Eddie Murphy among those honoured at NAACP Image Awards

Actor Eddie Murphy was inducted into the Hall of Fame
Actor Eddie Murphy was inducted into the Hall of Fame (PA Archive)
5:56am, Sun 28 Mar 2021
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Eddie Murphy has been inducted into the NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame at the organisation’s show that highlighted works by entertainers and athletes of colour.

The actor-comedian said he was “very moved” by the honour which was presented by his long-time friend and Coming 2 America co-star Arsenio Hall.

He said: “I’ve been making movies for 40 years now … 40 years. This is the perfect thing to commemorate that and be brought into the hall of fame.

“Thank you very much. I’m very moved.”

The hall of fame induction is bestowed on an individual who is viewed as a pioneer in their respective field and whose influence shaped the “profession for generations to come” and previous inductees include Oprah Winfrey, Stevie Wonder, Spike Lee, Ray Charles and Sidney Poitier.

The late Chadwick Boseman won best actor in a motion picture for his role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

The actor, who also starred in the blockbuster Marvel film Black Panther, died aged 43 last year after he privately battled colon cancer.

Simone Ledward Boseman, the actor’s wife who accepted the award on his behalf, said: “As always, he would give all honour and glory to the most high God.

“He would thank his mum and dad. And he would give honour to his ancestors as we now honour him.

“Thank you NAACP for always giving him his flowers. He was an uncommon artist and an even more uncommon person.”

Boseman’s widow also urged black people over the age of 45 to get screened, saying: “Don’t put it off any longer. This disease is beatable if you catch it in its early stages.”

LeBron James received the President’s Award for his public service achievements and thanked the NAACP, which stands for the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, for recognising his efforts beyond the basketball court.

The Los Angeles Lakers superstar was recognised for his efforts through his LeBron James Family Foundation and his I PROMISE School, a co-curricular educational initiative.

Last year, he launched More Than a Vote – a coalition of Black athletes and artists – that is dedicated to educating and protecting black voters.

“This award is so much more than myself,” James said. “I’m here receiving it, but this dives into everything that I’m a part of.”

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