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The cover of Devin Allen's book features his photograph that was published on the cover of Time magazine after the Baltimore unrest following Freddie Gray's death. The book earned Allen an NAACP Image Awards nomination.
The cover of Devin Allen's book features his photograph that was published on the cover of Time magazine after the Baltimore unrest following Freddie Gray's death. The book earned Allen an NAACP Image Awards nomination. (Devin Allen)

Baltimore photographer Devin Allen, author Ta-Nehisi Coates and the documentary “Step” are among a handful of local figures or projects nominated for NAACP Image Awards on Monday.

Allen is nominated for outstanding literary work by a debut author for his book, “A Beautiful Ghetto,” a collection of 100 black-and-white photographs of Baltimore life. The photographer skyrocketed to national prominence for his images of the Baltimore unrest after Freddie Gray’s death — one of which landed on the cover of Time magazine. (You can read more about “A Beautiful Ghetto” here.)

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Mary J. Blige and Jay-Z are the leading nominees with five apiece for January's NAACP Image Awards, the group announced Monday.

“Step,” Amanda Lipitz’s film about the step team at the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women, is nominated for outstanding documentary.

Coates is up for outstanding nonfiction literary work for “We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy.” The Baltimore native’s collection of essays was published in October.

“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” the HBO docudrama about the Johns Hopkins patient whose cells were developed into the first immortal cell line, received several nominations, including outstanding television movie, limited series or dramatic special. Oprah Winfrey was also nominated for her portrayal of Lacks’ daughter.

“A Beautiful Ghetto,” a collection of 100 black-and-white photographs of Allen’s hometown, is the latest accomplishment for the self-taught photographer who gained acclaim after the 2015 unrest.

The NAACP Image Awards show, now in its 49th year, honors entertainers and writers of color. The winners will be announced during a two-hour show on Jan. 15 hosted by Anthony Anderson of "black-ish" and broadcast live on the TV One network.

Mary J. Blige and Jay-Z led the pack with five nominations each. You can see the full list of nominees here.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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