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Boseman’s wife delivers emotional acceptance speech at NAACP Image Awards

Chadwick Boseman’s wife Taylor Simone Ledward delivers a teary and heartfelt message about the importance of colon cancer screenings as she accepts his award for Outstanding Actor in Motion Picture. – AFP

Chadwick Boseman’s wife Taylor Simone Ledward encouraged people to get screened regularly for cancer after accepting a posthumonus accolade on behalf of her husband at the NAACP Image Awards. The late actor – who died last year as a result of complications related to colon cancer – won two gongs at the awards ceremony on Saturday night including Best Supporting Actor and Best Actor, and Taylor used the opportunity to urge people to take better care of their health.

She said: “As always, all honor and glory to the most high God. He would thank his mom and dad, and he would give honor to the ancestors.” Taylor observed that while the late actor had an “uncommon” talent, the manner of his death “is not uncommon at all”. She explained: “He was an uncommon artist and an even more uncommon person, but the manner that we have lost him is not uncommon at all, not in our community.

“Black people in this country are 20 percent more likely to be diagnosed with colon cancer and 40 percent more likely to die from it. The age for routine screenings has recently been lowered to 45, if you are 45 years of age or older, please get screened. “Don’t put it off any longer, please get screened.

This disease is beatable if you catch it in the early stages and don’t have any time to waste even if you have no family history.” Elsewhere, Eddie Murphy was inducted into the NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame. The ‘Coming 2 America’ star said: “I’ve been making movies for 40 years now. And yeah, 40 years, I know, 40 years … This is the perfect thing to commemorate that, to be brought into your Hall of Fame.”

The annual ceremony – which celebrates black excellence in film, television, music, and literature – was hosted by Anthony Anderson and even featured an appearance from US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Biden said: “For more than 100 years the NAACP has advanced essential motion in a central motion that everyone is created equal and is going to be treated equally. And it has for more than 50 years, NAACP awards help us see exactly that.” During the virtual ceremony, basketball star LeBron James was handed the NAACP President’s Award.

Announcing this year’s winner, Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO, said: “LeBron James, ‘the chosen one.’ A name befitting an individual so keenly aware of the platform he has built with his athletic skills. “And yet, like all black athletes, he is all too familiar with the risks involved with raising his voice against systemic racism. But just as he has done on the court, he rises to the occasion on behalf of our communities and lends himself to the need for progress and true equality.” – BangShowbiz


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