Show Transcript
We are in Hollywood for Essence's ninth annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon. At family, this is going to be star studded. We're bringing you exclusive interviews from the red carpet. Plus, we'll speak with Hollywood icon, my girl, Angela Bassett, and take a look back at this season's red carpet trends. It is Thursday, February 25th, and Essence live starts now. [MUSIC] Welcome, welcome, welcome to Essence Live. I'm your host Dana Blair coming to you live from sunny Los Angeles, and let me tell you, I could seriously get used to this weather, people. You see, I'm getting a little bit of a tan. I don't know if you noticed. I like to throw that out there. We are here at the Beverly Wilshire for Essence's ninth annual Black Women in Hollywood luncheon. And if you're not familiar with this event This is the premier gathering of black women in movies and television and this years even is honoring Tracee Ellis Ross, director and actress Debbie Allen, and entertainment power attorney Nina Shaw. I'll be here interviewing all of the stars as they enter the ballroom and of course I want you to tweet along with me, I know you all love to chat at me. Use the hashtag black women in Hollywood to share your thoughts. And join our official Twitter party. Joining me right now is Raj Register, manager of multicultural communications for Lincoln, who is sponsoring the event. Let's welcome Raj. [BLANK_AUDIO] Hi, how are you? Thank you, how are you? I'm fabulous. You look absolutely stunning, is this your first time here at Black Women in Hollywood? It is. And what are your thoughts? First time's the charm. [UNKNOWN] I love it. I love it. Absolutely love it. Now why is it so important that the Lincoln Motor Company continue to be a partner in this event? I think it's important that we represent true essence and true luxury and style in our community. It's not just about cars, but it's about the way you feel. And I think. Lincoln does a great job of that with our Continental. You have a Continental here in the ballroom and one right here on the award stage and it looks absolutely fabulous. But I have to ask you, who are you looking forward to seeing with all of this black girl magic we have in the room? Black girl magic, of course, Oprah. I mean, who else could you just who else would you say? But also just everyone that's here whether they're a celebrity or not, everyone has a story and everyone is bringing something so special. And so I'm just looking forward to building more relationships and having a little fun. And so what's the latest on Lincoln? Just talk to me cuz I see this car and it is schnazzy. It is schnazzy. This is our latest, but one of the things that we're working on this year is A partnership with Rebel and it's just a luxurious sound system and so we're really trying to raise the bar with what we offer ,doing things that are exclusive that are not like anyone else is doing. Awesome! So where should our live audience go if they want more information on Lincoln and the new vehicle? Just simply www.lincoln.com. We also have more of a lifestyle site, lincolnnow.com, where you can find stories of real people that drive Lincolns that have just personal things that they love to share. So that's another, just lifestyle, not as, Vehicle specific but, you know just a place where you can share.>> I love a good story telling. We always love some good story telling Essence Live. Thank you Raj so very much for joining us and I know I'm gonna catch up with you a little bit later on and see how you're liking all the event and all the shnazzle dazzle. When it comes to Hollywood icons it doesn't get any bigger than Ms. Angela Bassett. I sat down with her recently in New York and asked her what it's really like to be nominated for an Oscar. Take a look. It was thrilling. I, it wasn't. I don't think ever thought that I would actually ever make it- Really? To that podium. You know, to that venue. You always give your speech, your make believe speech and, but if you hadn't seen it before you many times, you, I mean it's a long shot. Only five out of how many, five hundred movies made a year But the role that is worth of landing in that top five. And you're brilliant. Well thank you. You're absolutely brilliant. Now the diversity in Hollywood is a big topic this year. Do you and your fellow actors and actresses of all ethnic backgrounds, do you ever talk about diversity in Hollywood whether it's in front of the camera or behind. I don't know if we have you know pointed conversations I'll get together of course I was with one of my dear friends last night we may, we you can't help but talk about the business or you know roles you're going up for but you know it comes up and a lot of times you're You know work that you've seen other sisters do, you know work that excites you, you wanna talk about that. Do you think that a boycott is necessary? I mean there's a lot of buzz on Twitter right now, of course Chris Rock is hosting the Oscars, do you think a boycott is maybe going too far? Well maybe