Black Women in Hollywood: Regina King

Our Fierce and Fearless honoree reflects on everything that she has learned in her 30 years on-screen—and off.

ESSENCE.COM Feb, 20, 2015
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I always enjoy coming to this function. Every year, it's something I look forward to, to be the one that's on this side of it is a bit surreal. To be built. So much gratitude right now. The universe has always had my back. It is such an amazing feeling to be in a room that's filled with so much talent, strength. And above all grace, you guys from the moment I stepped on the carpet, so many faces oh my god I worked with, damn near half the room. [LAUGH] But I looked, when they showed some of 227 like. What would I. Do you know, do you guys remember when you were kids, most of you, you got that assignment to write a letter to yourself from your older self? I never got that assignment. [LAUGH] So I, I look at that and I wonder. What, what would I have told myself. Obviously I didn't plan a speech, but I was jotting down a couple things and I wrote them on some sides. [LAUGH] Because they're my security blanket. And there sides from scandal, and Shawnda, Amara. What you guys have done for us as actresses, as women. Telling our stories more layered and giving me the opportunity to help tell your story is beyond. I really don't have the words to express really what I feel. All I can do is hug you really really really really tight every time I see you guys. And I think every actress, every fan out there mirrors when I say, you guys are excellent. You women are simply excellent. [APPLAUSE] I. Wanted to say to Essence, ever since I can remember, I don't remember not knowing Essence, and not having Essence in my life as a young, black girl. I remember, before I can even read, that magazine. Just identifying with it and being able to pick it up and see women that look like me and look like the women around me but they were in a magazine. I had enough sense to know that this is special. And then once I was able to read, to be able to read about. It is possible to be anything, a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer. I decided to be an actress so I can be all of those. [LAUGH] So I truly, thank you on behalf of probably all of the women in this room for. Reminding us to always remember the essence of who we are. Because we all are sharing this space together but we're all individual. And please don't ever change being an individual. I never would've. Decided to direct if I didn't look at myself as an individual. So wrapping it up to bring it to the beginning. What would I have told that little girl that was up there? What would I have written in that letter? I wouldn't have written the letter because. I feel like I'm just getting started. [APPLAUSE]