ESSENCE is proud to continue our unapologetic celebration of excellence among Black women with our twelfth annual Black Women in Hollywood Awards.
Held each year just ahead of the Academy Awards, the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood event has become one of the most anticipated Oscar-weekend happenings that serves as an uplifting gathering designed to highlight the phenomenal work of dynamic Black women in entertainment. The intimate affair sees some of Hollywood’s biggest names align to celebrate these women, who continue to elevate the culture through their art form.
This year’s event will honor four extraordinary Black women in film and television who embody our timely event theme, The Power Of Our Presence: Art & Activism: actress and activist Amandla Stenberg; actress, singer and activist Jenifer Lewis; actress Kiki Layne; and actress Regina Hall.
Since making her foray into the spotlight as a child actress in 2011’s Colombiana, Amandla Stenberg has continued to blossom. Her resume thus far includes films like The Hunger Games and a starring role in 2018’s The Hate U Give, but the 23-year-old starlet has also built a name for herself as an actress who has consistently used her platform to advocate for larger social causes impacting communities of color.
Appropriately deemed the “Mother of Black Hollywood,” Jenifer Lewis has built an unparalleled career whose longevity lends itself to her love for her craft and unwavering authenticity both on and off-screen. For over 30 years, Lewis has brought her infectious brand of comedy and undeniable talent to film, television and theater with notable roles in films like Sister Act, Poetic Justice, Dead Presidents, The Preacher’s Wife, The Princess and the Frog and Think Like A Man, as well as television shows like A Different World, The Fresh Prince, Moesha and Girlfriends, to name just a few. Most recently, she’s become a fan-favorite on ABC’s Emmy Award-winning family series, Black-ish.
Movie theater audiences and red carpet cameras across the world have fallen in love with breakout film star, Kiki Layne. Her performance in Barry Jenkins’ critically-acclaimed film adaptation of James Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could Talk has further ignited the conversation around the beauty of representation, as well as the power and resilience of transparent Black love.
There are few in Hollywood who have an on-screen presence as charismatic, or a career work ethic as impeccable, as that of Regina Hall. Since landing her first television role in 1992, Hall’s star has continued to shine bright in the industry for over 25 years in films like The Best Man, Love & Basketball, Scary Movie, Girls Trip and The Hate U Give, among countless others. Her unforgettably comical performance in 2018’s Support The Girls has generated rave reviews from critics and audiences alike and most recently resulted in a New York Film Critics’ Award for Best Actress.
“We are proud to salute the marvelous work and stunning achievements of our 2019 Black Women in Hollywood awardees, who as a collective presence are challenging perceptions and impacting social change,” says MoAna Luu, Chief Creative and Content Officer for ESSENCE. “Through their craft and their commitment to causes, Amandla, Kiki, Jenifer and Regina represent the dynamic intersection of art and activism that is influencing how we shape our own destiny.”
The 2019 ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Awards will be held on Thursday, February 21, 2019 at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, CA.