By Lea Michelle Cash –
On the morning of February 11, 2012, celebrities, the media, event sponsor executives, family and friends gathered to honor those nominated for their outstanding achievement in television, recording, literature and motion pictures.
What I enjoyed best about this special occasion held at the Beverly Hills Hotel was something I never paid attention to before. It hit me right in the heart as I witnessed the joy of many behind the scenes African American—we call them script and movie writers.
For me, it began with Jayda Brown, an eight-year-old with a dream to become a television reporter and actress. She interviewed celebrities as they walked down the red carpet.
Her eyes were sparkling and her smile lit up the room, as she and her interviewee connected under one theme - the power of having a dream. The power of a dream grew bigger and wider as I heard the word throughout the morning perhaps over two hundred times - I stopped counting when I got to eighty.
This year’s hosts were Keegan-Michael and Jordan Peele from Comedy Central’s Key & Peele. The celebrity nominees who attended were Loretta Devine, Alfre Woodard, Anika Noni Rose, Chandra Wilson, Keke Palmer, Louis Gossett, Jr. Tatyana Ali, Craig Robinson, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Omari Hardwick, and many others.
The additional guests were the big dreamers. The executive producer and writer of “Criminal Minds,” Janine Sherman Barrois who was nominated for “Outstanding Writing on a Dramatic Series.”
Nominated for “Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture, Theatrical or Television,” were Elizabeth Hunter (Jumping the Broom), Zoanne Clack (Grey’s Anatomy), Mara Brock Akail (The Game) and Erika L. Green (The Mentalist).
An amazing special performance was provided by Tyler James Williams (Every Body Hates Chris), Coco Jones (Radio Disney N. B. T) and Trevor Jackson (Eureka), stars of the upcoming Disney Channel Original Movie “Let It Shine”. This movie is a rousing modern day story set in the world of hip-hop, rap and gospel music and based on the classic Cyrano de Bergerac love triangle, expressing the importance of staying true to oneself. “Let It Shine” premieres in June 2012 on the Disney Channel.
This year the 43rd NAACP Image Awards has returned to its original broadcasting station, NBC in a two-hour live television celebration on Friday, February 17, 2012, showcasing the best achievements and performances of people of color in the arts featuring a starstudded lineup of performers, winners and presenters.
The legendary George Lucas will receive the prestigious NAACP Vanguard Award for against all odds making a movie, “Red Tails” that increases understanding and awareness of racial and social issues.