For Immediate Release
January 10, 2020
Contact Information

Sheila Harris

Michelle Huff Elliott | Simone Smalls
Strategic Heights Media

Aisha Becker-Burrowes

(BPRW) ESSENCE Celebrates Women Owning Their Narrative and Transforming the Art of Storytelling at “Black Women in Hollywood” Oscar-Week Celebration

Honorees: Niecy Nash, Melina Matsoukas, Lashana Lynch and TV Series Pose Billy Porter Joins Star-Studded Lineup of Presenters First-Ever ESSENCE House: Hollywood Edition Launches During Oscar Week

(Black PR Wire) NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- ESSENCE, the number one media, technology and commerce company dedicated to Black women globally, has unveiled the honorees for its highly-esteemed 2020 Black Women in Hollywood AwardsThe highly coveted invitation-only Oscar-week event—spotlighting Hollywood’s most renowned and accomplished women at the forefront of the industry—will be held on Thursday, February 6, 2020 at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, CA. This year’s theme, in honor of the brand’s 50th anniversary, will be a celebration of women owning, expanding and transforming the art of storytelling. ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood is presented by Ford and sponsored by AT&T Humanity of Connection, Geico, L’Oréal Paris and Netflix.

The 2020 illustrious Black Women in Hollywood honorees include: EMMY Award-winning actress, comedian, director and producer Niecy Nash (When They See Us, Claws, Kidnapped: The Kamiyah Mobley Story); DGA nominated director and two-time Grammy Award winning music video director Melina Matsoukas (Queen & Slim, Master of None’s “Thanksgiving”, “Formation” by Beyoncé); actress Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel and the upcoming No Time to Die); and the trailblazing cast and co-executive producer/director/writer of Pose (Janet Mock, Mj Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Dominique Jackson, Angelica Ross and Hailie Sahar). The star-studded list of presenters will include EMMY, GRAMMY and Tony award-winning actor Billy Porter (Pose, American Horror Story.Additional presenters will be announced at a later date.

“For fifty years, ESSENCE has remained committed to portraying and highlighting the triumphs, aspirations and dynamic lives of Black women," said Michelle Ebanks, CEO of ESSENCE Communications, Inc. "The ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood luncheon has become an amazing platform to recognize and honor the unparalleled talents of Black women in an industry that often hasn’t. We celebrate all of our honorees this year for their fearlessness and strength as they boldly continue to own their narratives and share our stories.”

“ESSENCE is thrilled to commemorate the creative and critical achievements of Black women as originators, nurturers, makers and creators during our 13th Black Women in Hollywood awards luncheon,” said MoAna Luu, ESSENCE Chief Content & Creative Officer. “Whether they’re reclaiming our culture or dismantling traditional gender ideas, each of our honorees uplift us as they present their unique gifts on the screen and behind the camera. As ESSENCE celebrates 50 years of the power of our presence, we are proud to salute them all.”

In addition, ESSENCE’s Oscar week activities will culminate with the launch of the inaugural ESSENCE House: Hollywood Edition, which will be held on Friday, February 7th. This communal space will provide a catalyst for diverse creatives to connect and collaborate through an interactive program. The event will feature a curated schedule of panels, workshops and screenings focused on uplifting emerging storytellers through the mentorship of established Hollywood movers and shakers. Scheduled speakers and participants include talent attorney Nina Shaw; celeb hairstylist Kim Kimble; filmmaker/author Nelson George, producer Nina Yang Bongiovi and more. For more on ESSENCE House: Hollywood Edition visit

ESSENCE’s January/February 2020 issue (on newsstands now) features 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 Luncheon. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @essence #BlackWomeninHollywood. Join in the discussion on Facebook.


Essence Communications is the number one media, technology and commerce company dedicated to Black women and inspires a global audience of more than 20 million through diverse storytelling and immersive original content. With a multi-platform presence in publishing, experiential and online, ESSENCE encompasses its signature magazine; digital, video and social platforms; television specials; books; as well as live events, including Black Women in Music, Black Women in Hollywood, Street Style and the ESSENCE Festival. Essence Communications is owned by Essence Ventures, an independent Black-owned, technology-driven company focused on merging content, community and commerce to meet the evolving cultural and lifestyle needs of people of color.

FOR PRESS ONLY: To apply for media credentials for Black Women in Hollywood, click here.

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