9 celebrities reflect on Black History Month & what needs to change in America (VIDEO)

Feb 19, 2016 at 5:21 p.m. ET

The stars all came out to celebrate outstanding achievements and performances of people of color in the arts at the NAACP Image Awards on Feb. 5, 2016. Michael B. Jordan was named Entertainer of the Year after facing fierce competition from Misty Copeland, Shonda Rhimes, Pharrell Williams and Viola Davis. 

SheKnows hit the red carpet at the event and, in honor of Black History Month, asked celebs, "What needs to change?" Their answers were varied, but the theme of inclusion seemed to ring through to all.

"I'd like diversity to not be an issue at all. And the only way that diversity can become a non-topic is for inclusion," said Andra Fuller of Adult Swim's Black Jesus.

More: Viola Davis brought the room to tears with her Emmys 2015 speech (VIDEO)


And for many walking the NAACP Image Awards red carpet, inclusion isn't just a question of race, but age and gender as well.

"Well, in particular, I'd like to see more black women over 40," said K.C. Undercover's Tammy Townsend, while actress Cree Summer echoed, "Oh, well, I'd like to see more women. I would like to see all peoples of color, including indigenous and native peoples."

Another spot observation from several celebs was the fact that people of color are — and have been — ready to carry popular TV series and blockbuster films.

More: Kerry Washington, 12 Years a Slave win 2014 NAACP Awards

Dear White People's Ashley Blaine Featherson discussed the misconception that minorities can't headline movies or long-running TV shows, and pointed out the importance that the industry understand "that maybe a person of color can be at the helm" of huge projects.


"People just recognize we're all human beings having life experiences, and it really doesn't matter what color the person is who's telling the story," added Kimberly Elise of VH1's Hit the Floor.

More: Stacey Dash claims Black History Month encourages segregation

Basketball Wives LA's Laura Govan drove home the important point that everyone needs to remember that inclusion and diversity are what America is all about.

"This country is built on diversity," Govan emphasized. "And it needs to be seen more! You know, it's not so black-and-white anymore. It's very multicultured, very diverse, and we need to embrace that!"

To hear what everyone had to say on the NAACP Image Awards red carpet, check out the video above.

And before you go, check out our slideshow below.

hollywood black history slideshow
Image: WENN