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ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Luncheon Salutes “The Power Of Our Presence”

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ESSENCE today announced the 8th Annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon honorees via an online press conference hosted by Access Hollywood correspondent Shaun Robinson and ESSENCE’s Editor-In-Chief Vanessa K. De Luca.

The 2015 Black Women in Hollywood Award will go to Adrienne C. Moore, Danielle Brooks, Laverne Cox, Lorraine Toussaint, Samira Wiley, Uzo Aduba, and Vicky Jeudy of the Emmy Award-winning series Orange Is The New Black (Vanguard Award); powerhouse actress/director Regina King (Fierce & Fearless Award); breakout British actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Lincoln Breakthrough of the Year Award) and Academy Award-nominated costume designer Ruth E. Carter (Visionary Award).

The Black Women in Hollywood luncheon will take place at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on February 19, 2015, to recognize the extraordinary achievements of trailblazing women in film and television.

“The past year has been a game-changer for women in Hollywood.  We are creating, performing and calling the shots,” said De Luca. “By recognizing our leading ladies both in front of and behind the camera, ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood illuminates the ‘Power of our Presence.'”

“ESSENCE embodies the diversity of our stories, and Black Women in Hollywood allows us to honor fresh and innovative storytelling, as well as groundbreaking portrayals,” added ESSENCE President Michelle Ebanks.  “This year we are proudly honoring seven brilliant actresses from the original hit series Orange is the New Black; a critically-acclaimed actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw; an accomplished performer and director with a career spanning three decades Regina King; and an inspirational creative talent Ruth E. Carter.”

2015 marks the 45th anniversary of ESSENCE magazine.  Since its inception in 1970, ESSENCE has been dedicated to the progress, uplifting and celebration of African-American women in all fields including film and entertainment.  Black Women in Hollywood commemorates the brand’s annual Hollywood issue (March), which will be available on newsstands on February 13th. is giving fans exclusive access to the style and substance of Black Women in Hollywood by live streaming all the red-carpet action, including interviews with the stars, starting at 11:00 a.m. PST/2:00 p.m. EST and re-airing that evening at 6 p.m. PST/9 p.m. EST.

Since its debut in 2008, the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood event has honored some of the most cherished figures in the industry, including: Oprah Winfrey, Lupita Nyong‘o, Ava Duvernay, Halle Berry, Viola Davis, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Angela Bassett, Queen Latifah, Alfre Woodard, Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson, Jennifer Hudson, Zoe Saldana, Mary J. Blige, Gabourey Sidibe, Quvenzhané Wallis, Jurnee Smollett, Ruby Dee, Diahann Carroll, Cicely Tyson, Loretta Devine, Naomie Harris, Gabrielle Union, Mara Brock-Akil, Gina Prince-Bythewood, and Suzanne de Passe.  As a highlight of Oscar week, this elegant luncheon has hosted much ofHollywood’s elite, including Tom Cruise, Will Smith, Amy Adams, Emma Stone, Samuel L. Jackson, Forest Whitaker, James Cameron,Terrence Howard and Laurence Fishburne, among many others.

Stay tuned to for highlights and behind-the-scenes access to ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood.  Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @essencemag #BlackWomeninHollywood.  Join in the discussion on Facebook.

The ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon is presented by Lincoln, and sponsored by Colgate® Optic White®, Geicoand L’Oreal Paris.

About Essence Communications Inc.:
Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) is the number one media company dedicated to African-American women, with a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events, and online.  The company’s flagship publication, ESSENCE magazine, is the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women; generating brand extensions such as the ESSENCE FestivalESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood and Black Women in MusicWindow on Our Women and Smart Beauty consumer insights series, the ESSENCE Book, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD). For 45 years, ESSENCE, which has a brand reach of 13.4 million, has been the leading source of cutting-edge information and specific solutions relating to every area of African-American women’s lives.  Additional information about ECI and ESSENCE is available at

SOURCE Essence Communications Inc.

Celebrity Events Fashion Star Style

Broadcast Film Critics Association Host Celebration of Black Cinema (Red Carpet Arrivals)

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The Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) hosted a Celebration of Black Cinema at the House of Blues last night. The evening included special performances by Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer and Judith Hill, from the critically-acclaimed documentary ’20 Feet From Stardom.’ Actress Bresha Webb, Dawnn Lewis and other stars were present at the House of Blues Sunset Strip on in West Hollywood.

The star-studded event celebrated this year in black cinema, and highlighted the unprecedented and historic flood of acclaimed films this year.

The even incorporated remarks given from prominent members of the black community.

BFCA member Shawn Edwards, a film critic at Fox 4 Kansas City and the founder of the website “I Love Black Movies,” conceived the original idea for the event.

This year more than 40 notable films and documentaries have opened, primarily written, directed and/or produced by black men and women, along with so many others featuring notable lead and supporting performances by black actors and actresses, the Association noted.

BFCA President Joey Berlin and KTLA’s Sam Rubin were Co-Executive Producers of the event.


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(Source: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images North America)

Celebrity Entertainment Events

Debbie Allen, Phylicia Rashad and Taraji P. Henson team up for a good cause

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One Night Only! Featuring Debbie Allen, Phylicia Rashad, Taraji P. Henson and Wendy Robinson
(Concert/ Performance)

Don’t Miss One Night Only! Featuring Debbie Allen, Phylicia Rashad, Taraji P. Henson and Wendy Robinson

Howard University will present a star-studded “One Night Only” Homecoming Gala Concert Cabaret on Saturday, Oct. 20 at Howard Theatre to raise funds for the renovation of Founders Library. The glamorous, entertaining and enlightening evening will be headlined by alums Debbie Allen, Phylicia Rashad, Taraji P. Henson, Wendy Robinson and Sean Combs. They will perform along with a list of friends from Broadway, film and television. Participants will then dance the night away at the Cabaret.

The Homecoming Gala Concert Cabaret is the beginning of a much larger effort that will coincide with the Centennial Celebration of the Moorland-Springarn Research Center and the 75th Anniversary of Founders Library.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit


[Photos courtesy of Getty]