The Root Presents the 2nd Annual Blackest Awards. Welcome to the 2021 Skippies!

Illustration for article titled The Root Presents the 2nd Annual Blackest Awards. Welcome to the 2021 Skippies!
Illustration: Angelica Alzona

Guess who’s back in the *CENSORED* house with some new awards for the African American crowd!!!?? If you said, it’s gotta be the shoes, then you’re wrong. It’s the Ro-Ro-The Root, bringing back our Blackest Awards for the second time. That makes it official, we can call it an annual award now. We want to thank you for letting us be ourselves and helping us celebrate Blackness, Black Culture, Black Love and Black Excellence in all of its forms.

Last year’s awards were a smashing success. For those who won, the awards are still in the mail but we used USPS so you know how that goes. The check is also in the mail (it’s not). That’s just how The Skippies get down.

Oh silly of me, to think that you already know what we finna do. (I really hope you read in the key and cadence of Deniece Williams’ “Silly”) Let me refresh your memories for those of you who either don’t remember or weren’t around here last year.

The “biggest nights” in music and movies, though, often do a fairly terrible job of acknowledging the work and achievements of so many individuals in the black community who have given their all to their craft. Well, The Root is going to right that ship. We present to you The Blackest Awards, and in honor of the founder of The Root, Henry Louis “Skip” Gates Jr., we will refer to them as The Skippies.

Why are we doing this? What are The Skippies? We’re glad that you asked. The Skippies are our way to celebrate those often unsung individuals and moments in cinema and television that exemplify black excellence; The Skippies allow us to acknowledge and appreciate the people and works that have helped shape Black culture.

Every year, in February, The Root will bring you a cadre of nominees who have elevated the black arts in movies and television. By culling the works of art presented each year helmed, created and executed by black people, we will give our artists their flowers while we still can. This inaugural edition of The Blackest Awards will, however, be all-encompassing and include nominees that span eras and decades. And we need your help!

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Basically, The Skippies is our way of celebrating Blackness on television and cinema and because we’re Black and we were all stuck in the house all year (or should have been—I’m looking at you Atlanta, from 6 feet away; you probably got that ‘Rona) we’re throwing the Internets into this occasion since so much of what kept us afloat in 2020 was challenges, memes and general Internet fun! We are going to present to you a bunch of committee-curated categories and nominees. And you get to vote on them!! Isn’t that nice? I think it’s nice. Most of the nominees are representing for the last year (2020). Also, don’t worry if the nominees don’t always align perfectly or even make sense with that. We do it like we’re doing it for TV. You’re welcome.

Voting opens up today and runs through Friday, Feb. 5. Get your vote on and in, and welcome to The Skippies. Please see below for each category and the nominees, and please vote. This year, we will also have a few awards given to specific people who have or are advancing Blackness in many forms and fashions because sharing is caring. As Nathan, Michael, Shawn and Wanya sang in 2000, we thank you in advance.

You Did That! Internet Content Creator of the Year Award

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John Singleton Award for Black Excellence in Directing Excellent Blackness

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Wendy Williams Wigs and Wizardry with Weave Award

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Best Verzuz Battle

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Rappa or Sanga Ternt Acta Award for Best Turn as an Actor by a Person We Mostly Know for Rappin’ or Sangin’

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Breakin’ All The Rules Award for Most Entertaining Writing in an Original Series

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That’s So 2020 Award for Most Unexpected Thing That Happened in 2020 in the Television or Cinematic Arts

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“But Did You Watch THIS Show Yet?” Award for Best New Black Show on Any Platform

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A Treasure Trove of Blackness Award for Best Black Movie You’ll Only Find on Amazon Prime

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Wipe Down The Switch Before You Bussit But Don’t Rush Award for Best Social Media Challenge/Meme/Occasion That Got us Through Quarantine

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Lift Ev’ry Voice Award for Best Political Coverage By a Black Person During This Gawdawful Presidential Election Season

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You Finna Get Hit By This Glass Award for Best Reality TV Show Featuring Your Cousins You Only Claim Because They’re On Television

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If It’s Really Real Son Award for the Documentary That Riveted and Compelled Our Blackness

Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.

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thedamesgotmoxie
LaRockyMay!

Sooooooo The Skippies; as in ya’ damn skippy, correct?