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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

5 Reasons You Need To Know Daveed Diggs

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If you don’t know the name Daveed Diggs you will now! The Oakland native is definitely one to watch in Hollywood. Here are five reasons why.

1. He has already taken Broadway by storm.

In 2016 Diggs nabbed a Tony and a Grammy award for his role as Marquis de Lafayette/ Thomas Jefferson in “Hamilton.” Believe it or not Diggs didn’t even audition for the role. While substitute teaching in Marin County, CA he met Hamilton’s eventual star and creator Lin Manuel-Miranda and director, Thomas Kail who invited him to join their free-style rap group and later helped them craft the fast-rapping revolutionary. 

2. He’s funny. 

Diggs is proving he’s also got some amazing comedy chops with two memorable recurring sitcom roles: one as Perry, the crush du jour for Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) on Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and the other on ABC’s black-ish as Johan, the free-spirited brother of Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross). In fact, Black-ish creator Kenya Barris wrote the role for Diggs after being “blown away” by his performance on stage.

3. His first feature film Wonder is in theaters now.

In the film based on the New York Times best-selling novel of the same name, Diggs plays Mr. Browne the fifth grade teacher at the school where lead Jacob Tremblay attends. Diggs landed the role after wrapping his run in “Hamilton” and told HH it was like a crash course in film acting alongside Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson.

4. He’s a rapper. 

His experimental noise rap group Clipping has garnered a major cult following on Youtube. Their LP CLPPNG was an Album Of The Week back in 2014. And in 2016 the trio performed on The Late Late Show with James Corden to promote the release of their six-track EP Wriggle. 

5. He is executive producer of ABC’s The Mayor.  

The show about a struggling young rapper (Brandon Micheal Hall) who runs for local office (and wins) to boost his popularity, debuted this Fall and already is garnering wave reviews. Not surprisingly Diggs and his Clipping bandmates William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes, also produce all the music for the show.

 

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