Musical icon Mariah Carey, playwright George C. Wolfe, and politician Stacey Abrams have been selected as the special achievement award honorees for this year’s African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) Awards.
At the 12th annual award show, the Innovator Award, the Salute to Excellence and the Stanley Kramer Award for Social Justice will be received by Carey, Wolfe and Abrams — along with filmmakers Lisa Cortés and Liz Garbus — respectively. Netflix also joins the group of special achievement awardees as the streaming platform is set to receive the Cinema Vanguard honor for its diverse offerings and delivery of continuous entertainment during the pandemic.
“When you think about all four of these projects and individuals, they’re being very intentional in wanting to utilize their talents for good, for information and with the intention to uplift and empower,” said AAFCA CEO and President Gil Robertson in a statement to Variety.
Speaking on Carey, who released her memoir, “The Meaning of Mariah Carey,” in September and premiered her Magical Christmas Special” on Apple TV+ this past December, Robertson continued, “Given a career of her magnitude, we really could have done it anytime. At this point, she’s more than earned the right to be recognized at some point. When members spoke about the impact of her videos and how much they meant to them, we thought ‘Let’s recognize her because she’s always projected a lot of positive energy, which we definitely need now during the pandemic and coming out of the last four years.’”
Director of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Tony award-winning playwright Wolfe, is being honored for his work telling the unique stories of Black history in America. Abrams, the politician-turned-mobilizer, is being recognized for her documentary All In: The Fight For Democracy, which details the history of voter suppression in the United States.
“Flipping Georgia was nothing short of a miracle, truly. Stacey Abrams, while she’s just one of the subjects, certainly she’s the primary voice throughout the doc — and just a Wonder Woman,” Robertson said. “Filmmakers Lisa Cortés and Liz Garbus [and Abrams] just did a spectacular job in creating a story that should be a must-watch for every American.”
The annual AAFCA Awards will be held virtually on April 7. The full list of nominations will be revealed March 8.