Queen Latifah Returns to Host 55th NAACP Image Awards

The annual awards show will air live on Saturday, March 16 at 8 p.m. ET.

Queen Latifah is returning to the stage to host the 55th NAACP Image Awards! On Tuesday, BET, CBS and NAACP announced that the GRAMMY, Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actress and producer would serve as the night's master of ceremonies for the second year in a row after taking the stage for last year's annual awards ceremony.

It was also announced that award-winning writer, double poet laureate and activist Amanda Gorman will be honored with the prestigious Chairman's Award during the live telecast on Saturday, March 16.

Known for her stirring performance at the presidential inauguration in 2021, Gorman has gone on to embrace her role as a symbol of the next generation's potential, advocating for literacy, education and civic engagement. Gorman's activism led to her becoming the first Global Changemaker for Estee Lauder, where she created the Writing Change initiative to support grassroots organizations dedicated to advancing literacy as a pathway to equality, access and social change through young voices.

"We are thrilled to collaborate with groundbreaking megastar Queen Latifah and are elated to welcome her again as this year's host. We also look forward to honoring changemaker and poet Amanda Gorman for her tremendous cultural impact," said Connie Orlando, EVP of specials, music programming and music strategy at BET. "Queen Latifah, NAACP and Pastis have been such incredible partners in amplifying Black culture, excellence, creativity and ingenuity, and this year's unforgettable show will be no different."

"Amanda Gorman stands as one of the brightest young voices in our nation and has emerged as a formidable force inspiring a new generation of leaders toward transformative change through her advocacy efforts and poetic brilliance," added Leon W. Russell, chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors. "With her exceptional talent and unwavering commitment to positive change, Gorman continues to leave an indelible mark on the literary and social landscape, proving that words have the power to shape a better future."

This year's Vanguard Award will go to June Ambrose, a renowned costume designer and tastemaker with an illustrious career spanning decades. The designer has created iconic looks for some of the biggest names in music, film, and sports.

"As a fashion icon and cultural pioneer, June Ambrose has not only shaped the visual landscape of pop culture but has also elevated the conversation around the importance of diversity and inclusion in the world of fashion and entertainment," said Karen Boykin-Towns, Vice Chair of the NAACP National Board of Directors, and Chairman of the Image Awards Committee. "Her multifaceted contributions have left an enduring legacy that transcends fashion, paving the way for a more representative and dynamic industry."

This year's NAACP Image Award nominees were announced on Jan. 25, honoring the best in Black filmmaking, writing, music, podcasting, and more.

Rustin and The Color Purple star Colman Domingo led the nominations with three in the motion picture categories, including a nod for Entertainer of the Year. In television, Ayo Edebiri received two noms, one for her supporting role on The Bear and another for her guest appearance on Abbott Elementary.

Netflix and Amazon topped the overall television and film nominations, with 55 and 27 noms, respectively. In the music categories, Victoria Monét and Usher led the way with six and five nods, respectively. 

Fans can see who takes home a trophy when the NAACP Image Awards ceremony airs live on Saturday, March 16 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on BET and on the CBS Television Network. The ceremony will be available to stream on Paramount+ live and on-demand for Paramount+ with SHOWTIME subscribers, or on-demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the episode airs.