Celebrate Excellence: ABFF Honors Denzel Washington, Queen Latifah, Issa Rae & More!


Photo credit: Getty Images for BET

The 2017 American Black Film Festival Honors was certainly one for the books!

The star-studded event, presented by BET, took place at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.

The very comedic and beautiful actress Regina Hall kept the audience thoroughly entertained with a number of funny jokes and hilarious monologues.

ABFF celebrates Black excellence and Black culture by honoring individuals with extraordinary achievement and individuals, movies, and television shows that have had a significant impact on American entertainment.

Actor and director Denzel Washington was honored with the “Hollywood Legacy Award,” musician and actress Queen Latifah with the “Entertainment Icon Award,” writer, producer and actress Issa Rae with the “Rising Star Award,” film director and producer F. Gary Gray with the “Excellence in the Arts Award” and actor, Terrence Howard with the “Excellence in the Arts Award.”

Those in attendance cheered with excitement each and every time a highlight reel of the the honoree’s accomplishments flashed on the screen. For most, it was moments of nostalgia as Denzel, Terrence, Queen Latifah, and F. Gary Gray have all had incredible longevity creating and or contributing to art, film, and performance staples in Black culture. Issa Rae was an inspiration to all as she served as a reminder that instead of waiting for your opportunity to come, you can go out and create it!

Viola Davis, Common, Pharrell Williams, Lee Daniels, Morris Chestnut, Omari Hardwick and Anika Noni Rose took the stage as presenters while Maxwell and Dionne Farris performed their hits “Sumthin’ Sumthin'” and “Hopeless” from the film “Love Jones,” which received the “Classic Cinema Award.”

Cecily Tyson took the stage to present Denzel Washington with his award, and Pharell Williams added his own magic to the evening as he presented Issa Rae with her honor. The cast of the New Edition Story biopic [Luke James, Keith Powers, Elijah Kelley], Jay Ellis, Kofi Siroboe, Nia Long, Larenz Tate, Alexandra Shipp, and many more were also in attendance.

The awards special was produced by ABFF Ventures founder Jeff Friday, Suzanne de Passe and Madison Jones for de Passe Jones Entertainment, Jesse Collins for Jesse Collins Entertainment, and Connie Orlando, Stephen G. Hill and Debra Lee for BET Networks.

ABFF Honors will air on BET tonight at 8:00pm E.T.! Make sure to tune in! Photos by Getty Images for BET.