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Aja Naomi King receives Lincoln Shining Star Award at ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood

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The Lincoln Motor Company returned this year as an exclusive automotive sponsor for ESSENCE’s tenth annual Black Women in Hollywood event held last Thursday in Beverly Hills. 2017 marks the eighth consecutive year Lincoln has been the exclusive automotive sponsor for the event.

This year’s event celebrated black excellence in film honoring singer and breakout actress Janelle Monae, producer Issa Rae, Black-Ish star Yara Shahidi and How To Get Away With Murder actress Aja Naomi King. King was presented the Lincoln Shining Star Award by her co-stars Viola Davis and Alfred Enoch.

Kenya Freeman, lead designer for Sylvia Mollie created custom dresses inspired Lincoln Black Label for Lincoln Art of Arrival contest winner, Adeola Bakre, and Lincoln Blogger Bar host and author Demetria Lucas D’Oyley. The designs pulled inspiration from Black Label themes Rhapsody in Blue (Bakre) and Center Stage (D’Oyley).

“This year’s honorees embodied class and elegance similar to our flagship vehicle, the all-new Lincoln Continental,” said Raj Register, multicultural communications manager, Lincoln.

Celebrities like Alfred Enoch, Cynthia Ervio, Loretta Devine, Laverne Cox and Debbie Allen arrived at the star-studded event in the latest lineup of Lincoln vehicles including 2017 Lincoln MKZ and Continental.

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Essence To Honor Janelle Monae, Issae Rae, Yara Shahidi and Aja Naomi at The 10th Annual Black Women In Hollywood Gala

Time Inc.’s (NYSE:TIME) Essence, the preeminent brand for African-American women, will commemorate the 10th anniversary of its esteemed Black Women in Hollywood Awards—the annual Oscar-week celebration at the forefront of spotlighting Hollywood’s most creative and accomplished visionaries. Shifting from a daytime luncheon to a resplendent evening gala for the first time, the red carpet ceremony will be held at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, CA, on Thursday, February 23, 2017.

The Awards & Gala will honor Hollywood’s “Next Generation”—young women who are excelling and elevating their crafts—including triple-threat actress/musician/entertainer Janelle Monáe (Breakthrough Award); groundbreaking actress/writer/producer Issa Rae (Vanguard Award); standout actress Aja Naomi King (Lincoln Shining Star Award); and dynamic actress Yara Shahidi (Generation Next). Actress/Producer Gabrielle Union will serve as the program’s host.

“For the past decade, the “Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards have paid homage to our modern image-makers—both in front of the camera and behind the scenes,” said Essence Editor-in-Chief Vanessa K. De Luca. “This past year has been an exceptional one for diversity in film and television, and with the incredible contributions of Janelle, Issa, Aja and Yara, it is fitting that our 10th anniversary will honor the future of Hollywood and its continued steps on the path to inclusion.”

Also for the first time, internationally acclaimed visual artist and filmmaker Mickalene Thomas will be infusing the event with her elaborate imagery celebrating the power of female beauty as a facet of women’s empowerment.

Since its inception in 2008, the “Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards have 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, Naomie Harris, Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson, Jennifer Hudson, Zoe Saldana, Alfre Woodard, Regina King, Gabrielle Union, Tracee Ellis Ross, Debbie Allen, Nina Shaw, Mary J. Blige, Gabourey Sidibe, Quvenzhané Wallis, Jurnee Smollett, Ruby Dee, Diahann Carroll, Cicely Tyson, Loretta Devine, Mara Brock Akil, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ruth E. Carter, Nina Shaw, Gina Prince-Bythewood and Suzanne de Passe.

As a highlight of Oscar week, this elegant awards celebration has hosted many of Hollywood’s elite, including Chris Rock, 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 Essence.com for highlights and behind-the-scenes access to the “Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards & Gala.” Follow them on Twitter and Instagram @essence #BlackWomeninHollywood. Join in the discussion on Facebook.

The gala is presented by The Lincoln Motor Company and sponsored by AT&T, Coca-Cola, Colgate Optic White, GEICO, L’Oréal Paris, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Walmart.

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Entertainment

We Love: Essence Debuts #BlackGirlMagic Issue For Black History Month

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In celebration of Black History Month Essence magazine announced their first #BlackGirlMagic issue. The aptly named issue aims to highlight trailblazing women of color who are shaping the future. #BlackGirlMagic’s Class of 2016 cover stars include actresses Teyonah Parris of Chi-Raq and Yara Shadidi of Black-ish, alongside activist Johnetta “Netta” Elzie.

“Being a part of this reemergence of a movement both pro-diversity and pro-woman is the best part of being a black girl,” 16-year-old Shahidi told Essence.

Other notable women of color being honored as part of Essence’s “Class of 2016” include Aja Naomi King, Bree Newsome, Willow Smith, Zendaya, and Quvenzhane Wallis. These amazing women are being recognized for they have accomplished in their respective fields. The issue hits newsstands everywhere Friday, Jan. 8th.

Source: Essence

By: Arlene Danna