I’ve always wondered what the NAACP Image Award categories were, other than the film and TV honors. Often I’ve wished that the organization would give equal time to other areas such as education, literature, and social service. It turns out that they do have a category for literature; I just don’t remember this part of the ceremony. (Perhaps they don’t televise this portion of the show?)
After a quick visit to the NAACP Image Awards Web site, I found out that the competition includes 36 categories in the fields of motion picture, television, music and literature. Honor awards include the Chairman’s Award, The President’s Award, and The Image Awards Hall of Fame.
I was pleasantly surprised today when I read in the African American Literature Book Club newsletter that Check the Rhyme: An Anthology of Female Poets & Emcees has been nominated for an NAACP Image Award in the literature category with the likes of Maya Angelou, Walter Dean Myers, and Pearl Cleage. I’m so excited about this because I have two poems in the book!
The NAACP Image Award nominees and winners will be announced at the live ceremony, March 2 at 8 p.m. Eastern Time on Fox.
I hope these people and projects will win: Maya Rudolph, Lisa Jones Johnson (for her debut novel, A Dead Man Speaks), Antonio Fargas, Vanessa L. Williams, CCH Pounder, Khandi Alexander, Andre Braugher, “Black. White.” (the reality show), “2006 Black Movie Awards,” “The Backyardigans,” Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Barack Obama, Wangari Maathai, Check the Rhyme: An Anthology of Female Poets & Emcees, COMMON, Forest Whitaker, and Jennifer Hudson. Good luck everybody!
Check the Rhyme: An Anthology of Female Poets & Emcees can be purchased on Amazon.com.
Here’s one of my poems featured in the book:
by Alicia Benjamin
I stand here in New York City,
Una mujer negra with Puerto Rican Dreams.
My grandmother and grandfather are in heaven.
Her head is on his chest,
listening to his heart beat out a content
I feel it here on earth.
Although I offer them blankets, warmth, gifts, love, kisses —
They need nothing where they are now.
As I reach into my bag and pull out a quilt,
my grandmother tells me, “Honey, we got plenty.
“But thank you anyway.
She takes it and smiles.
She knows the gift is not for her,
but for me.
My grandfather just smiles his simple smile.
He laughs joyfully at my gesture.
They have it all.
I am the one who takes from them.
I weave their compassion and magic
into this chilly place —
this now world.
I search for mi abuelita y abuelito
to supply me
with my everyday gold.
The illustrious list of Check the Rhyme contributors are: Grisel Acosta, Naa Norley Adom, Lisa Ann Bailey, Crystal D. Baker, Tiffany Woods Bennett, Veronica Precious Bohanan (Moon), Sharon Bridgforth, Rachelle Arlin Credo, Teri Ellen Cross, Aya de Leon, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, Betty Dobson, Patty Dukes, Cheryl Durgans, Zetta Elliot, Ph.D., Natasha Ria El-Scari, Letitia Davis Ford, Amani Francis, DuEwa M. Frazier, Hadiyah Nicole Green, Nivedita Gunturi, Shamarra Garmon, Silvia Gonzalez S., Deborah “Collage” Grison, Ellen Hagan, Bobbi Dykema Katsanis, Maria D. Laso, Tamara Madison, Keisha J. Moore, Kimberly S. Morris, Thalian Nguyen, Solimar Otero, Ph.D., Pat McLean-RaShine, Karen Gibson Roc, Alicia Benjamin-Samuels, Queen Sheba (Bethsheba A. Rem) , Mikaylah Simone, Mocha Sista (Pam Osbey), Aimee Suzara, Leah Suzensky, Stacey Tolbert, Ella Turenne, Lorene Delany-Ullman, Jamila Z. Wade, Jamie Walker, Ph.D., Donna Weaver, Niama Leslie Williams, Ph.D., Treasure Williams, Kimmika L.H. Williams-Witherspoon, Ph.D., and Debra Powell-Wright.