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NAACP’s National Office Taking Over Image Awards

The national office of the NAACP has taken control of the annual Image Awards show, relegating the group’s Hollywood branch, which has run the show for most of the past 23 years, to a “supporting” role.

That was the decision made Feb. 16 during the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People’s annual national board of directors meeting in New York. “Essentially,” an NAACP spokesman said, “the national office will be running the show.”

The national board, however, voted to continue the trusteeship of the Hollywood branch until at least July 6, when the NAACP holds its annual convention in Houston.

The Hollywood branch has been in trusteeship since October 1989, when NAACP executive director Benjamin Hooks found that the branch had fallen into a “state of paralysis” be cause of disputes over the NAACP’s annual Image Awards.

The Image Awards show, which honors the achievements of African-Americans in the entertainment industry, have long been a source of friction between the national NAACP office and the Hollywood branch.

On Feb. 16, the NAACP national board of directors gave the national NAACP office the green light to take full control of future Image Awards shows.

The NAACP national board, under the leadership of board chairman Dr. William F. Gibson, voted overwhelmingly to authorize Hooks to begin the process of hiring a fulltime Image Awards administrator; to begin the process of negotiating a new network licensing agreement for broadcasting this year’s show; to select a production company and site for the 24th annual awards show; and to obtain the services of a special entertainment counsel who will serve as an adviser to Hooks and to the board’s Image Awards Committee.

That committee, which was upgraded to an NAACP standing committee, will advise Hooks on implementing these changes. None of the executive committee’s three members is from Hollywood.

The national board also authorized Hooks to establish a local Image Awards “support committee,” to be composed of “representatives from the Los Angeles metropolitan area.”

The local Hollywood NAACP branch would be only one of many Los Angeles area NAACP branches to make up this committee.

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