just. Sometimes it's bringing up the word seems to have been enough. A boycott, then one comedian said, you know, "I don't knock on your door just because you didn't invite me and say I'm boycotting. I'm not coming over. I'm not coming over there." I'm interested when I see. A diversity in the land. That's when I'm most excited because I like to see all types of movies. All types. Yeah. I don't not see a movie because the people don't look like me. [BLANK_AUDIO] Look like me. If I hear it's a great story or good characters or bad Performance, and I can relate. Of course. Do you have any words of wisdom or advice to fellow black women in Hollywood who may be here presently or coming up? Just words or encouragement or advise? Just remain passionate about it. Don't Don't let that flame die out, remain passionate, stay positive, speak positively, believe, encourage, support, all those things work. Because it can be easy to turn cynical. No I definitely understand. I mean in this profession and any other. No I totally understand, no that makes perfect, thank you so much. You have to as. As I love the saying by Alex Haley, find the good and praise it. Mm-hm. Cuz there's some good in there. There's some good in there [CROSSTALK] There's some good in there to be found. [BLANK_AUDIO] To my fellow black women in Hollywood, I wanna say I love you and you inspire me. The first person I think of is Viola Davis because Even though you know that it's her and you have an idea of what to expect. Her performance is going to be very intense. It's going to be very rividing. We know that but there's just a real gravitas to everything that she does. Tasha [unintelligible]was like a big sister to me. I absolutely adore her, Gabrielle, I absolutely adore her. I've been so blessed to work with so many legends. Angela Bassett, having Alfre Woodard in my life as a mentor. Diane, Carol, Cicely Tyson, I don't believe in competition. I believe that what's mine is mine an no one can take it from me and what's someone elses is someone else's and I can't take it from them. When we run into each other, like hey girl, go kill it and stuff like that. Because a win for one is a win for all. I always get excited when I see somebody win. [MUSIC] Win. It really, really makes me happy. No matter who it is, if it's Gabby, if it's Zoe, if it's Carrie, I literally legit get like, yes, just get it. To my fellow black actresses in Hollywood. Do what you wanna do. People are always gonna have ideas of who you should be and what that's supposed to mean, but as an artist that can be stifling. You can't please everybody, it's absolutely impossible now matter what you do. The best that you can do is be yourself and be authentic. Keep doing you cuz you make me proud. [BLANK_AUDIO] [MUSIC] Welcome back to Essence Live, coming to you from the Beverly [UNKNOWN] in Los Angeles. Essence is black Women in Hollywood luncheon. I'm your host, Dana Blair, and joining me is now Cory Murray, our entertainment director. Hello, hello. Hello, Dana Blair. How are you? First of all, you look fabulous. Thank you. I'm trying to serve you something. I feel 1920's flapper girl, Harlem renaissance. Bangs in my hair, you know. But in Hollywood. And I love you in red. See I had an astrology manicure once and they said that red was my career color. All right, all right. Astrology manicure, but you're an entertainment director, so this is your baked potato. This is my baked potato. This is your, if you will. What is it like having all of these women in this room on this magical day? Just Just paying tribute to all they've done for entertainment. Well, I cover this all the time for work, so it's a chance for me to see things in person. Mm-hm. I follow these people in Hollywood Reporter, I see them on shows, I stalk them on Instagram, and now to be in the same room as Stephanie Elaine, who's like Produce Hussle and Flow and Dear White People and now she's a director at the LA film festival and give her a hug and be like I'm Corey. Hi, how are you. I'm a fan girl, I love you. And you know I see Kiki Palmer as queued up for you to talk to next, like I love her on Scream Queens. Like I've seen her grow up so it's just a full circle for me like it's my own chance to like see what I do come to like. How difficult is it each and every year to To pick someone or the honorees, if you will. You know, it's split. It's like you have that one person who's like the standout like Tracee Ellis Ross was like clear like done. But then you have that person who've you been like trying to get for years, but because she's been working forever and doing her thing, it's like I need to get on, you need to get on my schedule. And that's what the case was Debbie Allen. She was like I'm available this day. And we're like, we'll take it. We on it. We gonna take this thing. We gonna take this. We gonna take this. So it's a little bit of mix. There's people who you've seen, and you know it's just a matter of time. But then it's that person who's truly the breakout that you wanna pay attention to. And I also