Angela Bassett won the award for Best Supporting Actress at the Critics Choice Awards 2023 for her performance in ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.’
During her acceptance speech, Angela thanked fans and several members of her “Disney and Marvel family,” including Wakanda Forever director/co-writer Ryan Coogler and the late Chadwick Boseman, who starred as King T’Challa in the first film and died in 2020 after a 4-year battle with cancer,.
“We couldn’t have made history, then and now, without you.”
Of all her colleagues on the Black Panther films, Bassett said, “We showed the world that we could create and lead a billion-dollar box-office success. And my prayer is that that door remains open and the sky is the limit for other Black creators and storytellers around the world to join us.”
Earlier in her speech, Angela recalled the moment she “fell in love with acting,” while “on a school trip to Washington, D.C., watching James Earl Jones in a production of Of Mice and Men at the Kennedy Center.”
“I knew in that moment that this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to be able to make people feel the way that I felt, stirring in my seat as those actors drew me in, scene by scene, into their story,” she said.
And while Bassett “didn’t know what the path would look like even after[she] got to Yale drama school,” and “wasn’t sure what might be reasonably possible,” she is grateful for the “giants” in the industry who paved the way — namely, “Black actresses with extraordinary talent, like Ruby Dee and Cicely Tyson, Rosalind Cash and Diahann Carroll.”
“It was their extraordinary work that showed me that there was a place for me in this business of show, especially at a time where Black women weren’t shown in a significant way, oftentimes — not really present on television or the big screen. But thank God for them,” she said.