Marsai Martin Reacts to Her NAACP Image Award Wins (Exclusive)

At 16-year-old Marsai Martin is racking up the awards left and right!

The Black-ish star took home two NAACP Image Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Youth (Series, Special, Television Movie or Limited–series) and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series — on Friday. This marks her 11th win at the annual awards ceremony.

ET’s Melicia Johnson spoke with Martin about what these new wins mean for her and how the organization has always lifted her up.

“Honestly, every single year is amazing. But this year, just throughout the ups and downs of what happened in the past year, you just feel lost in the moment. So having something that still shows my people’s love and support for my work and my craft is amazing,” Martin told ET. “The Image Awards, they have supported me since the beginning. The first time I was there I was 11. And then ever since then, it was just a thing that I looked forward to every single year because I knew I was just going to go.”

“It’s something that I love and just everyone there is amazing,” she continued, “I am so, so, so blessed for the constant love and support. This is honestly just the beginning. I think about it every day. This is just the beginning. And the way that they kept supporting me, I just hope I keep making them proud because I will just remember when I’m like 20, 30, 40-something, they were the people that have shown their love for me first.”

Marsai Martin on Growing Up in the Spotlight, Representation and Changing the Game | Unfiltered

Marsai Martin on Growing Up in the Spotlight, Representation and Changing the Game | Unfiltered

Aside from co-star in the ABC sitcom, Martin is also producing a Disney show called Saturdays through her production company, Genius Productions. Calling the roller skating show “dope,” the actress shared that she’s “worked on it for so long and I’m blessed and glad that it’s finally out there, and it’s a green lit and we’re shooting it actually next week.”

“I’ve always wanted to have a roller skating type of thing. Roller skating is just it! It’s so big in the Black community. It’s a fun activity in general, but just the aesthetic, the vibe of it, I’m like, ‘This needs to be shown more,'” she expressed. “And there’s real talent out there that loves to roller skate and I’m like, ‘We can do this for sure.’ So I’m excited about that.”

The show will include a main character that also battles sickle cell anemia, to which Martin added, “That’s also big in the Black community and it’s never been shown in the industry on TV or film.”

However, most importantly, she doesn’t want to be “all about Black pain” either. “Because when you hear about sickle cell or just something like that you’d be like, ‘Oh, poor, whatever,'” she explained. “But our main character shines a bright light and loves to live her life and doesn’t care what anybody else thinks. We don’t highlight it in a way where it’s depressing, because that’s not really who I am and that’s not really what our team stands for. We stand for love and positivity. That’s what the show brings and I’m excited for everyone to see it.”

Expect to see more of Martin very soon, as she has big goals for the future. “Hopefully I’m still doing what I love. Maybe I’ll get into directing or writing,” she shared. “I want to have like at least 10 to 15 projects on the roster already. Just in general that I don’t really have to star in, but just producing and maybe just doing stuff that I love.”

The 52nd NAACP Image Awards will take place live on Saturday, March 27, on BET.

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