want to encourage my Essence Live audience. Please use the hashtag #blackwomeninhollywood. You can Cory. You can talk to myself. Anyone of our fabulous editors and influencers who are here in the room. someone you can get all the tea and what's happening, and this room is just filled with black girl magic. I'm so bad I haven't posted yet but I will because I'm so excited, but I can't wait to start getting some. And you're here year after year. Yes. You work on our covers, but who are you looking forward to seeing? My God I'll be honest with you, I'm a little bit of a nerd so Nina Shaw Our entertainment lawyer of the year. I've been watching this woman for a minute, because that behind the scenes power is real. When I go talk to kids at school, everyone is like, I wanna be Beyoncé, I wanna be such-and-such. But I'm like, there's power behind the scenes as well, and Nina Shaw has been wielding it for you. And then just to know Eric Holder's her bestie. Right. Attorney General of the United States. That's real power influence, people. You know what I mean? And like Channing Dungy being named president of NBC. We were trying to connect with him for some last minute details, and she's like, I'm sorry I couldn't talk to you I was finishing up the deal for Channing Dungy. I said drop mic. There you go. And there you have it. You were working. And Corey thank you so much for stopping by. No I love it. I don't know if you know. Upstairs in the red carpet, we have a very very special co-host. Hm! Miss who could that be? It's miss La la Anthony. Hello La la how are you? hey. what's going on up there on the red carpet? It's getting hectic up here on the red carpet. WE are having a great time. So many people are arriving. Seeing so many of. And you yourself Lala, you're an, and an influencer in the Hollywood community. But who are you looking forward to seeing at this event today? You know I'm looking forward to seeing Tracey Alice Ross, I love her Angela Bassett. Love her. And just all my friends, my best friend Kelly Rowland is coming here today. I'm just excited to hang out. I feel like It's girlfriends hanging out, supporting each other. And I think it's really important for everyone out there to see women empowering women. Mm-hm. So I'm so excited to be here. Looking around, the carpet is buzzing right now. So hopefully we'll be able to talk to some of these- And you look absolutely fabulous. Who- Thank you. Thank you. I'm hoping we'll be able to talk to some of these amazing women really shortly. Yes definitely now who are you wearing and what was the preparation like for you to get all glammed up and gizzed up. So I'm wearing Victoria Beckham. And the preparations are you get up early. You start getting your hair and make up done. You put your outfit on and then you head ou the door. But it's fun getting ready. It's a fun time getting ready. You look absolutely fabulous. We have somebody hanging out with us. Now look. Hi. How are you? Hi, Erica. How's everything? Wonderful. How are you feeling? I am excited. Always happy to be at this event. I'm here helping out here with Essence just interviewing all of these amazing and talented women. Who are you most excited to see here today? You know, it's a little bit of everybody. I think the thing about this event is the room is alive It's loving, it's fabulous, it's women supporting women, we cheer each other, we cry a little bit, and it's beautiful and I think it's wonderful that the world is gonna see it. I'm really happy that Owen is broadcasting it. I said it feels like girlfriends just hanging out. Absolutely. We're all going to a big lunch together and just hanging out. Yeah, like I was in the bathroom and someone was like, fix your earing girl, and I was like touch your hair. It's just really fun. Now we are talking about the hashtag black girl magic. So tell me, what does Black Girl Magic mean to you? Black Girl Magic is that thing that sometimes undefinable. Everybody has their own individual version of it. But it always includes confidence. It always includes the strength that you have to shine in the face of adversity, in the face of this industry that will tell you your not beautiful, and your lacking something. Understanding who you are and what you have, that's black girl magic. Definitely and lastly let's talk a little fashion. Tell me what you're wearing here today. My sister is going to kill me. There's an amazing designer who made this for me and I'm so sorry that I Well, it doesn't, it looks amazing. Thank you. I want to make sure they got a shot here, amazing amazing outfit. Thank you. So I'll see you inside. Absolutely. Have a good time. You too. Okay. All right Dana, we're going back to you. A lot of stuff happening here, definitely check back in with me shortly, cuz it's popping on this side of the carpet. [LAUGH] I know, I absolutely love all of the energy and the buzz as it builds. But right now, I I wanna talk Oscars, they are coming. We've already seen preparations around the city of Los Angeles, but that's nothing compared to what celebrities