Since the Oscars don’t always highlight diversity, Essence covers that base with its annual Black Women in Hollywood Awards. The event takes place Oscars week and features Black women who are slaying it on and off the screen. This year Essence has chosen to honor Tiffany Haddish, Tessa Thompson, Lena Waithe, and Danai Gurira. Through their work and activism, these powerhouses have made significant changes to the industry and the culture.
Essence’s Black Women in Hollywood event will be held on March 1st at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, CA. The show takes the form of a daytime luncheon where stars gather to celebrate the accomplishments of the honorees.
Tiffany Haddish, comedian and actress well known for her role as Dina in Girls Trip, recently published her memoir, The Last Black Unicorn, and has been killing it with her stand-up tour “She Ready”. All three have helped tackle issues of poverty, domestic violence, and the importance of healthy relationships.
Tessa Thompson is an actress and activist that starred in films like Creed, Selma, Dear White People, and For Colored Girls. Her latest role in Thor: Ragnorok makes her the first person of color to portray a queer character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When she isn’t on screen, she is fighting police brutality and for women’s rights in the #MeToo Movement.
Lena Waithe is an actress, writer, and producer that is well versed in both film and television, with involvement in Dear White People, Bones, Master of None, The Chi, and This is Us. In 2017, she became the first Black woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing.
Danai Gurira is an actress and playwright known for her role as Michonne on AMC’s The Walking Dead. She is taking 2018 by storm with her role in two of the most anticipated films of the year, Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War. When she isn’t empowering the masses or swinging a sword, she is writing and starring in plays that promote the importance of women’s health and making strong women who are relatable.
Essence has spoken! Black women are capable of being at the forefront of movies, projects, and movements.
– Amalachi Okpalanma