The Beverly Hills-Hollywood branch of the NAACP announced a roster of winners of its annual Image Awards today that appears to honor America’s ever-growing black middle-class.
Oprah Winfrey, queen of the afternoon talk shows, was named the NAACP’s “entertainer of the year.” Winfrey, along with Sammy Davis Jr., Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, was also named to the Image Awards Hall of Fame.
Other special awards included the president’s award to Motown Records President Jheryl Busby; the Roy Wilkins civil rights award to Rep. Ronald V. Dellums (D-Berkeley); the Key of Life award, presented posthumously to Rep. Mickey Leland (D-Tex.), who died in a plane crash in Ethiopia earlier this year; the Jackie Robinson sports achievement award to Olympic gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersey, and the corporate award to Digital Equipment Corp.
Other awards go to Democratic Party National Chairman Ronald H. Brown for his professional and political achievements and to entertainer Kasey Kasem for his efforts to fight racial barriers.
Begun 22 years ago to encourage more black participation in the white-dominated television, movie and recording industries, the Image Awards joined the ranks of televised network awards programs three years ago when NBC began airing the taped awards presentation.