go through, in getting their red carpet looks together. Back in New York, I caught up with three very savvy style experts, for an award show edition of Slade or Shade. Check it out. [MUSIC] For this special edition of Slayed or Shade, we're looking at all of the hits and misses from the red carpet this award season. Coming all the way from South Africa we have Revlon ambassador and TV and radio personality. Bonang Matheba, hello. How are you? I'm fabulous! How are you? Good! Thank you for joining us ->> Only a pleasure, thank you for having me. Yeah, of course. [LAUGH] [LAUGH] We also have style expert and TV personality, the one and only Miss Marlo Hampton. Hi. Welcome to Essence Live. So such a pleasure to be here. I like your shoes. Thank you. [LAUGH] And rounding out our fabulous panelist is fashion expert and owner of Glamour Deluxe, Glamo. Welcome. Hi. Welcome to Essence Live. Thank you for having me. Thank you for being here and having some energy. [CROSSTALK] Just a little bit. We're going to jump right into it. Our first look is Tracee Ellis Ross at the NAACP Awards in a black Rubin Singer gown. Did she Slay this look or we sort of on Shade. What are our thoughts. One, two, three people. Slayed or Shade? That's a. We have a slight, are you on the fence? There's always a slim shade. It's a slim shade. The hair throws me of. Okay. The hair, everything. So I'm half way. The dress is impeccable, the hair not so much. The shoes, banging. The shoes and the dress were Just everything. The hair, she should have either pulled it straight back or she could have just had it out naturally big and curly. The hair, it just gave me a little Rick Ross ponytail in the back. I'd just love to see her with that big, natural hair. That's the definition of Tracy. Yes, I would have loved to, just big, natural hair that The dress, the body, the shoe, it was everything. The hair just threw me off. I feel like we didn't want to see her with the big hair or just really snatched. Like the in between for her, we're like eh. It seems like she really didn't know what to do. So it's either she goes back, or she goes big. And from Tracy, we're so used to seeing her having her own style. Wavering personalities. Okay. Fair enough. Alright, so that was our little warm up here. Next, we have Andrea Day at the Grammys in a silk emerald gown from Michael Costello. Ugh. A white fur shawl- dang. Dang! Woah. A white person? Okay. Y'all don't wait. Shame, shame, shame. Okay. Across the panel. [UNKNOWN] we'll start with you this time. [LAUGH] Let me tell you something about this, okay? Talk to me. This gives me almost like a **** and his Green, silk, cheap sheets. [LAUGH] And I want to almost hide my dog from her because I'm afraid that she's gonna try and use him as shawl and put in a shoe. Way too much. Tell us how you really feel. I am. It's just too much. It doesn't work for me. So you wouldn't recreate that look? No, ma'am. No. Marla? It gave me more like Winter Barbie dress up. I want to be- Yeah. Barbie winter time. Just bad, bad bridesmaid dress. Just, it was dark, when then day about me, looking at this outfit, it was just awful. Whoever did it. Just retire. Just stop, call me. It's bad. I can do better than that. Very bad. I mean she's attended the Grammy's in Los Angeles and it's very, very hot there. So I'm trying to understand why she's wearing so many elements. The velvet, the fur, the shoes. There's too much going on. There's the hair, the makeup, the curl, the feather, the this, the length, the frills, the ->> She put it all on. Yes! She needs to decide, bring it down maybe, all the way down. Okay, let me play devil's advocate here. She does have a different, style personality, she's a little vin ->> She could have lost the fur. It's still and did another shoot of [INAUDIBLE]. She could have did a leopard print. She could have did a clutch. Just that fur and the shoe did not go with that dress. She could have did denim with the fur. Yeah. She could have put on boyfriend jeans or the sequence blazer. Something. just not that. Just not that. She's a beautiful girl. She's a beautiful girl. She's beautiful. Absolutely stunning. Yes. Gorgeous. Yes. Well as you can see Essence Live, we're going to keep it all the way 100. [LAUGH] [NOISE] [MUSIC] You are watching Essence Live at Essence's ninth annual black women in Hollywood luncheon. I'm your host, Dana Blair inside the Beverley Wilshire, where all of the fabulocity of the event is taking place, and joining me right now, my girl, Kiki Palmer. How are you? How are you? My God. So good to see you. You look so beautiful. It is so busy. No. I'm almost there. Look at that. Look at that. I'm almost there. You look absolutely fabulous. What made the hair change? You know well when I first cut my hair I cut it when I did Cinderella and I love, love, love the pixie and I just wanted to go one step further with that freedom I was feeling from cutting my hair off. You know being an entertainer and all the hair, different choices that you're forced to do with your acting. Right. I just