By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act January 26, 2012 at 11:58AM
Announced earlier today...
Taking place on February 23, 2012 at the Beverly Hills Hotel, ESSENCE will celebrate five extraordinary women who have left an indelible impression with their work within the film and television industries: Kerry Washington (Vanguard Award), Octavia Spencer (Breakthrough Performance), Pam Grier (Legend Award), Paula Patton (Shining Star Award) and Shonda Rhimes (Visionary Award presented by Lincoln). This star-studded event commemorates ESSENCE magazine's annual Hollywood issue and in honor of the fifth anniversary, Essence.com is giving fans exclusive access to all the red-carpet celebrity style, action and interviews via live stream from 11:30am to 12:30pm PST and re-airing that evening at 9:00pm EST.
"Black women actors, writers, directors and producers still lack diverse opportunities in Hollywood and, unfortunately, are often overlooked during awards season," commented ESSENCE Editor-in-Chief Constance White. "The ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon exists to provide a fitting tribute to the brilliant talent and accomplishments of African-American trailblazers like Kerry, Pam, Paula, Octavia and Shonda and celebrate their collective work as an inspiration for generations to come."
Since its commencement in 2008, ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood has honored Halle Berry, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Angela Bassett, Queen Latifah, Taraji P. Henson, Viola Davis, Jennifer Hudson, Zoe Saldana, Mary J. Blige, Gabourey Sidibe, Jurnee Smollett, Ruby Dee, Diahann Carroll, Cicely Tyson, Loretta Devine, Gina Prince-Bythewood, and Suzanne de Passe. As one of the most highly anticipated events during Oscar week, this A-List event has hosted some of Hollywood's elite, including Tom Cruise, Will Smith, Amy Adams, Samuel L. Jackson, Forest Whitaker, James Cameron, and Laurence Fishburne, among many others.
Stay tuned to Essence.com for highlights and behind-the-scenes access to ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood. Follow us on Twitter @essenceonline #EssenceBWIH. Join in the discussion on Facebook.