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Essence Black Women In Hollywood Awards is hands down one of our favorite events during awards season and this years vibes were definitely high.

17th Annual Essence Black Women In Hollywood Awards

Source: Robin L Marshall / Getty Images for ESSENCE

The 17th annual ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood® Awards were held on Thursday, March 7, 2024 at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles.

Halle Bailey and Chloe Bailey attend 17th Annual Essence Black Women In Hollywood Awards

Source: Robin L Marshall / Getty Images for ESSENCE

Following a touching moment with her sister Chloe, Halle Bailey shared a soul-stirring speech reflecting on what she has described as her greatest achievement – being a mother to her son “Halo”.

“We are Black women in entertainment, and although we signed up for the challenges of the spotlight, in this current climate, that spotlight burns brighter, hotter, and uninterrupted, whereas the scrutiny of its magnification leaves no concealment,” she told the room.

“I’ve learned from that spotlight over the past eight years. I’ve also, if I’m being honest, been burned by it, too, as we all have,” she said, referencing the racist backlash she faced following the announcement she’d been cast as Ariel in The Little Mermaid.

Bailey acknowledged that while the role changed her life, “it cannot compare to the biggest joy of my life. And that was becoming a mom to my perfect little angel Halo.” She continued by opening up about her decision to keep her pregnancy private.

“There was no way in hell I was going to share the biggest joy of my world with anyone. Halo was my gift. He is the greatest blessing, and I had no obligation to expose him, me, or my family to that,” she shared.

“With the state of the world and the place it is in with men trying to force their will on our bodies, no one on social media, and for damn sure, no one on the planet, was going to tell me what to do with my body or what to share with the world,” she said.

“Do y’all remember when Prince Z David Marley [Zion David Marley], who came from a queen named Lauryn Hill, entered the world? Do you remember how private Beyoncé was about her pregnancy? We have that right,” she said. “Every woman in the world has that right to choose what to do with their bodies and what to share with anyone or everyone.”

“So thank you. Thank you to some of the strong women in my life, like my beautiful sisters standing here on the stage with me for setting examples in resilience, confidence, and independence,” she said.

Okay now Halle! That’s how you stand on business!

Hit the flip for more from the event.


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