Yesterday at Essence magazine's sixth annual Black Women in Hollywood awards luncheon, tears flowed as honorees took the stage.
According to the Washington Post, Oprah cried, writer-producer Mara Brock-Akil cried, and Gabrielle Union "moved the audience," which leads one to believe everyone wept as she talked about being fearless. Sniffle. But before any of that happened, the stars were all smiles on the red carpet as they posed so we could check out what they wore. Let's take a look!
Grey jackets, freckles, eyes, so much handsome: Common and Michael Ealy are making me swoon.
Also looking dapper: True Blood's Mehcad Brooks and Wendell Pierce from The Wire and Treme. Hey, remember when Brooks was modeling underwear? Good times.
Quiet neutrals: Lorraine Toussaint, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Salli Richardson Whitfield.
Graphic prints: Jill Marie Jones, C.C.H. Pounder, Loretta Devine.
Odd bra-thing on LaLa Anthony's dress, but the dresses on Golden Brooks and Tracey Edmonds are cute and perfect for a power lunch.
Gorgeous gray silk with butterflies on Jurnee Smollett-Bell. Also digging the drapey comfort factor Meagan Good's dress offers.
Whoa, Jill Scott's glasses and tux jacket. Too cool. Sanaa Lathan's flirty frock is that hard-to-do combo of sexy and adorable.
Jackets and skinny pants for Tichina Arnold and Keke Palmer. Awesomely bright shoes here.
Showing off the gams: Claudia Jordan, Anika Noni Rose, Persia White.
Singing the blues: Yvette Nicole Brown, Tatyana Ali.
Completely in love with bright reds and pinks right now, so for me, these three shades have got to be the best colors in the bunch: rosy/azalea pink on Shanola Hampton, whom I adore on Shameless; vivid red on Star Jones, and hot hot pink on Shaun Robinson.
The gown Garcelle Beauvais is wearing seems a little formal for lunch. The checkery print dress on Tracee Ellis Ross is pretty perfect. Tia Mowry wins points for the colors, if not the shape of her dress.
Springy and chic: Kelly Rowland, Laila Ali.
Emerald is the color of 2013, and Gabrielle Union is on it. WaPo reports:
Actress Gabrielle Union moved the audience as she accepted the Fierce & Fearless award. Union said she had long pretended to be fierce and fearless but actually reveled in gossip and "took joy in people's pain and tap-danced on their misery." She said she posed for photos in such a way to "minimize my blackness" and didn't speak out against racism in school or in Hollywood when she was younger.
"Real fearless and fierce women admit mistakes and work to correct them," she said. "We stand up and we use our voices for things other than self-promotion. We don't stand by and let racism and sexism and homophobia run rampant on our watch. Real fierce and fearless women celebrate and compliment other women and we recognize and embrace the notion that their shine in no way diminishes our light, and actually makes our light shine brighter."
Holly Robinson Peete, class act.
White was a big color at this event. Here are three different versions, on Wendy Rachel Robinson, Niecy Nash and Naomie Harris.
Queen Oprah and Alfre Woodard also wore white. From the Washington Post:
Woodard said she always recognized herself in the pages of Essence and recalled that when she and actresses C.C.H. Pounder and Loretta Divine first arrived in Hollywood, "they didn't know what to do with (us)."
"We were young and gifted and looking way the hell black," Woodard said. "And we still have our original noses!"
The best pale-hued dresses were on Naomi Campbell and Tamera Mowry. Naomi's fit-and-flare is such a cute daytime look; Tamera's fitted retro sheath with a keyhole and slit is va-va-voom.
WE INTERRUPT THIS PROGRAM FOR A VERY IMPORTANT PUPPY PURSE ALERT. REPEAT: PUPPY. PURSE. ALERT. Quvenzhané Wallis for the win!