By Ben Wrobel & Christopher Fleming
Special to the Daily World
LOS ANGELES – On Friday, March 4, a diverse group of celebrities including Halle Berry, LL Cool J and Vanessa Williams will light up the Shrine Auditorium for the 42nd NAACP Image Awards, the pre-eminent multicultural awards show.
Talk show host, actress and author Holly Robinson Peete and actor and comedian Wayne Brady will host the show, which will feature performances by Mary Mary and Michael Franti & Spearhead.
This year, Surgeon General Regina Benjamin and Gen. Colin Powell will join the ranks of Aretha Franklin, Bono and Muhammad Ali as recipients of the Chairman and President’s awards. The ceremony will be broadcast live from 8 -10 p.m. on FOX.
“This year more than ever we need to celebrate the achievements of people of color in the arts,” said NAACP Hollywood Bureau Executive Director Vicangelo Bulluck, who serves as executive producer of the awards telecast. “Inclusive and multicultural, the NAACP Image Awards Awards is truly a diverse American awards show. It showcases the hottest names in television, film and music, and you couldn’t ask for better hosts than Wayne and Holly to lead us in this celebration.”
NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock will present Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin with the 2011 Chairman’s Award.
This award recognizes special achievement and distinguished service in the public sphere. Past honorees include Tyler Perry, former Vice President Al Gore and Dr. Wangari Muta Maathai, Aretha Franklin, Bono, President Barack Obama, The Dave Matthews Band, Danny Glover, Aaron McGruder and Janet Jackson.
“Dr. Benjamin’s community-oriented values, as displayed in her commitment to making health care accessible for minorities and rural patients, embody the association’s belief in equal health care rights for all citizens,” according to the NAACP. “As ‘America’s Doctor,’ Benjamin provides information on improving individual health and the health of our nation. By way of her community service and dedication, her efforts epitomize significant strides for women, racial minorities and the poor.”