Amandla Stenberg, Jenifer Lewis, Kiki Layne, Regina Hall to be honored at Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards

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Kiki Layne appears in the Barry Jenkins film “If Beale Street Could Talk.”

Essence has announced the honorees for its 12th annual Black Women in Hollywood Awards, which take place each year just ahead of the Academy Awards.

The Essence Black Women in Hollywood event serves as an uplifting gathering designed to highlight the phenomenal work of dynamic black women in entertainment.

This year’s event will honor four extraordinary black women in film and television who embody the event theme, “The Power Of Our Presence: Art & Activism.” This year’s honorees are actress and activist Amandla Stenberg; actress, singer and activist Jenifer Lewis; actress Kiki Layne; and actress Regina Hall.

Since arriving in show business as a child actress in 2011’s “Colombiana,” Stenberg has built an impressive resume that thus far includes films like “The Hunger Games” and a starring role in 2018’s “The Hate U Give.” But the 23-year-old starlet also has built a name for herself as an actress who has consistently used her platform to advocate for larger social causes impacting communities of color.

Known as the “Mother of Black Hollywood,” Lewis has built a long and inspiring over 30 years, bringing her infectious brand of comedy to notable roles in films like “Sister Act,” “Poetic Justice,” “Dead Presidents,” “The Preacher’s Wife,” “The Princess and the Frog” and “Think Like A Man,” as well as on television shows like “A Different World,” “The Fresh Prince,” “Moesha” and “Girlfriends.” Lately, she’s become a fan favorite on ABC’s Emmy Award-winning family series “Black-ish.”

Layne is one of the breakout stars of this awards season, thanks to her poetic performance in Barry Jenkins’ critically acclaimed film adaptation of James Baldwin’s “If Beale Street Could Talk.” The tragic love story has further ignited the conversation around the beauty of representation as well as the power and resilience of transparent black love.

Since scoring her first television role on the series “Loving” in 1992, Hall’s star has continued to shine bright in the industry for more than 25 years in films like “The Best Man,” “Love & Basketball,” “Scary Movie,” “Girls Trip” and “The Hate U Give,” among countless others. Her unforgettably comedic performance in 2018’s “Support The Girls” has earned rave reviews from critics and audiences as well as the New York Film Critics’ Award for Best Actress.

“We are proud to salute the marvelous work and stunning achievements of our 2019 Black Women in Hollywood awardees, who as a collective presence are challenging perceptions and impacting social change,” says MoAna Luu, chief creative and content officer for Essence, in a statement. “Through their craft and their commitment to causes, Amandla, Kiki, Jenifer and Regina represent the dynamic intersection of art and activism that is influencing how we shape our own destiny.”

The 2019 Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards are set for Feb. 21 at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, California.


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