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Personal struggle followed by triumph is a consistent narrative throughout Black History and some of this year’s highly acclaimed television shows and films, including Fences, Hidden FiguresMoonlight and Loving. 

Hidden Figures tells the story of three African American female mathematicians (Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae and Taraji P. Henson) who became the brains behind astronaut John Glenn’s launch into orbit.

Then there’s Loving, the story of a Black woman played by Ruth Negga, who fought for the legalization of interracial marriages. And of course, Fences, the story about a man whose dream of being a famous baseball player was stripped away.

Needless to say, not only did these films create a conversation about overcoming adversity, but they also dominated the box office.

So on Wednesday night, the African American Film Critic’s Association celebrated the season’s biggest movies and stars, including Fences castmates Viola Davis and Denzel Washington and Loving’s, Negga.

“A lot of people complain about us constantly showing tragedy,” Queen Sugar’s Timon Durrett told HipHollywood while on the red carpet. “But that’s whats made a lot of us strong.”

During the awards show, the association also celebrated the 50-year-anniversary of Sidney Poitier’s classic, Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, a movie that tackled the controversial conversation surrounding interracial marriages. “Sidney asked Stanley ‘do you think the country is ready for this kind of story,”” Karen Kramer, the wife of the film’s late director, Stanley Kramer told us. “He said ‘no, but we are going to make it anyway.'”

Kramer went on to add that they did a “beautiful job with Loving.

See the full list of AAFCA Award winners and honorees below.

FILM

BEST PICTURE : MOONLIGHT – (A24)

BEST DIRECTOR: BARRY JENKINS, MOONLIGHT – (A24)

BEST ACTOR: DENZEL WASHINGTON, FENCES– (Paramount)

BEST ACTRESS: RUTH NEGGA, LOVING – (Focus Features)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: MAHERSHALA ALI, MOONLIGHT – (A24)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: VIOLA DAVIS, FENCES (Paramount)

BEST ENSEMBLE: THE Cast of HIDDEN FIGURES (20TH Century Fox)

BREAKOUT PERFORMANCE 2017 – Janelle Monae for MOONLIGHT AND HIDDEN FIGURES

BEST INDEPENEDENT FILM: “MOONLIGHT” (A24)

BEST ANIMATION FILM; ZOOTOPIA (Disney)

BEST SONG – “VICTORY” from HIDDEN FIGURES (20th Century Fox)

BEST DOCUMENTARY – 13th (Netflix)

BEST FOREIGN FILM – TANNA (Lightyear Entertainment)

BEST SCREENPLAY – AUGUST WILSON, FENCES – (Paramount)

TV

BEST TV SHOW (Drama) – QUEEN SUGAR – OWN

BEST TV SHOW (Comedy) – ATLANTA – FX

BEST TV SHOW (CABLE/NEW MEDIA – UNDERGROUND – WGN

BEST TV SHOW (Special/Limited Series) – LEMONADE – HBO

AAFCA Top Ten Films of 2016 are as follows in order of distinction:

1.       MOONLIGHT – A24

2.      FENCES – Paramount

3.      HIDDEN FIGURES – 20th Century Fox

4.      LION – The Weinstein Company

5.      LALA LAND – Lionsgate

6.      BIRTH OF A NATION – Fox Searchlight

7.      LOVING – Focus Features

8.      MANCHESTER BY THE SEA – Roadside Attraction/Amazon Studios

9.      HELL OR HIGH WATER – Liongsgate/CBS Films

10.  QUEEN OF KATWE – Walt Disney Pictures/ESPN Films

AAFCA Top Ten TV shows of 2016 are as follows in order of distinction:

1.       QUEEN SUGAR – OWN

2.      UNDERGROUND – WGN

3.      ATLANTA – FX

4.      INSECURE – HBO

5.      LUKE CAGE – NETFLIX

6.      THIS IS US – NBC

7.      BLACKISH – ABC

8.      THE GET DOWN – NETFLIX

9.      WESTWORLD – HBO

10.  SURVIVOR’S REMORSE – STARZ

EXCLUSIVES

Cocktails & Coins! Inside Aisha Tyler’s Wild Life After Divorce & Departure From ‘The Talk’

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Aisha Tyler went through a few MAJOR life changes over the past two years and now, the actress is back on top living life to the fullest.

In 2016, Tyler’s college love and husband of 20 years, Jeff Tietjens, filed for divorce from the actress. As if that weren’t an emotional challenge to overcome, Tyler was then ordered to pay Tietjens $31,250 a month in spousal support for the next four years, plus a lump sum of $500k.

Following the emotional split, Tyler’s career then took a big turn when she walked away from CBS’s The Talk. Just eight months ago, the actress left the show to pursue other passions. “I also have three other series (Criminal Minds, hosting Whose Line Is It Anyway? and voicing a character on Archer),” the actress said during the big announcement. “People always go, ‘How do you do all that?’ And I don’t always have an answer.”

While it might sound like Tyler’s woes and 360 of a life might seem completely damaging, it all turned for the better. “The unknown can be very compelling and can be interesting. Instead of thinking about it as change, think about it as dynamism,” she told HipHollywood during the screening of Dwyane Wade’s, Shot in the Dark. 

She explained, “You can’t stay the same, your life can’t stay the same. Staying the same is staying in place and staying in place is dying slowly. For me, I always reminded myself I’m not always going to feel this way, it’s not always going to be this tuff.”

“You cannot get through this experience on this planet without a little bit of pain and you need to know that and see that it’s temporary,” Aisha said. “My life is so interesting now and it wouldn’t have been without going through the stuff that I’ve been through. It’s been good for me; all this change.”

The actress is not only the star of some major network shows, but she also is about to launch her new cocktail line, Courage and Stone. “It’s been a really really exciting process,” she told us. “It really came out of my love of cocktails, my love of going to great bars and then going home and being like ‘I don’t know how to do all this.'”

Tyler then admitted that she was a whiskey girl at heart and that when she left the Talk “Julie Chen put me in a whiskey of the month club. She she’s doubled my collection in the last couple of months.”

Set to releae late spring early summer 2018.

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