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NAACP Image Awards: Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis Win Best Actor in Lead Roles

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Chadwick Boseman in 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom'

Chadwick Boseman, the late American actor best known for his role in Black Pantherwon two acting awards posthumously at the 52nd NAACP Image Awards on Saturday.

The National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People is a US-based organisation that celebrates and honours the contribution of Black artists across literature, music, films and television, in over 40 categories.

Boseman and Viola Davis won the awards for the best actors in leading roles for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Boseman also won the best supporting actor award for his role in Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods.

While receiving the awards on behalf of the late actor, his wife Simone Ledward Boseman also spoke about the need to spread awareness regarding colon cancer. Boseman died of colon cancer in 2020.

“Black people are 20% more likely to be diagnosed with colon cancer and 40% more likely to die from it. This disease is beatable if you catch it in its early stages… You are so needed and so loved. Please take your health into your own hands,” she said.

While Will Smith and Martin Lawrence-starrer Bad Boys for Life won the best motion picture award, Issa Rae’s series on HBO won her the best actress in a comedy series as well as the best comedy series awards.

Davis also won the best actress in a drama series for ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder, while Bridgerton‘s Rege-Jean Page won the male counterpart.

Hosted for the eighth consecutive year by Anthony Anderson from a Los Angeles studio, the event was addressed by US President Joe Biden and US Vice President Kamala Harris.

“Black culture is American culture, Black history is American history, and Black stories are essential to the ongoing stories of America… To tonight’s nominees, thank you for also helping us to see what America can be,” Biden said.

Stressing on the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Harris said, “As a nation, we are at a major turning point. We have surpassed more than 100 million shots in arms. We have sent out more than one million checks. And we are making historic investments in schools, small businesses and communities throughout the country. And still there’s so much more to be done, so tonight let us celebrate and tomorrow let’s get back to work.”

Former US first lady Michelle Obama presented the first Social Justice Impact award to Stacey Abrams, praising Abrams for knowing that “organising on the ground is the best way to crack a ceiling”.

Former NBA player Lebron James was honoured with the President’s Award for his achievements in athletics and entrepreneurship.

While the nominees and winners appeared remotely via video, presenters appeared from iconic locations in Los Angeles, New York, and Atlanta, and the event was held over five nights.

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