Essence Black Women in Hollywood revealed its honorees today (Jan. 9). They are Grammy-winning music video director Melina Matsoukas (Queen & Slim, Beyoncé’s “Formation”), Emmy-winning actress/director/producer Niecy Nash (When They See Us, Claws), actress Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel) and the television series Pose. The invite-only Oscar-week event will be held on Feb. 6 at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, Calif.
In honor as well of the magazine’s 50th anniversary, the theme of the 13th annual Black Women in Hollywood celebrates “women owning, expanding and transforming the art of storytelling.” In addition to joining the Pose cast and creative team (Janet Mock, Mj Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Dominique Jackson, Angelica Ross and Hailie Sahar) in being honored, the series’ star and Emmy/Grammy/Tony-winning actor Billy Porter will be one of the award presenters. Additional presenters will be announced at a later date.
Essence will wrap its Oscar-week celebration with the inaugural Essence House: Hollywood Edition. The Feb. 7 communal event will feature panels, workshops and screenings focused on uplifting emerging storytellers. Speakers and participants include entertainment attorney Nina Shaw, filmmaker/author Nelson George, producer Nina Yang Bongiovi and celeb hairstylist Kim Kimble.
In announcing Essence’s 2020 honorees, Essence Communications CEO Michelle Ebanks said, “For 50 years, Essence has remained committed to portraying and highlighting the triumphs, aspirations and dynamic lives of black women. The Essence Black Women in Hollywood luncheon has become an amazing platform to recognize and honor the unparalleled talents of black women in an industry that often hasn’t. We celebrate all of our honorees this year for their fearlessness and strength as they boldly continue to own their narratives and share our stories.”
Added MoAna Luu, Essence Chief Content & Creative Officer, “Essence is thrilled to commemorate the creative and critical achievements of black women as originators, nurturers, makers and creators. Whether they’re reclaiming our culture or dismantling traditional gender idea, each of our honorees uplift us as they present their unique gifts on the screen and behind the camera.”
Essence Black Women in Hollywood is presented by Ford and sponsored by AT&T Humanity of Connection, Geico, L’Oreal Paris and Netflix. For more information about the awards luncheon and Essence House: Hollywood Edition, visit Essence.com.