Nominations for the 55th NAACP Image Awards were announced Jan. 25, celebrating achievements and performances of people of color in the entertainment industry. In anticipation of this year’s awards, which will be held March 16, let’s highlight a few of the amazing women who have been nominated for this year’s awards.
Barrino was nominated for both Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture and Entertainer of the Year for her role as the movie’s protagonist Celie Johnson in “The Color Purple.” Barrino originally took on the role in the 2005 Broadway interpretation, and told The New York Times she committed so fully to the role that she would often leave set deflated and exhausted. The Color Purple was also nominated for Outstanding Motion Picture.
Ellis-Taylor earned a nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for “Origin,” which is based on Isabel Wilkerson’s book Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. The film, which is part bio-drama and part book adaptation, stars Ellis-Taylor as Wilkerson and follows her through the journey of writing the book. To get into the role, Ellis-Taylor told The New York Times she watched her famous TED Talk about the Great Migration and used “Caste” as her “bible.” “Origin”also received nominations for Outstanding Motion Picture and Outstanding Youth Performance in a Motion Picture for Lennox Simms.
Another contender for Entertainer of the Year, Bailey was nominated for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for “The Little Mermaid,” and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for The Color Purple. One half of the musical duo Chloe x Halle, Bailey told The New York Times she harnessed lessons learned from performing with Beyonce for her role as the Little Mermaid.
Fresh off an historic win at the Creative Arts Emmys as the first woman in 15 years to win Best Game Show Host, Palmer has been nominated for Entertainer of the Year, receiving several nods from the NAACP this year for her work in TV, movies and podcasts. She was also nominated for Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance for “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder;” Outstanding Directing in a Television Movie or Special for “Big Boss;” and Outstanding Arts and Entertainment Podcast for “Baby, This is Keke Palmer.”
In the world of TV, recent Emmy award-winner Quinta Brunson – who becamse the first Black woman in more than 30 years to win Best Actress in a Comedy – has been nominated for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series for “Abbott Elementary.” In 2023, Brunson won NAACP Image Awards for Oustanding Actress in a Comedy and Outstanding Breakthrough Television for the show, which follows a group of teachers at a Philadelphia public school. Abbott Elementary was also nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (Tyler James Williams and William Stanford Davis) and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (Janell James and Sheryl Lee Ralph).
Fresh off of her Golden Globes win for Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Series (Musical or Comedy), Edebiri received two NAACP Image Awards nods: one for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for The Bear, and another for Outstanding Guest Performance for Abbott Elementary. Her Golden Globes acceptance speech thanking assistants for all of the work they do for agents and managers garnered a lot of support online.
For the full list of iconic entertainers, creatives, and industry leaders nominated for NAACP Image Awards this year, visit their website.