Angela Bassett is being recognized for her decades of hard work in the entertainment industry.
On Tuesday, Jan. 8, Bassett was honored at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 14th Governors Awards.
She was the third honoree of the evening, being recognized for her performance in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which many expected to win her the Best Supporting Actress Oscar last year. Of course, that’s far from the only role Bassett deserves to be recognized for, also boasting credits including her portrayal of Tina Turner in What’s Love Got to Do with It along with Boyz n the Hood, Malcolm X, Waiting to Exhale and Black Panther.
Regina King, who co-starred on the sitcom 227 and then in Boyz N the Hood and How Stella Got Her Groove Back with Bassett, introduced the actress. King started by saying, “Tonight I have the honor of presenting an Academy Award to a national treasure,” adding that Bassett is “a sister to me.”
“Bottom line: Angela has lived a career for the ages, and I swear, she is ageless … She is artistic excellence embodied in human form,” King said to conclude her introduction.
Once she took the stage, Bassett gave King a sweet smear and gave an emotional speech about the Black actresses that came before her, highlighting the fact that she’s only the second Black actress to receive an honorary Academy Award.
“I have considered acting my calling and not just my career … to be recognized in this way for what I love doing is truly wonderful, and I am beyond grateful.” She said. “I have had to let it sink in that I am the second Black actress to receive an honorary Academy Award [after the late 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 went on to list the names of all the Black actresses who have won Oscars, calling them: “10 actresses who are makers of history in our industry.”
“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,” she said.
Bassett ended her speech by mentioning how hopeful she is for the future, sharing the award with other women who have stood up for themselves throughout their careers.
“I proudly share this honor with women who stand up when they are told to stand back, who speak up when they are silenced … these women represent those I have been honored to portray, as well as the everyday women who surround us and inspire us to keep striving,” she concluded. “The best is yet to come.”
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