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Latinos Recognized At NAACP Image Awards

This past weekend, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People handed out their latest batch of Image Awards. And though many associate African-Americans with the NAACP moniker, several “colorful” Latinos were honored this year as well.

Sofia Vergara missed the festivities, but her name was certainly present when it came time to hand out the TV awards. Ultimately she lost to her Supporting Actress statue to House of Payne’s Keshia Knight Pulliam, but it marks the gazillionth time that Sofia’s been recognized for her Modern Family work.

Tr3s fave Esai Morales scored a TV nomination as well, for his performance in Lifetime’s We Have Your Husband. Movie vet Laurence Fishburne edged him out for the honor, but Morales didn’t seem phased one bit.

“I don’t expect to win,” Esai said before the ceremony. “[I appreciate] that the brothers were looking out for me. But I don’t have to worry about coming up with an acceptance speech.”

One Latin-blooded celeb who did win big in the TV category was Tatyana Ali. The part-Panamanian star took home Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama for her work on The Young and the Restless. Looking gorgeous in a tight black gown, Tatyana seemed quite humbled by the honor.

Laz Alonso (who’s part Cuban) also took home a major award during the night. His performance in Jumping The Broom earned him Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture. Never shy about his Latin roots, Laz spoke openly about what a NAACP award means to him.

“If you look at the name, ‘NAACP,’ the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. ‘C.P.’ is the operative, people of color,” he explained. “And I feel like that’s all inclusive. I feel like it doesn’t say, “only this person of color,” or “only that.” It includes all people of color who are advancing within their respective careers.”

Indeed, this year’s Image Awards went beyond even African-Americans and Latinos, nominating Asian stars like Sandra Oh and anglo Brits like Adele. It also made a point to recognize some of the most talented authors in the biz, with several categories devoted to literature.

And interestingly, the 2012 Vanguard Award went to none other than George Lucas. The legendary filmmaker built his career on the Star Wars saga, but has funded several other cultural projects as well. His most recent production, Red Tails, tells the true story of black fighter pilots during World War II.

As expected, Whitney Houston memories dominated the night too. An Image Award winner in both the music and movie categories, Whitney’s talents influenced nearly all of the attendees in the room. And just like the Grammys, she got her loving tribute. An entire choir took the stage for the grand finale, singing “I Love the Lord, He Heard My Cry” in her honor.



By Michael Lopez

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