The celebrities joined Bruce S Gordon, President and CEO of the NAACP, Clayola Brown, NAACP Image Awards Committee Chairman, and Vicangelo Bulluck, Executive Producer to present the nominees.
The NAACP Image Awards are dedicated to the promotion of "diversity in the arts in television, recording, literature and motion pictures." The theme of this year's show, which will be broadcast live on Friday, March 2nd, is "Youth Create Change."
In eight motion picture categories, acting nominees included Denzel Washington ("Inside Man") , Forest Whitaker ("The Last King of Scotland"), Beyonce Knowles ("Dreamgirls"), Penelope Cruz ("Volver"), Will Smith (as well as his son, Jaden Christopher Syre Smith, both for "The Pursuit of Happyness"), and Angela Basset ("Akeelah and the Bee").
The Outstanding Motion Picture nominees are "Akeelah and the Bee," "Blood Diamond," "Catch A Fire," "Dreamgirls," and "The Pursuit of Happyness." Nominees in the Independent/Foreign Film category are "Curse of the Golden Flower," "Days of Glory (Indigenes)", "An Inconvenient Truth," "Tsotsi," and "Volver."
Among the 24 categories in television covering drama, comedy, movie or mini-series, daytime, news and information, reality, variety and children's programming the announcements included multiple nominations for "Ugly Betty," "The Bernie Mac Show," "Girlfriends," "Grey's Anatomy" and "Everybody Hates Chris."
In the nine recording categories, multiple nominations were landed by Corrine Bailey Rae, Beyonce, India.Arie, John Legend and Gnarls Barkley.
Among the nominees in the eight literary categories were Barack Obama's "The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream" for non-fiction, Walter Mosley's "Fortunate Son: A Novel" for fiction, " Lisa Jones's "A Dead Man Speaks" for debut author and Chris Gardner's "The Pursuit of Happyness" for biography/autobiography.
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As well, the NAACP President's Award will be presented to Soledad O'Brien, co-anchor of CNN's "American Morning," in recognition of special achievement and distinguished public service.
NAACP Image Awards will air live Friday, March 2 on FOX at 9 p.m.