Essence will honor Janell Monae at the 10th anniversary of its esteemed “Black Women in Hollywood Awards & Gala” at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, CA, on February 23rd.
The Awards & Gala will honor Hollywood’s “Next Generation” honors young women who are excelling and elevating their crafts. Along with Janelle Monáe, who will receive the Breakthrough Award, other honoree include groundbreaking actress/writer/producer Issa Rae (Vanguard Award), standout actress Aja Naomi King (Lincoln Shining Star Award), and dynamic actress Yara Shahidi (Generation Next). Actress/Producer Gabrielle Union will serve as the program’s host.
“For the past decade, the “Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards” have paid homage to our modern image-makers—both in front of the camera and behind the scenes,” said Essence Editor-in-Chief Vanessa K. De Luca. “This past year has been an exceptional one for diversity in film and television, and with the incredible contributions of Janelle, Issa, Aja and Yara, it is fitting that our 10th anniversary will honor the future of Hollywood and its continued steps on the path to inclusion.”
Monae plays real-life mathematician Mary Jackson in Hidden Figures, one of the black women behind the success of the NASA’s space program in the 1960s. The film is up for three Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and through actress Octavia Spencer who’s nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Dorothy Vaughn.