Nominees for the 21st annual NAACP Image Awards for television, recordings and motion pictures and recipients of special awards were announced Thursday at a press conference at the St. James's Club in West Hollywood. The awards are presented by the NAACP yearly to honor individuals and organizations who present or portray positive images of blacks.
Recipients of special awards include Jesse Jackson, who will receive the president's award for his social and political commitment; Eddie Murphy as entertainer of the year, and Xerox, which will receive the corporate award for its demonstration of equal opportunity by having the highest number of black vice presidents in corporate America.
Other recipients are Michael Jackson and Lou Rawls, who will receive the Leonard H. Carter Humanitarian awards for their commitment to charities; United Farm Workers President Cesar Chavez, recipient of the Roy Wilkins Civil Rights award; and U.S. Rep. Augustus Hawkins (D-Los Angeles), recipient of the Key of Life award.
Special awards for daily work exemplifying excellence, commitment and dedication to the community will be given to Clint Eastwood for his use of black actors and actresses as positive on-screen images, broadcaster Bryant Gumbel for being a positive role model, and independent producer Henry Hampton for his work on the PBS series "Eyes on the Prize."
Chosen as Hall of Fame award recipients are the late Marvin Gaye Jr., actress Helen Martin ("227"), singer-songwriter Herman (Sunny) Chaney, and actor Jester Harriston. Jackie Robinson Sports awards recipients are Wilma Rudolph and the Harlem Globetrotters.
In the motion picture category, nominated for the Best Motion Picture are "Coming to America," "Cry Freedom," "School Daze," and "Shoot to Kill."
Best actor nominees are Gregory Hines ("Off Limits"), Denzel Washington ("Cry Freedom"), Sidney Poitier ("Shoot to Kill"), Eddie Murphy ("Coming to America"), and Carl Weathers ("Action Jackson"); and best actress nominees are Whoopi Goldberg ("Fatal Beauty"), Pam Grier ("Above the Law"), Beverly Todd ("Moving"), and C.C.H. Pounder ("Bagdad Cafe").
Recording nominations include Natalie Cole, Melissa Morgan, Miki Howard, Dianne Reeves and Brenda Russell for Best Female Artist; Bobby Brown, Freddie Jackson, Teddy Pendergrass, Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder for Best Male Artist; and Gladys Knight and the Pips, Levert, Loose Ends, New Edition, and Earth, Wind and Fire for Best Vocal Group.
Best album nominees are Michael Jackson ("Bad"), Pebbles ("Pebbles"), Kool Moe Dee ("How Ya Like Me Now"), Keith Sweat ("Make it Last Forever") and Stevie Wonder ("Characters").
In the TV categories, episodes from "Frank's Place, "Amen," "The Cosby Show," and "227" are nominated for Best Episode in a Comedy Series or Special; and "The Child Saver," "Mandela," "The Father Clements Story," and episodes from "In the Heat of the Night," and "L.A. Law," are nominated for Best Episode in a Dramatic Series, Mini-series or Television Movie.
Television nominees for best actor are Danny Glover ("Mandela"), Mario Van Peebles ("Sonny Spoon"), Cameron Arnett ("Vietnam Story"), Blair Underwood ("L.A. Law") and James Earl Jones (L.A. Law") for a drama performance; and Tim Reid ("Frank's Place), Lincoln Kilpatrick ("Frank's Place"), William Thomas Jr. ("Frank's Place"), Clifton Davis ("Amen") and Kadeem Hardison ("A Different World") for a comedy performance.
Best TV actress nominees are Daphne Maxwell Reid ("Frank's Place"), Frances Williams ("Frank's Place"), Jasmine Guy ("A Different World"), Phylicia Rashad ("The Cosby Show"), and Anna Maria Horsford ("Amen") for a comedy performance; and Lynn Whitfield ("Heartbeat"), Alfre Woodard ("Mandela"), Holly Robinson, ("21 Jumpstreet"), Anne-Marie Johnson ("In the Heat of the Night"), and Beah Richards ("Frank's Place") for a dramatic performance.
Image Awards winners will be announced at an awards show Dec. 10 at the Wiltern Theater (tickets are available at Ticketron outlets or the Wiltern Box Office). The show will be televised on Jan. 14 at 11:30 p.m. on NBC.