Mary J. Blige and Queen Latifah are among four women set to be honored at Essence magazine’s third annual Essence Black Women in Hollywood luncheon. Set to take place March 4, 2010, Essence Black Women in Hollywood will also honor actress Zoe Saldana and ‘Precious’ star Gabourey Sidibe. “Our annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon is taking on special meaning in 2010 as we are celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Essence magazine by paying homage to phenomenal women throughout the year,” said Essence editor-in-chief Angela Burt-Murray. “We are proud to carry the Essence legacy into the future by honoring the accomplishments of such brilliant performers as Latifah, Zoe, Mary J., and Gabourey, whose incredible talent and sheer grit are serving to change the face of Hollywood.” The ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon is an annual event to honor African-American women, who through their work in Hollywood–both in front of the camera and behind-the-scenes–have helped to change and inspire positive images of Black women in television and film. The red-carpet celebration, which simultaneously exudes old-Hollywood glamour and modern style, also commemorates ESSENCE magazine’s annual Hollywood issue. The inaugural event, which took place in 2008, honored Jada Pinkett-Smith (Power Award), Ruby Dee (Legend Award), Suzanne de Passe (Visionary Award) and Jurnee Smollett (Star to Watch Award), and hosted A-List stars including Will Smith, Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Kerry Washington, Star Jones and more. In 2009, celebrities such as Terrence Howard, Samuel L. Jackson, and Queen Latifah, to name a few, were on hand to fete honorees including Halle Berry (Power Award), Diahann Carroll (Legend Award), Gina Prince-Bythewood (Visionary Award), and Taraji P. Henson (Star to Watch Award), with a posthumous honor given to Eartha Kitt.
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