Last Thursday, Feb. 21, Essence magazine held its sixth annual Black Women in Hollywood awards luncheon.
The honorees were:
Breakthrough Performance – Quvenzhané Wallis
Lincoln Shining Star Award – Naomie Harris
Visionary Award – Mara Brock Akil
Fierce & Fearless Award – Gabrielle Union
Vanguard Award – Alfre Woodard
Power Award – Oprah Winfrey
|Nine-year-old Wallis, star of Beasts of the Southern Wild, thanked God, director Behn Zeitlin, and her on-set babysitters.|
|Union noted that she hadn’t always been “fierce and fearless,” and that she didn’t speak up against racism when she was younger and posed in photographs in ways that would “minimize” her “blackness.” However, she added:
Brock Akil, writer and producer known for Moesha, Girlfriends, Cougar Town, The Game and Sparkle, delivered a tearful speech, saying:
The awards luncheon, held two days before the Academy Awards, celebrates the success of black women writers, producers, actresses and other Hollywood power-brokers. Actress Tracee Ellis Ross says, “It’s a beautiful afternoon where we’re celebrating each other and giving praise to women that don’t always get praised.”
This event by, for and all about black women in Hollywood serves as a celebration of the successes these women have had and as inspiration to the women who will come after them.