In Case You Didn’t Know: Awards Shows That Celebrate Black People

NAACP Image award shows
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 22: (L-R) Tim Blake Nelson, Jamie Foxx, Rob Morgan, producer Asher Goldstein, Brie Larson, Michael B. Jordan, and writer Bryan Stevenson accept the Outstanding Motion Picture award for “Just Mercy” onstage from Morgan Freeman during the 51st NAACP Image Awards, Presented by BET, at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on February 22, 2020 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images for BET)
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The NAACP Image Awards air this Saturday and the show is always a night of Black excellence. The awards ceremony first started in 1967 but wasn’t broadcasted on primetime television until 1996. Although it had the primetime spot, it wasn’t broadcasted live until 2007.  It’s purpose was to honor outstanding performances in film, television, theatre, music, and literature from Black people. In its 54 year history honoring Black people, other award shows started popping up to do the same. We’re going over these shows and how they got their start in this week’s In Case You Didn’t Know.

The Soul Train Awards Show

In 1987, Don Cornelius, founder of the music showcase program The Soul Train, green lit an award show of the same name to focus on honoring top Black performers in the entertainment and music industry. With over thirty years in production, the awards show is still going and still shining a light on Black entertainers.

The Source Awards Show

Starting in 1991, hip hop magazine, The Source, started handing out trophies on the set of the show Yo! MTV Raps. This then became a full production in 1994, complete with a stage show at Madison Square Garden’s Paramount Theater. Although the show’s run was short lived, ending in 2004, its purpose was to honor those in the rap industry. The genre was still fighting for respect during that time.

The BET Awards

The BET Awards were established to celebrate the achievements of Black People in entertainment over the past year. The Black Entertainment Television network started the show in 2001. The show features performances by music artists as well as the presentation of awards. The 1st BET Awards took place at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Additionally, the show still continues and will be celebrating its 12th year this June.