BET Presents: The ABFF Honors Capped Off Black History Month By Honoring Premier Black Cultural Influencers

The week before Viola Davis became the first black woman to win an Oscar, Tony, and Emmy after winning Best Supporting Actress for her role in Paramount’s Fences at the 89th annual Academy Awards, BET held a special ceremony dedicated to black entertainment.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 17: Actor Morris Chestnut speaks onstage during BET Presents the American Black Film Festival Honors on February 17, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

BET Presents the American Black Film Festival Honors. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

BET Presents: The American Black Film Festival Honors aired on BET and Centric on Wednesday, Feb. 22. Comedian Regina Hall hosted the black-tie gala at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. It featured performances by R&B crooner Maxwell and soul singer Dionne Farris.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 17: Dionne Farris performs onstage during BET Presents the American Black Film Festival Honors on February 17, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Dionne Farris performs during BET Presents the American Black Film Festival Honors. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Black filmmakers, directors, and actors are integral to the entertainment industry. As a highlight of both the Hollywood award season and Black History Month, the ABFF Honors celebrates those in the black community who have made outstanding works of television and cinema.

Venerated stars including Fences director and star Denzel Washington and Queen Latifah received the Hollywood Legacy Award and the Entertainment Icon Award, respectively.

“I just try to tell the truth in all the work I’ve done in front of and behind the camera,” said Washington as he accepted his award.

Watch a clip from Washington’s acceptance speech:

And while Rising Star Award-winner Issa Rae is new to the scene, she focuses her energy on the same principle as the veteran Washington—creating true stories. Rae created the web series, Awkward Black Girl, to share her authentic voice.

“I’m so grateful that ABFF continues to remember us,” said Rae, referring to her community of black artists.

Watch the full speech below:

In addition to honoring these individual stars, the ABFF Honors presented Fences with the Movie of the Year Award, and Queen Sugar with Television Show of the Year.

 BET gave viewers a chance to weigh in on their favorite individuals, movies and TV shows created by black talent using the hashtag #BETFANREVIEW on Twitter and Instagram.

Take a look at the full list of winners, and watch the ceremony on BET.com.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 17: (L-R) Honorees Bernadette Speakes, Theodore Witcher, Larenz Tate, Lisa Nicole Carson, Nia Long, Leonard Roberts and Isaiah Washington accept the Classic Cinema Tribute for 'Love Jones' onstage during BET Presents the American Black Film Festival Honors on February 17, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Honorees Bernadette Speakes, Theodore Witcher, Larenz Tate, Lisa Nicole Carson, Nia Long, Leonard Roberts and Isaiah Washington accept the Classic Cinema Tribute for Love Jones. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

The Honorees

Hollywood Legacy Award: Denzel Washington

Rising Star Award: Issa Ray

Excellence in the Arts Award: F. Gary Gray

Excellence in the Arts Award: Terrance Howard

Entertainment Icon Award : Queen Latifah

Classic Cinema Tribute

Love Jones

Movie of the Year

Fences

Television Show of the Year

Queen Sugar

 

 

 

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