The NAACP today announced that NBA superstar, business entrepreneur, and philanthropist, LeBron James, will receive the prestigious President’s Award during the 52nd NAACP Image Awards. Additionally, six-time NAACP Image Awards Winner, Anthony Anderson, will return as host of this year’s two-hour LIVE TV special, which will air on BET, Saturday, March 27th at 8/7c, and will be simulcast across ViacomCBS networks including CBS, BET Her, Comedy Central, Logo, MTV, MTV2, Paramount, Pop, Smithsonian, TV Land, VH1, BET PLUTO, and CMT.
Marking his eighth consecutive year as host, Anthony Anderson is an Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated actor and currently the star and Executive Producer of ABC’s multi-award-winning sitcom, “black-ish.” He also holds the record for the most wins in the NAACP Image Award category of Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series with six wins.
The President’s Award is presented in recognition of special achievement and distinguished public service, with previous recipients including Rihanna, Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter, Jesse Jackson, Lauryn Hill, Soledad O’Brien, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and Muhammad Ali, among others.
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“LeBron James is one of the greatest athletes of his generation, and through his work both on and off the court, has transcended beyond sports to become a cultural icon,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson, who will present the award to LeBron James during the LIVE TV special. “This is nowhere more evident than over the past year, where LeBron has used his platform to speak out on issues that were directly affecting the Black community including voting initiatives, police brutality, and racial inequality. LeBron epitomizes the type of leadership, sportsmanship, and commitment to social justice that we seek to highlight with our President’s Award.”
Alongside his incredible achievements on the court – which include four NBA MVP Awards, four NBA Championships, four NBA Finals MVP Awards, and two Olympic gold medals – off the court, LeBron has used his platform to inspire and uplift others through the LeBron James Family Foundation, which invests its time, resources and passion into creating generational change for kids and families through a focus on education and co-curricular educational initiatives including the groundbreaking, public I PROMISE School, I PROMISE Village by Graduate Hotels that provides transitional housing for families, and House Three Thirty that will offer job training and financial health programming, as well as More Than A Vote, a coalition of Black athletes and artists LeBron founded in 2020 that is dedicated to educating, energizing and protecting Black voters.
As a business entrepreneur, James has infused his commitment to empowering others into the business and entertainment sectors through The SpringHill Company, which unites three companies he co-founded with Maverick Carter including UNINTERRUPTED, the athlete empowerment media and consumer product company, SpringHill Entertainment, the premium scripted and unscripted film and television production company and The Robot Company, the brand and culture consultancy. With a diverse team committed to creating the most culturally inspired brands, entertainment and products, The SpringHill Company is telling important stories, empowering diverse creators, and connecting brands and consumers to culture and entertainment. Coupled with his achievements in sports, business, philanthropy and activism, James’ diverse business portfolio of innovative partnerships and investments has established him as one of the most influential figures in the world.
As previously reported, the LIVE broadcast of the 52nd NAACP Image Awards will feature performances from Image Award Outstanding Female Artist nominee Jazmine Sullivan who will perform–along with Grammy Award-winning singer Maxwell, who will celebrate the 25th anniversary of his debut album Urban Hang Suite. Throughout the evening there will be appearances from Alicia Keys, Andra Day, Arsenio Hall, Cynthia Erivo, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Michelle Obama, Misty Copeland, Regina King, Samuel L. Jackson, the cast of Tyler Perry’s Sistas, Swizz Beatz, and Tracy Morgan. MC Lyte will serve at the night’s Voice Over announcer.
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Earlier this week, the NAACP Image Awards kicked-off its’ Virtual Experience, which is streaming at naacpimageawards.net. The celebration of “Black Excellence” has included a portion of the non-televised awards, virtual red carpet, curated conversation series, a theatre featuring past performances and speeches and much more. Following the LIVE broadcast on Saturday, the Virtual Experience will host an after party which will feature classic cuts by DJ Questlove, current cuts by DJ Kiss, and a Jazz Lounge performance by Robert Glasper and Lalah Hathaway.
The 52nd NAACP Image Awards is presented by Wells Fargo, and sponsored by AT&T, FedEx, Nike, Bank of America, American Airlines, Airbnb, Alaska Airlines, AARP, Ford, and Hilton.
For all information and the latest news, please follow NAACP Image Awards on Instagram @NAACPImageAwards.
(Photo credits: by Mike Windle/Getty Images & by Theo Wargo/NBC/Getty Images for “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”)