Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for Essence)
Did you watch the premiere of Essence's 10th Annual Black Women in Hollywood on OWN last night? The special event is held every February during Oscar week to celebrate and recognize magical Black women in the entertainment industry. As the room was filled with incredibly talented actresses and legends like Diahann Carroll, Debbie Allen, and Angela Bassett, Black Women in Hollywood transforms into a beautiful space where attendees also celebrate the power of sisterhood.
This year's honorees included four amazing women: Writer-actress-producer Issa Rae (who received the Vanguard Award), actress Aja King (who received the Lincoln Shining Star Award), actress Yara Shahidi (who received the Next Generation Award), and singer-actress Janelle Monáe (who received the Breakthrough Award). Watch their inspiring acceptance speeches below:
"I was floored by the number of beautiful Black women showing love to one another, they were laughing, hugging, complimenting one another, and just doing that magic thing that Black women do…"-Issa Rae, star and creator of HBO's "Insecure"
"You all have taught me by example what the role of the artist is: to disrupt, to remold and to create."- Yara Shahidi of ABC's "Black-ish"
"In order for me to thrive, I have to stop believing that the root of my talent is a tree growing in someone else’s yard, as if the fruit it bears doesn’t belong to me."- Aja King of ABC's "How To Get Away With Murder"
"We’ve birthed this nation, we helped contribute to some of the greatest, American, extraordinary things that have happened here in this nation. We have been the backbones in communities from the ghettos to Silicon Valley. We are not monolithic. We’re multi-dimensional and we have a right to have our stories told."- Janelle Monáe of "Hidden Figures" and "Moonlight"
Congratulations, ladies! Thank you for being an inspiration on and off screen!