The festival, presented by Nice Crowd, has announced their sixth annual American Black Film Festival Honors event, which recognizes “excellence in the motion picture and television industry.” The awards ceremony will take place March 3 at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills and hosted by comedian Tommy Davidson.
Morris, the first Black cast member of Saturday Night Live, will receive the Hollywood Legacy Award. According to the festival, the award is presented “to a trailblazing artist whose work (four decades or more) has inspired generations and made an enduring contribution to film and television.” Aside from pioneering for Black comedians at Saturday Night Live, Morris has gone on to have an illustrious film and television career, including starring in iconic sitcoms like Martin, The Jamie Foxx Show, and most recently, 2 Broke Girls.
Henson, who recently starred in Blitz Bazawule’s adaptation of The Color Purple, and American Fiction star Jeffrey Wright will each receive the Excellence in the Arts Award. The awards, one for female actors and one for male actors, highlights the works of “a highly acclaimed artist in recognition of their body of work and distinguished career achievement.”
Henson has starred in Academy Award-nominated films including The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Hustle & Flow, and Hidden Figures. She has also starred in the hit FOX musical drama Empire. Meanwhile, Wright has starred in HBO’s high-concept adaptation of Westworld as well as portrayed artist Jean-Michel Basquiat in the biopic Basquiat. He has also starred in films such as Rustin, Asteroid City, The Batman, No Time to Die, The French Dispatch, and more.
Brock Akil will receive the Industry Visionary Award as a “trendsetting content creator” who has contributed “outstanding work and commitment to championing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the motion picture and television industry through their work.” Brock Akil is best known for her writing and producing of The CW classic Black sitcom Girlfriends. She has also created other drama series featuring Black women including The Game and Being Mary Jane.
The ABFF Fan Favorite Movie of the Year will also be presented during the awards ceremony. This year’s nominees include A Thousand and One, American Fiction, Origin, The Color Purple, They Cloned Tyrone and The Equalizer 3.
Nice Crowd CEO Jeff Friday and president Nicole Friday said this year’s honorees are people who have all contributed to their industry and to their audiences.
“For decades, these esteemed ABFF Honorees have elevated their projects, and brought joy to audiences across the world,” they said. “It is our honor to recognize Garrett, Taraji, Jeffery and Mara for all their contributions to culture and the industry throughout their remarkable careers. We look forward to celebrating their many achievements and gathering with our fantastic ABFF partners.”