The beautiful and talented Nia Long gave an amazing acceptance speech as an honoree at the 2022 ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Awards.
In what was an emotional introduction by her Love Jones co-star Larenz Tate, he spoke about first meeting Long on the set of that classic film, as well as the undeniable impression she left on him as an actor.
“Back then – even though we were young – Nia had this dramatic depth, and the drive and dedication of a seasoned pro,” Tate said with a smile. “I also witnessed her brilliance up close on how subtlety in a scene can be a quiet strength that leaves a lasting impression.”
After Tate recited the iconic lines to “Brother to the Night,” a pre-recorded montage of Nia’s heralded body of work was shown, and included interviews from Will Packer, Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs and Regina Hall.
The tenured actress then took the podium, and proceeded to thank her team, supporters, friends and family, culminating with a heartfelt statement of gratitude for her mother, and some words of wisdom for her young children.
“Thank you for giving me the space as a young girl to accomplish the unimaginable,” Long said to her mother. “I recognize that you deferred your dreams as a commitment to mothering me. Thank you, and I love you.”
“To my sons, my babies. May you always trust your gut, speak loud and proud, respect others, keep your circle tight, trust that God has a way of turning your fears into faith, and walk this life with purpose as your authentic self,” she continued. “Be good brothers, friends, fathers and husbands, if that’s what you choose to be. And remember that your blackness is your superpower. I will always have your back.”
In her closing remarks, Long spoke about her journey as an actress, her support of women in film, and the optimism and deep love that she has for the future of the Black community.
“Today I share with you the armor and deep love I carry for all of you. My prayer is that we heal from being a fractured community and transform into a united nation of Black love and acceptance with a collective purpose mastered by us, and for us. Not only will we win awards, but we will solidify the reward of unity, and the essence of our greatness.”
The 2022 ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards is sponsored by Coca-Cola, Ford, Disney’s Onyx Collective, SmartWater and Warner Brothers Television Group.