“What a difference a year makes, for Black people,” declared two-time Emmy-winning actor Sterling K. Brown, who was honored by the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) Saturday for the second consecutive year for his performance on NBC’s “This Is Us.” “Last year we were having fun,” Brown pointed out in his poignant acceptance speech, adding that “we were all together under one roof, celebrating one another in person, hugs, handshakes, etc. and now we’re a bit more separate. But our lives matter.”
In a prelude to what we can expect at the Emmys next month, AAFCA live streamed its 2nd Annual AAFCA TV Honors as a responsible socially-distanced virtual ceremony today that was high on emotion and star power. The show was a slick and often very moving affair, celebrating the best of the year in television and streaming, hosted by comedian and actor Aida Rodriguez. Watch the video above.
In addition to celebrity presenters like Rashida Jones, Octavia Spencer, William Jackson Harper, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Derek Luke and Tichina Arnold, the virtual awards ceremony also celebrated the extraordinary work of first responders, government leaders, firefighters, reporters, and others from around the country by featuring local heroes as presenters during the event. A portion of the proceeds from the event were donated to the National Association of Black Journalists’ Covid-19 Relief Fund.
The star-studded virtual ceremony featured a number of highlights that underlined the achievements of people of color on our TV screens this past season. “Insecure” writer, director and showrunner Prentice Penny accepted the award for Best Comedy Series for the HBO comedy, which is still riding high with eight nominations including a Best Comedy Series nod at the Emmys this year. Penny was visibly moved “to be honored by your own people, who know and see you and understand what you’re trying to do.”
“I truly believe that telling our stories is a revolutionary act,” director Janet Mock declared, as she accepted the special ADCOLOR Breakout Creative of the Year award from “Pose” actors Mj Rodriguez, Angelica Ross and Indya Moore. “This is what stories do. They let us know that no matter how invisiblized, how misunderstood, unique and marginalized, we are worthy. We are worthy of being seen, we are worthy of being heard, we are worthy of taking up space on screen and in the streets.”
The full list of winners this year:
Best Animated Series: “Central Park” (Apple TV+)
Best Young Adult Series: “Never Have I Ever” (Netflix)
Best Short Form: “I Promise” (Quibi)
AAFCA ADCOLOR Breakout Creative of the Year: Janet Mock, “Pose” & “Hollywood” (Netflix)
Best Docuseries: “Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children” (HBO) and “The Last Dance” (ESPN Films/Netflix)
Best TV Movie: “The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel” (Lifetime)
Breakthrough Performers: Jeremy Pope / Laura Harrier “Hollywood” (Netflix)
Best Male Performance: Sterling K. Brown “This is Us” (NBC)
Best TV Comedy: “Insecure” (HBO)
Best TV Drama: “For Life” (ABC)
Inclusion Award: MACRO Television Studios
Best Actress: Viola Davis, “How to Get Away with Murder” (ABC)
TV Icon Award: Kenya Barris, creator of “Black-ish” (ABC) and “#blackAF” (Netflix)
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