/Essences 2023 Black Women In Hollywood Awards To Highlight The Woman King, Till

Essences 2023 Black Women In Hollywood Awards To Highlight The Woman King, Till

Essence has unveiled its honorees for the 2023 Black Women in Hollywood Awards.

The 16th annual ceremony is set to recognize director Gina Prince-Bythewood (“The Woman King”) and broadcasting executive Tara Duncan, as well as actors Danielle Deadwyler (“Till”), Dominique Thorne (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”) and Sheryl Lee Ralph (“Abbott Elementary”), according to a news release Tuesday.

Essence CEO Caroline Wanga said the awards “commemorate the Black women who are the story makers, storytellers, story-doers, and story-sharers that cultivate the entertainment ecosystem that the world cherishes and loves deeply.”

“We are privileged to have this sacred platform that illuminates the on-going accomplishments of Black women,” Wanga said of the event, which will be held at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles on March 9.

Ralph won an Emmy in September for her role in ABC’s “Abbott Elementary,” belting out an impressive song during her acceptance speech. Notably, she became only the second Black woman in history to win for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

Gina Prince-Bythewood, whose film "The Woman King" was left out of this year's Oscar race.
Gina Prince-Bythewood, whose film “The Woman King” was left out of this year’s Oscar race.

MICHAEL TRAN via Getty Images

The Broadway icon also appeared at the Super Bowl this month to perform a rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which was written in 1900 by NAACP leader James Weldon Johnson and is often referred to as the Black national anthem.

Deadwyler will be recognized for her role in “Till,” a heart-wrenching drama about the 1955 lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till and his mother’s quest for justice. The film was left out of this year’s Oscar nominations, prompting Deadwyler to slam the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the snub.

Thorne previously stunned critics with performances in “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “Judas and the Black Messiah.” She has since become a role model for young Black girls with her part in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and will also soon star in the Marvel series “Ironheart.”

Danielle Deadwyler.
Danielle Deadwyler.

Chelsea Guglielmino via Getty Images

Prince-Bythewood, arguably the most famous among the honorees, started her career as a television writer in the 1990s before going on to direct major Hollywood films like “Love & Basketball” and “The Woman King,” last year’s Viola Davis-led blockbuster.

Duncan, who heads Disney’s Onyx Collective, will be honored as “a pioneer of broadcast and streaming content” following the brand’s “Summer of Soul” documentary about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. (Although director Questlove won an Oscar for the film, that triumph was sadly overshadowed.)

Essence described its event as “an oasis of sisterhood and a safe space for Black women to fully see, hear and embrace one another.” The 2023 ceremony is set to recognize Black creators who were notably omitted from predominantly white awards shows such as the Oscars, which sparked controversy after Andrea Riseborough’s recent nod over actors like Davis and Deadwyler.

Last year’s ceremony saw Donald Glover, Will Smith and Larenz Tate present Quinta Brunson, Aunjanue Ellis and Nia Long with trophies. The complete list of presenters for this years’ gathering has yet to be revealed.

Essence’s website will stream the Black Women in Hollywood Awards at 2 p.m. Eastern Time on March 9.

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