felt so relieved to be able to do something and make a choice on my own about what I wanted to look like Do you ever think you're gonna go all the way bald? I think I will, actually. What? Yeah, I can definitely feel that coming on soon. For sure. I have to ask you, there are so many women in this room of influence and power and idols, and we talk here a lot at Essence about black girl magic. What does that mean to you? [INAUDIBLE] You know, it's so many different things that it means to me. I think in my experience of being a black person, a black women, and knowing the history. That's where I get my strength from. And that, to me, is magical. You know, some people can look at that as a negative thing. But to me, the history of black people is the most beautiful and astonishing thing to me in the world, to see how far we've come and where we've been. And. That's the magic to me as a black woman, I feel like, to have that inner pocket of strength. No matter where I go through, I can look back and know that I'm gonna be okay because of those before me. Yeah, that was so well put. Thank you. That was so beautiful. And what brings you back to Black Women in Hollywood year after year, to this event? Well because we get to be here and congratulate each other. I think people might assume that we get to see each other more often than we do. But we're all out here grinding it, working the pavement, so we don't get to see each other that often. So when we're here, we get to connect and we also get to say, when we're working together girl. Right, what we're working on, what you working on. Exactly. What you doing? All right so, thank you so very much for taking the time to stop by. And you always have to come back every project and just hang out with the Essence Live family. Of course, my family! Gave me my first cover. Okay! There you go, that's the scoop! Lala, who do you have up there on the red carpet? Hey! So I'm hanging out here with one of my friends, Ann Marie Riley. We are here, what's going on? What's going on, girl? [LAUGH] So tell me about You did say this is your first time coming to this. Yes. And how are you feeling just being surrounded by so many amazing women here today? It's so electric in here. It really is. I was so excited when I woke up this morning and I can't wait to sit in that room and just glean. [LAUGH] Exactly. Now tell me about some of your upcoming projects. The people out there wanna know what are you doing? Do and where do you work. I know- [LAUGH] But you got to tell everybody else what's going on. So, I'm doing Dream Girls on the West End in London- That's amazing! And my whole entire family is flying out there. [LAUGH] I'm really excited. I'm flying out there- Yeah [LAUGH]. I want to come check you out. That's going to be amazing. It's kind of epic, and I'm like, terrified, but it's a good terrified. Mm-hm. It's a challenging, pushing kind of terrified. And how [INAUDIBLE] How long are you going to be there? I'm going to be there for a year. A year? My->> Yes. Okay we've gotta tear it up. I'm gonna come back with an accent guys. I know. Don't make fun of me. We've got to tear it up. So today the hashtag is blackgirlmagic. Tell me what does that mean to you. My gosh it's so hard to put that in words you know? It's really hard to put it in words. Black girls are magic I don't even know. Like our style. How we. We set trends, you know what I mean. I have so many magical black girls in my life that it's just, it's really hard to put it in words. Definitely. Well I look forward to seeing you inside. Thank you boo. See you inside. All right Dana, back to you. Thank you do very much Nala. You know, we've been talking so much about black girl magic. And I have to say I've been at this event about seven different times over the last nine years. And each and every time, it gets more and more magical. Just feeling the love, the energy, the respect, and seeing the growth in the way and which Hollywood has embraced African-American women in front of the camera, as well as behind And how we embrace each other is just truly, truly absolutely magical. I cant wait to share a little bit more with everyone out there with Essence Live From The Carpet. I want to right now take a look at a tribute to one of todays Black Women in Hollywood honorees. No stranger to the Essence family Ms. Tracee Ellis Ross. Check it out. [MUSIC] Tracy is truly one of the funniest women I have ever met. I started to admire Tracy's comedy chops on a show called Lyricists Lounge. And they were doing improv and sketch comedy. When I wrote the character for Joan, it was supposed to be Regina King. But Regina King wouldn't return anybody's phone calls [LAUGH] So we looked all over town for Joan. From the moment she did the first line of the script, I was like my God, she's Joan. I can't see anyone other than Tracee Ellis Ross playing Joan. One of the best things about doing a read between the lines Was working with Tracy and our relationship. I mean she's an actress, she can play, I think, anything. She's incredibly talented