The music mogul will receive the 2019 NAACP President’s Award, which is given “in recognition of a special achievement and distinguished public service,” a press release said.
For decades, the annual NAACP Image Awards have celebrated “people of color in the arts” and those who “promote social justice through creative endeavors,” according to the civil rights organization.
Derrick Johnson, NAACP president and CEO, told HuffPost earlier this week that celebrating the black community’s achievements in both the arts and social justice advocacy has long been a part of the organization’s legacy.
“It’s a part of the tradition of our community, to use our platforms in ways in which we can open up opportunities and strengthen the ability of our community to fully engage — or even broader than that — those platforms have been used to ensure that democracy actually works for everyone,” he told HuffPost.
Jay-Z, whose highly regarded “The Blueprint” album was added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry earlier this month, is being recognized by the NAACP for his ongoing social justice advocacy.
The iconic hip-hop artist, whose real name is Shawn Carter, co-produced the 2017 docuseries “Time: The Kalief Browder Story,” which follows the story of Kalief Browder, who spent three years as a teen experiencing brutal beatings and solitary confinement in New York’s Rikers Island jail complex without being convicted of a crime. He died by suicide two years after his release.
“Shawn Carter has been committed to shedding light on the issues that plague the black community including systematic racism and unjust treatment under the law, utilizing his global platform to create everlasting change,” Johnson said, according to the release. “There is no better time than now, as we celebrate our 50th year, to honor him with this award.”
The Image Awards, hosted by Anthony Anderson, will telecast live at 9 p.m. Eastern Time from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood for the first time ever.