The 48th Annual NAACP Image Awards got off to an exciting start on Saturday evening as Denzel Washington accepted the first award for Outstanding Actor In A Motion Picture.
Taking to the stage to receive his well-deserved award from none other than Taraji P. Henson for his unforgettable performance in Fences, Washington delivered a quick speech riddled with messages of empowerment, history and encouragement for the next generation of extraordinary people of color in the film and television industry.
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“I’m particularly excited about the young actors, writers, producers and directors that are coming up behind my generation,” Washington said. Midway through his address to the crowd, he saluted the hard work of some of today’s most inspiring Black actors and actresses.
“If it was easy, there’d be no Kerry Washington, if it were easy, there’d b no Taraji P. Henson or Octavia Spencer,” he continued. “Not only that, there’d be no Viola Davis….there’d be no Denzel Washington.”
In true “Denzel” fashion, the Hollywood film icon rounded out his words with a profound and inspiring quote.
“Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship. So, keep moving, keep learning, keep growing. See you at work.”