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.
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.
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 (@BET) February 21, 2017
Take a look at the full list of winners, and watch the ceremony on BET.com.
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
Movie of the Year
Television Show of the Year