On Tuesday, Angela Bassett graced the red carpet in a stunning ensemble as she was bestowed with an honorary Oscar at the 14th Governors Awards in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the film industry.
Academy President Janet Yang praised Bassett in a press release, stating, “Across her decades-long career, Angela Bassett has continued to deliver transcendent performances that set new standards in acting.”
Reflecting on the historic moment, she acknowledged, “I am the second Black actress to receive an honorary Academy Award [after Cicely Tyson], and I hope that she is smiling from the heavens that I’m able to join her in that circle of recognition.”
Bassett used her platform to shine a light on the trailblazing Black female actors who paved the way for others. In her speech, she mentioned Hattie McDaniel and Whoopi Goldberg, emphasizing their influence and expressing gratitude. “I call their names to acknowledge every one of them this evening for being beacons of possibility and hope for little Black and Brown girls who aspire to one day pursue the dream of becoming an actor.”
The seasoned actor, whose career began in the mid-1980s, concluded her speech with an empowering message to her fellow Black actresses: “To all my fellow Black actresses, fill your hearts with courage and strength because, regardless of what you may think or see or feel, our contributions do matter.”
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