Essence Awards 2023 Black Women in Hollywood to Highlight ‘The Woman King,’ ‘Till

Essence has revealed 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 broadcast 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 Tuesday news release.

Croixinn CEO Caroline Wanga said the awards “remember the Black women who are the storytellers, storytellers, story makers and story sharers who feed the entertainment ecosystem that the world loves and respects so deep.”

“We are privileged to have this sacred platform that represents the continued achievements 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 on 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 Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

Gina Prince-Bythewood, her film
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 “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” written by NAACP leader James Weldon Johnson in 1900 and often called the Black national anthem.

Deadwyler will be recognized for his role in “Till,” a heart-wrenching drama about the 1955 lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till and his mother in search of 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 has previously stunned critics with performances in “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “Judas and the Black Messiah”. Since then she has become a role model for young Black girls with her role in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and will soon star in the Marvel series “Ironheart”.

Danielle Deadwyler.
Danielle Deadwyler.

Chelsea Guglielmino via Getty Images

Arguably the most famous of the honorees, Prince-Bythewood began her career as a television writer in the 1990s before directing major Hollywood films such as “Love & Basketball” and “The Woman King,” last year’s pioneer Viola Davis. .

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

Essence described her event as “an oasis of sisterhood and a safe space for Black women to see, hear and fully accept each other.” The 2023 ceremony is set to recognize Black creators who have been notably omitted from predominantly white shows like the Oscars, sparking controversy after Andrea Riseborough’s recent nod to actors like Davis and Deadwyler.

Donald Glover, Will Smith and Larenz Tate presented trophies to Quinta Brunson, Aunjanue Ellis and Nia Long at last year’s ceremony. The full list of presenters for this year’s meeting is yet to be revealed.

Essence’s website will air the Black Women in Hollywood Awards at 2 pm Eastern Time on March 9.

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