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Honoring The Incomparable Diahann Carroll

Diahann Carroll has paved the way and opened countless doors for women of color in entertainment for the past 60 years. Did you know she was the first African American woman to win a Tony Award for “Best Actress”  for the stage play, “No Strings”. The “Julia” and “Dynasty” star is also an Emmy winner as well as a Golden Globe and Oscar nominee. During the ABFF Awards, she was honored by Kerry Washington, Loretta Devine and Keke Palmer. “She is a beloved legend and a true shero. So grateful that I got to be at ABFF with her and for her” said Kerry.

As the 80-year-old legend accepted her honor, the former Civil Rights activists said, “Sometimes you have to break rules to get what you need… but you have to know the rules before you break them!” She also talked about the importance of taking risks and living your best life. “Whatever you feel strongly about…do it. Because you only have one trip. There’s no return ticket.”

Straight Outta Compton 

Ice Cube and Oshea Jackson Jr., the producer and star of Straight Outta Compton took the stage to accept the award for “Film Of The Year”. The former NWA co-founder turned family man got sentimental when he said, “I just want us to celebrate one another and love each other.”

Ice Cube also took a moment to throw some subtle shade at the Academy Awards and #OscarsSoWhite. “Much of the current controversy is about the lack of acknowledgement. Tonight, we do it ourselves…This is our favorite award, we aren’t worried about any other awards” added Cube.

Don Cheadle

We’re almost certain that you have to be very near and dear to Robert Downey Jr. for him to honor you. “Iron Man” was in the building to pay homage to the prolific career of Don Cheadle. Having starred in such iconic films as “Devil In A Blue Dress”, “The Rat Pack”, “Hotel Rwanda”, “Crash” and the forthcoming Miles Davis biopic, “Miles Ahead”, the 51-year-old is more than deserving of being recognized.

During his speech he said, “I’ve been fortunate to have a very varied career and to play a multiplicity of roles and not be boxed in. I hope in some small part those kinds of representations can continue to be an example for all of us that we aren’t locked in, we aren’t boxed in… We can get our stories out to people in our own ways.”

“Yes we will keep knocking on that door, yes we will keep pushing that rock but that’s been the way it’s been forever….I believe we’re going to see a watershed moment where we aren’t talking about what this one looks like and what that one looks like, we’re just talking about good stories.”

Regina King’s Political Stance

Having recently won an Emmy for “Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Limited Series” for “American Crime” Regina King is thriving as an actress. She also seems to have found her stride as a successful director with episodes of “Scandal”, “Being Mary Jane” and “Southland” on her resume. During her acceptance speech, the “Excellence in the Arts Award” recipient made it known that 45 is the new 25! “I am so young, I’m being honored and I have so much more to do!” While some actors shy away from expressing their political beliefs, she also included the powerful statement. “Black Lives Matter to Me [and] Black lives need to matter to Black people.”

Ryan Coogler’s Humility

The rise of Ryan Coogler is incredible. The 29-year-old has accomplished some amazing feats in recent years. After his indie film “Fruitvale Station” starring Michael “Bae” Jordan, he had a bonafide knock out at the box office with his film “Creed”. Now he’s preparing to make history as Marvel’s first black director of a superhero franchise with the 2018 film “Black Panther”.

When you’re working as hard as Ryan, we think it’s okay to stand in your glory and have a braggadocious moment every now and then. Even Don Cheadle sung his praises when he said, “I want to be Ryan Coogler when I grow up.” As he accepted his “Rising Star Award”, we love when Ryan said, “I’m not a star, but I’m going to take this award as encouragement!” Humility, that smile and that beard will take you far Ryan, we’re rooting for you!

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