Black diversity in television had arguably been on the uptick for several years, but the success of shows like Scandal and Empire have created a surge in opportunities available to black actors in television. Aware of this fact, the Paley Center for Media hosted A Tribute to African-American Achievements in Television in New York City last night, celebrating the past, present and future of black success in TV.
The event also recognized the 35th anniversary of BET, as well as the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.
Speaking to PEOPLE on the red carpet, Phylicia Rashad had the following to say:
“Look at what’s happening today. It’s phenomenal. It’s outstanding. It’s amazing, it’s exciting. And not just for African Americans but for all of us because the programming is so unique. The programming is so innovative. It’s so stimulating, it gets us going.”
Kerry Washington, Cicely Tyson, Omari Hardwick, Oprah, Gabrielle Union, Brandy and more were in attendance. Check out their arrival photos below.