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Jesse Jackson, Clint Eastwood, Eddie Murphy Honored With NAACP Image Awards

December 12, 1988 GMT

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The Rev. Jesse Jackson joined entertainers Michael Jackson, Eddie Murphy, Whoopi Goldberg and Clint Eastwood in receiving honors at the 21st annual NAACP Image Awards celebrating black achievement.

″Coming To America,″ starring Murphy, was named best motion picture and NBC’s ″The Cosby Show″ won best TV comedy program at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s yearly awards ceremony.

The awards show Saturday night will be broadcast on NBC Jan. 14.

To close the ceremony, Whitney Houston and the gospel group The Wynans invited the audience of 2,300 at the Wiltern Theater to join in singing ″Hold Up The Light″ and use flashlights provided to illuminate the darkened hall.

Jackson, who came in second in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, received the President’s Award for public service from five presenters from different ethnic groups.

Eastwood, who directed ″Bird,″ which chronicled the life of jazz musician Charlie Parker, received a special award for using blacks in his films in positive, non-stereotypical roles, said NAACP spokeswoman Dawna Culpepper.

After being handed his award by Forest Whitaker, who portrayed Parker in ″Bird,″ Eastwood thanked the NAACP and said he looked forward to the day when such racial awards would be ″obsolete.″

Murphy, who starred in ″Coming To America″ as an African prince trying to adjust to life in New York City, was named black Entertainer of the Year.

Michael Jackson received honors for best male recording artist and best album for ″Bad.″ He also shared the Leonard H. Carter Humanitarian Award with singer Lou Rawls.

Miss Goldberg was named best film actress for her work in the film ″Fatal Beauty.″

NBC ″Today″ show host Bryant Gumbel won a special award for broadcast journalism and farm labor leader Cesar Chavez, who did not attend, received the Roy Wilkins Civil Rights Award.

Wilma Rudolph won the Jackie Robinson Sports Award.

Denzel Washington received best film actor for his portrayal of South African civil rights activist Stephen Biko in the movie ″Cry Freedom.″

Arsenio Hall was named best supporting actor in film for ″Coming To America″ and Juanita Waterman won best supporting film actress honors for ″Cry Freedom.″

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Danny Glover won best TV drama acting honors for ″Mandela.″ Co-star Alfre Woodard took best TV actress honors and ″Mandela″ was named best TV dramatic program.

Tim Reid was named best actor in a TV comedy for his starring role in an episode of the canceled CBS sitcom ″Frank’s Place,″ which garnered eight Image nominations.

Jasmine Guy, of NBC’s ″A Different World,″ won best TV comedy actress honors and Keshia Knight-Pulliam of ″The Cosby Show″ was named best young performer.

″The HBO Comedy Hour Live: Robert Townsend & His Partners in Crime″ won best variety special show and ABC’s ″The Oprah Winfrey Show″ episode ″Brothers″ was named best news and information show.

Best female recording artist honors went to Natalie Cole for ″Everlasting,″ and dethroned Miss America Vanessa Williams was named best new female recording artist for ″The Right Stuff.″

Best male recording newcomer was Keith Sweat for ″Make It Last Forever.″

Gladys Knight & The Pips won best vocal group for ″All Our Love,″ Bobby McFerrin earned best jazz artist honors for ″Simple Pleasures,″ and Bobby Bland was named best blues artist for ″Blues You Can Use.″

Best rap group was Kool Moe Dee for ″How Ya Like Me Now,″ Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers won best reggae group honors for ″Conscious Party,″ and The Wynans were named best gospel artists for ″Decisions.″

In other special awards, U.S. Rep. Augustus Hawkins, D-Calif., won the Key of Life award; Henry Hampton was honored for his work as an independent film producer; and Helen Martin, Herman ″Sunny″ Chaney, Jester Hairston and the late Marvin Gaye received Hall of Fame awards.