June 13, 2024

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle honored at NAACP Image Awards: ‘Couldn’t be prouder’

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made their first award show appearance since moving to the U.S. at the NAACP Image Awards on Saturday night. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex received the President’s Award for special achievement and distinguished public service, joining a prestigious list of past recipients including Colin Powell, Rihanna, Muhammad Ali, Jesse Jackson, Condoleezza Rice, and LeBron James.

The couple took the stage to accept the honor and revealed Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, joined them at the annual event. 

“It’s inspiring to think about the legacy of the Image Awards, which began shortly after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were passed into law,” Markle said during the couple’s acceptance speech.

Courtesy Credit BET.com

“Today, we can continue that legacy by re-establishing federal voting protections in our country and fulfilling the work of civil rights giants, like the late John Lewis.”

Prince Harry thanked the Black community for “welcoming me so warmly,” and took time to acknowledge the crisis in Ukraine during his speech. 

“We are so deeply humbled to be here in the company of so many illustrious awardees,” he said. “Before I begin, we would like to acknowledge the people of Ukraine, who urgently need our continued support as a global community. I also echo the immense gratitude for tonight, both for this award and this community for welcoming me so warmly.” 

He continued, “I think it’s safe to say that I come from a very different background from my incredible wife, yet our lives were brought together for a reason. We share a commitment to a life of service, a responsibility to combat injustice and a belief that the most often overlooked are the most important to listen to.”

Meghan Markle spoke of the many causes their Archewell Foundation has supported since they moved to the United States in 2020. 

“I couldn’t be prouder that we’re doing this work together. We moved to California, my home state, shortly before the murder of George Floyd. For Black America, those nine minutes and 29 seconds transcended time, invoking centuries of our unhealed wounds,” she said. 

“In the months that followed, as my husband and I spoke with the civil rights community, we committed ourselves and our organization, Archewell, to illuminating those who are advancing racial justice and progress.”

(Courtesy Credit: BET.com)

The mother of two also highlighted Dr. Safiya Noble, the first recipient of the NAACP Archwell Digital Civil Rights Award, which honors those who are creating transformational change — at the intersection of social justice and technology — to advance civil and human rights.

“Last night, President Johnson presented this new award to its first recipient, Dr. Safiya Noble, cofounder of the UCLA center for critical internet inquiry, a renowned scholar, author and advocate. Dr. Noble is a visionary and partner to Archewell,” Markle explained.

“This is the era of the digital justice movement. We are proud to partner with NAACP and each of you to translate the vital efforts of those who came before us to the modern challenges that exist ahead of us…Thank you so much for joining us in this work, and thank you again for this incredible honor. Truly.”

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