Reprinted from The Hollywood Reporter by Rebecca Keegan on April 22, 2021.
In a typical Oscar week, Essence’s Black Women in Hollywood Awards is a star-studded, tears-and-laughter packed, invitation-only luncheon celebrating the industry’s Black female talent. This year, Essence’s 14th time hosting the event, called for a more pandemic friendly, virtual approach, albeit one that still packed plenty of emotion.
“Obviously there aren’t hundreds of people in the room with us,” said Laverne Cox, who hosted the show that honored Zendaya, Whoopi Goldberg, Cynthia Erivo, Michaela Coel and Andra Day. “It’s a global pandemic, people.”
The theme of this year’s awards show, which was taped on a soundstage in Hollywood April 3 and streamed onApril 22, was “Mastering Our Stories.” “So many of us, especially women of color, don’t always have the opportunity to tell our stories, yet alone feel empowered enough to also own them,” Cox said. …