This year’s theme, “Mastering Our Stories,” focuses on the resiliency of Black women in Hollywood through the years. The previously announced honorees are: EGOT winner, producer and entrepreneur Whoopi Goldberg ; GRAMMY, EMMY and TONY Award-winning and OSCAR-nominated actress, singer and producer Cynthia Erivo (Genius: Aretha, Harriet); EMMY Award-winning actress/producer Zendaya (Malcolm and Marie, Euphoria); writer, actress and showrunner Michaela Coel (I May Destroy You); and Golden Globe winner, Oscar-nominated actress and GRAMMY-nominated singer Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday), who will also perform.
This year’s Black Women in Hollywood Awards presenters are comedian/actress Leslie Jones, actor Yahya Abdul Mateen II, activist Tarana Burke and director Kasi Lemmons.
Since in-person appearances were kept to a minimum, a variety of voices were also featured in the tribute videos for the honorees, including touching soundbites from Danny Glover, Michael B. Jordan, Daniel Kaluuya, Janelle Monae, Billy Porter, Colman Domingo, Donald Glover, Danielle Brooks, Chloe & Halle Bailey, Algee Smith, Margaret Avery, Barbara Broccoli, Natasha Lyonne, Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin, Sara Haines, Meghan McCain and more. The event will be hosted by actress and producer Laverne Cox (Promising Young Woman and Disclosure). ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood will be streamed as a virtual experience for the first time and will air Thursday, April 22, 2021 from 7-10 P.M. (ET) on ESSENCEStudios.com and ESSENCE.com. ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood is presented by Ford and sponsored by American Airlines, Coca-Cola, Korbel and L’Oréal Paris.
ESSENCE’s Oscar week activities continue Friday 4/23 with their second annual ESSENCE Hollywood House, hosted by actress Storm Reid. Participants include Aunjanue Ellis (Lovecraft Country), Marcus Scribner (black-ish), Adjoa Andoh (Bridgerton); Golda Rosheuval (Bridgerton), Charles D. King (CEO & Founder of MACRO and Producer of Judas and the Black Messiah); Christina Elmore (Twenties) and more. The experience features thought leaders, industry stakeholders and members of the creative community including actors, directors, writers, showrunners, studio heads and others who will lead a curated schedule of interactive conversations, virtual panels, masterclasses, fireside chats and more. It will be featured on ESSENCEStudios.com and ESSENCE.com on Friday, April 23rd at 7 P.M. (ET). ESSENCE Hollywood House is sponsored by American Airlines, Coca-Cola and L’Oréal Paris.
ESSENCE’s upcoming May/June 2021 issue (on newsstands in April) will feature its annual Black Women in Hollywood package highlighting each honoree. Stay tuned to ESSENCE.com for highlights and behind-the-scenes access to the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards and ESSENCE Hollywood House. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @essence #BlackWomeninHollywood. Join in the discussion on Facebook.