Brian Tyree Henry: “I have never won anything in my life”

There were plenty of touching tributes and inspiring speeches at the recent 5th annual Celebration of Black Cinema and Television event. Held at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles and hosted by comedian and actor Bill Bellamy, the event recognized 15 categories as part of a star-studded night honoring standout achievements in Black filmmaking and television.

(L-R) Brian Tyree Henry and David Oyelowo

Actor Brian Tyree Henry (Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” Widows”), who received the Supporting Actor Award for the movie “Causeway,” talked about what led him to become an actor and how enriching acting has been. “I never felt more seen till I found acting,” shared the actor who also stated that the award is the first he has ever received. The award was presented to him by fellow actor and friend David Oyelowo.

Veteran actress Angela Bassett received the Career Achievement Award in honor of her extraordinary career while “Nanny” movie director Nikyatu Jusu received the Breakthrough Film Award which she dedicated to her father who died of cancer during filming. A moving Immigrant story, “Nanny” follows a Senegalese woman who hopes her new job as a nanny will help bring her young son to the United States and it stars Anna Diop.

Actor Jonathan Majors (“The Harder They Fall”) who portrays Jesse LeRoy Brown, the first Black aviator to complete the U.S. Navy’s basic flight training program, dedicated his actor award to the aviator.  “Every character offers you something and you have to strive for excellence in a society not meant for you to do so.”

Other honorees included Motown founder, songwriter, producer Berry Gordy who received the Icon Award, Nicco Annan who received the Actor Award for Television and Elegance Bratton who was presented with the Social Justice Award. Actress Quinta Brunson was given the Actress Award for Television, Ayo Edebiri received the “Rising Star” award and Danielle Deadwyler continued her winning streak receiving the Actress Award for Film for the movie “Till.”

The Melvin Van Peebles Trailblazer Award went to Michael B. Jordan and Gina Prince-Bythewood received the Director Award for the film “The Woman King” which was presented to her by Thuso Mbedu who stars in the movie.

Presenters and attendees included Kenya Barris, Andra Day, Suzanne De Passe, Billy Dee Williams, Jamaal Finkley, Sean Patrick Thomas, Nicole Brown, Nkechi Okoro Carroll, DeVon Franklin, Wakeema Hollis, Da’Vine Joy Randolph and actor Damien D. Smith who stars in the movie “Emancipation” alongside Will Smith.

Established in 2019, the Critics Choice Association is the largest critics organization in the United States and Canada, representing more than 580 media critics and entertainment journalists.

The 5th annual Celebration of Black Cinema & Television show will be televised on the KTLA Network in January and shown nationwide on Nexstar stations throughout the month of February in honor of Black History Month.

Samantha Ofole-Prince is a journalist and movie critic who covers industry-specific news that includes television and film. She serves as the Entertainment Editor for Trendy Africa. Photos by Rowe/Getty Images for IMDb

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