A new year means a new opportunity to celebrate Hollywood’s top creative talents and, fortunately, one pandemic doesn’t stop the show. The Gotham Awards, the first awards show of the season, took place in a hybrid ceremony from New York City Monday night, and it was an evening of Black excellence.
While Black actors and other creatives took home a number of awards, including Nicole Beharie, who won best actress for her work in Miss Juneteenth, and Kingsley Ben-Adir for his breakthrough role in One Night in Miami, perhaps the most powerful part of the evening was Taylor Simone Ledward’s tribute to her late husband Chadwick Boseman.
Ledward, whose marriage to Boseman was made public only after the actor’s death, said in her speech: “He was the most honest person I ever met … He was blessed to live many lives within his concentrated one. He harnessed the power of letting go and letting God’s love shine through. May we not let his conviction be in vain. It is my honor on behalf of my husband.”
She added: “Chad … thank you. I love you. I am so proud of you. Keep shining your light on us.”
André Holland of 42 also delivered a heartfelt actor tribute to his late co-star. The two worked together on what is considered to be Boseman’s breakout role in the biopic about Jackie Robinson. “He had a way with being kind without being soft,” said Holland. “One and one don’t always make two. Sometimes it makes three or four if you have the right one. Chad was the right one.”
Though Riz Ahmed took home the best actor award for his performance in Darius Marder’s Sound of Metal over Boseman for his role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, he thanked him in his speech, saying, “It’s been a hard year for all of us.”
Check out all of the Black stars that were on display and won last night.