Black Hollywood was out in full-force in Los Angeles recently for American Black Film Festival (ABFF) Honors, which recognizes people, movies and television shows that have “had a significant impact on American entertainment” in addition to those who champion diversity and inclusion in Hollywood.
This year’s honorees included Issa Rae, from HBO’s Insecure, who received the “Rising Star Award,” director/producer F. Gary Gray, who was honored with the “Excellence in the Arts Award,” and actor Terrence Howard, who received the “Excellence in the Arts Award.” Denzel Washington was also honored with the “Hollywood Legacy Award” and Queen Latifah was the recipient of this year’s “Entertainment Icon Award.”
Hosted by actress Regina Hall, ABFF Honors also featured such presenters as Viola Davis, Common, Pharrell Williams, Lee Daniels, Morris Chestnut, Omari Hardwick and Anika Noni Rose.
In addition to the awards and acceptance speeches, ABFF recognized the 20th anniversary of the movie “Love Jones,” which received the “Classic Cinema Award.” To mark the award, Maxwell and Dionne Farris performed song from the film.
At the ceremony, ABFF Founder Jeff Friday spoke about his reasons for starting the honors ceremony. “I actually had this planned before the #OscarsSoWhite controversy — just for the record,” he said. “What I don’t want is for the viability and the credibility of this [ceremony] to ride on diversity. This is celebrating black culture and we should be able to do this regardless of what is happening in the industry.”
ABFF Honors was also attended by Cecily Tyson, Jay Ellis, Kofi Siroboe, Nia Long, Larenz Tate, Alexandra Shipp and Luke James.
The show will air on BET this Wednesday, February 22, at 8:00 p.m. EST.
Watch Denzel Washington get emotional during his ABFF acceptance speech below.