US ACTRESS ANGELA BASSETT ACCEPTS THE ACADEMY HONORARY AWARD DURING THE ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS AND SCIENCES’ 14TH ANNUAL GOVERNORS’ AWARDS AT THE RAY DOLBY BALLROOM IN LOS ANGELES ON JANUARY 9, 2024. (PHOTO BY ROBYN BECK / AFP) (PHOTO BY ROBYN BECK/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES) 

SOURCE: essence.com 

The legendary actress Angela Bassett received her first Oscar at the 14th Annual Governor’s Awards on Tuesday, January 9. 

Held at the Ray Dolby Ballroom in Hollywood, the event was originally slated to take place in November of last year but was pushed to January due to the SAG-AFTRA strikes.  

Bassett was introduced by fellow Academy Award-winner Regina King, who spoke about the first time she met Angela, as well as their collaborations in the films Boyz N The Hood, and How Stella Got Her Groove Back. The One Night in Miami… director also heralded Bassett’s versatility on screen and closed with a beautiful expression of the honoree’s character both on and off-screen. 

US ACTRESS AND ACADEMY HONORARY AWARD RECIPIENT ANGELA BASSETT (L) GREETS BEFORE KISSING US ACTRESS REGINA KING DURING THE ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS AND SCIENCES’ 14TH ANNUAL GOVERNORS’ AWARDS AT THE RAY DOLBY BALLROOM IN LOS ANGELES ON JANUARY 9, 2024. (PHOTO BY ROBYN BECK / AFP) (PHOTO BY ROBYN BECK/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES) 

“So many times, I’ve heard people say that Angela is the very embodiment of Black excellence—but let me correct that,” King said. “She has a perspective and a voice, and beauty, that is unapologetically Black. But what she embodies at her core is beyond anything that is skin deep. She is artistic excellence, embodied in human form.” 

Bassett began her acceptance by offering gratitude to the people that helped throughout her life and career. She thanked her husband, Courtney B. Vance, her children, family members, colleagues and so many others. The 65-year-old also discussed the history of Black actresses in her position, followed by a call to action regarding the future of people of color in Hollywood. 

“This honor isn’t just for or about me,” Bassett said. “What I hope this moment means is that we are taking the necessary steps toward a future in which it is the norm, not the exception, to see and embrace one another’s full humanity, stories and perspectives. This must be our goal, and to always remember that there is room for us all.” 

Bassett concluded her speech with a quoted of the late poet Maya Angelou in saying, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” She also thanked the audience for allowing her to “make you see and feel” throughout her decade’s long tenure as an actress. 

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