Cynthia, Sara, Smith And More At 2021 ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Awards

April 22, 2021

ESSENCE, the leading and only 100% Black-owned media, technology, and commerce company at scale dedicated to Black women and communities,

announces its full talent line-up for its 2021 ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards and 2nd annual Hollywood House.

Building on its years of providing platforms to ensure Black creatives “receive their flowers” for their
contributions to Hollywood and global culture, this year’s theme, “Mastering Our Stories,” will focus on the resiliency of Black women in Hollywood through the years—including during the unprecedented pandemic.

This year’s Black Women in Hollywood Awards presenters are comedian/actress Leslie Jones, actor Yahya Abdul Mateen II, activist Tarana Burke, and director Kasi Lemmons.

A variety of voices were also featured in the tribute videos for the honorees, including touching soundbites from: Danny Glover, Michael B. Jordan, Daniel Kaluuya, Janelle Monae, Billy Porter, Colman Domingo, Donald Glover, Danielle Brooks, Chloe & Halle Bailey, Algee Smith, Margaret Avery, Barbara Broccoli, Natasha Lyonne, Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin, Sara Haines, Meghan McCain and more.

The previously announced honorees are EGOT winner, producer, and entrepreneur Whoopi Goldberg (The View, The Stand); GRAMMY, EMMY and TONY Award-winning and OSCAR-nominated actress, singer, and producer Cynthia Erivo (Genius: Aretha, Harriet); EMMY Award-winning actress/producer Zendaya (Malcolm and Marie, Euphoria); writer, actress, and showrunner Michaela Coel (I May Destroy You); and Golden Globe winner, Oscar-nominated actress and GRAMMY-nominated singer Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday), who will also perform.

The event will be hosted by actress and producer Laverne Cox (Promising Young Woman and Disclosure).

ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood will be streamed as a virtual experience for the first time and will air Thursday, April 22, 2021, from 7-10 P.M. (ET) on and

ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood is presented by Ford and sponsored by American Airlines, Coca-Cola, Korbel and L’Oréal Paris.

In addition, ESSENCE’s Oscar week activities will culminate with its second annual ESSENCE Hollywood House, which will be held on Friday, April 23rd, 2021.

Hosted by actress Storm Reid (A Wrinkle in Time, The Invisible Man), participants include Aunjanue Ellis (Lovecraft Country), Marcus Scribner (black-ish), Adjoa Andoh (Bridgerton); Golda Rosheuval (Bridgerton), Charles D. King (CEO & Founder of MACRO and Producer of Judas and the Black Messiah); Christina Elmore (Twenties) and more.

ESSENCE Hollywood House was developed to provide compelling and engaging live content aimed at sparking meaningful conversation and action to drive more inclusion in Hollywood, as well as to provide an opportunity for Black creatives – aspiring and established – to educate, collaborate and empower one another with a purpose.

The experience features thought leaders, industry stakeholders, and members of the creative community including actors, directors, writers, showrunners, studio heads, and others who will lead a curated schedule of interactive conversations, virtual panels, masterclasses, fireside chats, and more.

It will be featured on and on Friday, April 23rd, 2021 at 7 P.M. (ET). ESSENCE Hollywood House is sponsored by American Airlines, Coca-Cola and L’Oréal Paris.

ESSENCE’s upcoming May/June 2021 issue (on newsstands in April) will feature its annual Black Women in Hollywood package highlighting each honoree.

Stay tuned to for highlights and behind-the-scenes access to the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards and ESSENCE Hollywood House.

Related: The new Essence magazine May – June 2021, “The Year That Changed the World” cover.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @essence #BlackWomeninHollywood.

Join in the discussion on Facebook.

For more details on the 2021 ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards, visit

ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood and ESSENCE Hollywood House are produced by ESSENCE Communications, Inc..

Photo credit: Cynthia Erivo.

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