both dramatically and comedically. I guess what makes Tracy and I have so much fun together is because we are so much alike and so opposite at the same time. Tracy has created A plethora of amazing characters where you forget that's Tracy. Tracy and I have been friends forever so I've brought Tracy a lot of projects. And so I told her I was like this is something I want to do, that you're the person I want to do it with. One of the things that resonates about Tracy is that Lucille Ball-ish quality. I think Tracy has really redefined the idea of what The television mob press. I think for comedy you just gotta commit and you gotta be able to drop it and commit. I think what makes Traci's comedic timing or her comedy so good is because it's all rooted in heart. And she's like shazam. She's like the female, the human incarnation of a lightening bolt. I mean like light, powerful, jagged, sharp, and on fire [MUSIC] Welcome back to Essence. Welcome back to Essence live, coming to you from the Beverly Wilshire, here in Los Angeles, California. For Essence's Black Women in Hollywood luncheon. I'm your host, Dana Blair, and I want you to join our Twitter party. Use the hashtag, #BlackWomeninHollywood Want to share your thoughts on today's honorees, what looks from the carpet you are absolutely loving, and shout out your favorite celebrities. Whatever you absolutely want. I'm downstairs near the ballroom where all of the magic is happening today. But let's head upstairs to our red carpet correspondent, Miss La La Anthony. What's up, La La? So yeah, it's popping on this side of the carpet. I've got my girl Tika here right now. How are you? Yo look gorgeous. Thank you. Gorgeous, I saw you, I was like, dang girl. [LAUGH] You look That's so good. Thank you. How do you feel being here today? My gosh. It's exciting, and I love being in this room. It's such an encouraging, inviting, and loving room so. Doesn't it feel like we're just all girlfriends just hanging out? Yeah. Yeah. It's inspiring being somebody like you who's producing, doing so many other things. Thank you, and same with you. We're all inspired to do more. Tell me more about this film you had at Sundance right? That Yeah. I kick ****, and every body is talking about filming it on there. Man, Southside with you, just got bought by Marivaux Roadside, so every body's gonna get see it, and I'm excited about that. John Legend is one of the producers and I'm a producer on it as well, and it's about the first date of Barack Obama and Michelle Robinson. I love that. So you get to see all the conversations that might have taken place. A lot of it's pulled from public domain, but it's a love story, and I'm really excited for people to see it. I love that we're doing producing. We're putting our hands in everything. Girl, we are not just one thing. Not, not just one thing. Now the hashtag for this is black girl magic. Just tell me what that means to you. Black girl magic means We can do anything we wanna do. We are natural born, I feel like leaders. Mm-hm. And we persevere through everything, and when somebody says no, we smile and we keep it moving. I know, we're like sure thing. [LAUGH] Sure, bye. [LAUGH] Well, I love you and I can't wait to see you inside. Thank you. All right, see you inside. Bye. All right, babe, see you. All right, I'm telling you this carpet is just like seeing all your friends and hanging out and having a good time. Hey, girl. I'm working behind the scenes today. Girl, you always working though. I said this is All our girlfriends just hanging out, having a good time. It's amazing! It's like a homecoming. It's like a whole little high school reunion. Yeah, you look hot! How are you? You look hot! Okay, tell me about this outfit. I want to know about this. This is a Monte couture [LAUGH] Mm, girl! Hey! [LAUGH] Now, we are talking about the hashtag, black girl magic. Tell me, for you, what is black girl magic? What black girl magic is to me is sisterhood. It's the magic of pulling one up as you climb. It's the magic of what this event actually represents. Right. And all of us just coming together and just applauding and saluting each other and checking in and how are you? You're right. Are you good? Are you good? I am good and [INAUDIBLE] That's amazing. Now who are you looking forward to seeing most here? Or is just like everybody? You know what's amazing? Debbie Allen and I, Debbie is one of the reasons why I'm in this business. And she's been a personal mentor of mine for the last almost 30 years. She paid for my senior year in Howard University. Wow! I was the first recipient of the Debbie Allen Fellowship [UNKNOWN] Scholarship. See? That's a great story. I get to see all of the work that she's done and the lives she's changed. That's amazing. Especially mine. It's awesome. All right. Well I can't wait to see you inside. Have fun inside. I'll see you inside. Black girl magic. Black girl magic. Alright. Sending it over to you Dana. Thank you so much Lala. I cannot wait to hear that love story myself. I can't wait to see Teeka do her thing. Joining