Thursday kept to tradition as Oprah Winfrey, Lupita Nyong’o, director Ava DuVernay and others presided over an emotional luncheon that gave awards and affirmations to standout black women including members of the cast of “Orange is the New Black,” actressGugu Mbatha-Raw and actress-director Regina King.
“I promised my sister I was going to keep it together. I lied,” quipped a misty King — whose vast credits include “Southland,” “Shameless,” ”Boyz in the Hood,” ”Ray” and “Jerry McGuire” — as she accepted the Fierce and Fearless Award.
The Essence luncheon, which will be televised for the first time Saturday by the OWN network, has become one of Oscar week’s most prestigious events. It started eight years ago to recognize the achievements of black women — key in an industry where they are underrepresented in mainstream roles, from acting to directing. Most of the honorees shed tears, as did some in the audience.
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