Essence‘s sixth annual Black Women in Hollywood luncheon was a day to celebrate black women making waves in the entertainment business, but the night was dedicated to one media heavyweight in particular – Oprah Winfrey.
The stars came out in droves to support the Queen of Talk.
“This is the most authentic Hollywood event that will happen all Oscar week. This is a room like none other,” said Holly Robinson Peete. “A lot of emotion. There’s a collective sense of empowerment.”
It was even felt by the men who were there, Mehcad Brooks and Blair Underwood among them.
“I have to say the solidarity in the room here today is a huge example to us men,” said David Oyelowo, who plays Oprah’s son in the upcoming film The Butler and helped present the Power Award to her. He was joined by girls from her South Africa school, who referred to her as “Mom Oprah.”
“And I never wanted to be a mother!” said Oprah, taking the stage. “I am humbled by this day.” She noted that she grew up with Essence. “What a thrill and a delight to see yourself reflected on the pages when you are a young, growing woman. … Essencewas my bible.”
She said it was the first national magazine to offer her a cover. “When it came out, it said I was a self-made millionaire and it said how much money I was going to make that year and I said, ‘Whoa.’ ” And then, she said, that “came true.”
She added, “There’s nothing better than being honored by your own.”
Recalling her TV show days, she said that no matter what the subject matter of the day, “at the end of every interview, the person always in some way said, “Was that OK? Was that all right? What I learned over the years is that really is what we’re all looking for — is to know that we are seen, we are heard, that what we say means something.” And, “Everybody wants to know that they matter.”
As she accepted the Power Award, she closed with “I’m grateful that you have seen me and you have heard me and that what I have said has mattered.”
Check out photos from the event below!
via USA Today