me now A gentleman who I often have walk offs with. A style influencer, a trendsetter, Emilie Wilbercan how are you? HI Dana how are you? I'm fabulous how are you doing? you know what? I'm doing great. WE've been planning this for over six months. And It's real exciting to be here in the room, because the energy is so high, there's so many powerful black women in this room from Hollywood. Actresses, directors, agents, lawyers, directors, it's a good feeling. Black girl magic all over. And it's funny that you mention that, because we've been asking everyone What does black girl magic mean to them, what does it mean to you? To me black girl magic is the brilliance, the strength and the beauty black women have all the time, regardless if it's dark if it's light, if it's hard, if they're living in grace. They always carry it, and they are magnificent because of it. I love that. That was very eloquent. Thank you, I try. I might have to recycle that answer myself. Now, you've been in this industry some time, you've interviewed everyone. Who are you looking forward to seeing, though? You know what? Debbie Allen, because I think about growing up watching Fame. I think about all her Amistad All the Grey's Anatomys, you know all the Seandalan projects, she's just amazing to me. And when we put together her tribute video, to think of all the work that she's done, and her legacy, of you know choreographing the Academy Awards, the black Nutcracker, all these things, like she's incredible. So you don't have many people that are Renaissance in that way, who do so many things. So you and I love people like that. Love, absolutely, love. [LAUGH] So I wanna meet her. Me too, I wanna meet here and part of me wants to recreate scenes from Fame, but I don't think management would really appreciate that. You should have sticks like fame costs. Here's where you earn it Mm-mm. [LAUGH] Thank you so very much for taking the time to stop by. Thank you for having me. And I'll see you a little bit later on in the ballroom. Don't go anywhere, Essence Live. You know Traci Allen Ross? She is one of our honorees. Well, we have put together our favorite Black-ish moments. Take a look. [MUSIC] My favorite moment- Man. Ugh. The youngest daughter. I think she has the best comedic timing of like life. Just skydiving every adult in every situation. We went to church, and we went for the first time and we were like this church is dope. It's cool. They got a guitar, a live band. It was hilarious. The episode that they talked about whooping. But, you know, sometimes that child needs to be tapped just a little bit. They reenacted Harriet Tubman, and the teacher was Harriet Tubman, and she was in character like, the entire time. Not only did it make me happy but I probably screamed like, 18 times. The n-word episode That episode was so gold. It was just a moment I could really relate to because. They kind of touch upon real issues in a very creative way. For them to even have a show called Blackish is just a lot in itself and when you watch it, it's just really probably one of the most entertaining shows on TV right now. I love Blackish Our mother recognized our artistic gifts very early on in life. And as far back as I can remember, Debbie was dancy. I just can't remember a time when she wasn't. There's not many people Like Debbie Allen can say I'm a wife, I'm a mother, I'm a choreographer, I'm an actress of television, Broadway, and movies, everything. I saw her first in Ragtime. You know, it was rare to see an African American woman beautiful in a situation like that, in a character Like that, I'd never seen it before. From a Different World to Amistad to even Shanda's Shows, every single piece of work that she puts out comes from the heart. She's extremely empowering, obviously, as a woman of color in this industry. But to command yourself with respect and humility and grace and honor. Working with Debbie On Empire was like sharing some hot grits and butter and bacon with my sister. I think for me she brought me to the series because I am her. She understands homophobia in the African American community. She understands what it's like to be a black Person of existence. When I met Debbie I was 15 years old. Debbie's school, it was the first time I was surrounded by people that looked like me. she does not say you have to be a certain shape or a certain size or of a certain culture. She takes them all. I think it's Debbie's development in theater that creates Her staying power. To have so many credits to your name, to take on so many roles and to do that decade after decade, that's legendary to me. [MUSIC] [NOISE]

Watch This Week's Very Special Episode of 'ESSENCE Live' at Black Women in Hollywood Part 1

On this week's special episode of ESSENCE Live we travel to Hollywood to celebrate and uplift the Black women in the entertainment industry that inspire. Join us for moments of true sisterhood, powerful words and all-around #BlackGirlMagic on the Black Women in Hollywood red carpet.

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