the way, he also reveals how grit and persistence both helped him overcome the obstacles he has faced in life and ultimately fueled his success.
Highlighting the journey of Black women as they create spaces and elevate Black culture.