During her speech, the Captain Marvel actress thanked fellow honoree Matsoukas for encouraging her to embrace her short hair.
“To Melina, thank you for encouraging me to cut off all my hair for a TV show. It taught me more than you’ll ever know about the power of Black women’s self-love,” she said onstage. “In an industry where Black women are always encouraged to add to their crown and glory to get ahead, you told me and taught me and showed me that cropping my hair and embracing who I am, that I could still advance.”
Lynch then went on to celebrate the women in the room, who are “derived from greatness.”
“We all know the ingredients that are needed for Black women to create this dream, but the struggle to not compromise for the sake of others is something we in this room know all too well. We work hard on our craft and our self-love and have to remind ourselves daily that we deserve a seat at the table.”
“Every year, I look forward to watching the speeches of women in this room, who continue to radiate so beautifully through their talent, their intelligence, and their sensitivity. And every time I watch a speech and see the reactions of the women in the room, I think, ‘Bruh, we are the table.'”
Lynch is set to have a dynamite year with a turn in the upcoming James Bond film No Time to Die.
She told ESSENCE, “It’s going to be history-making. And that makes me feel very grateful for the kinds of -people who are making moves and waves in this industry.”