*What better way to start off Black History Month then with a celebration of black achievements and people of color, collectively supporting each other for their individual accomplishments in TV, film and new media.
The African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) held their 9th Annual Awards Ceremony on Wednesday (February 7, 2018) at the Taglyan Cultural Complex in Los Angeles in addition, to an overabundance of support from ‘Black Hollywood’ who thought that it’s necessary to have such a platform that recognizes our own.
EUR correspondent Jay Styles had a chance to speak with actor Luis Guzman on the importance of ‘people of color’ telling their own stories.
“We’re human just like anybody else….and we have those stories…and everybody has a story,” Guzman said.
Actress, singer and activist Sheryl Lee Ralph also shared her thoughts on black writers and directors telling their own stories.
“When somebody else has the pen in their hand to tell you their story, they shape your story,” Ralph said. “And we’ve seen from years and generations how that story can be toned down or watered down or certain truths just not told, well now that you know better you’re going to do better and you’re going to write and tell your own story.” “I’m just looking forward for more artist going back into history and telling those stories as well.”
Hollywood casting director Tracy “Twinkie” Bryd shared why the platform AAFCA is important.
“Because we need to love up on ourselves and each other,” Bryd said. “To see black folks supporting each other, uplifting each other, and also recognizing each other, it’s incredibly important.” And we have so much excellence and, so we need to all get together in one room, get that energy from each other and to push through and go forward, and also to connect.”
‘How to Get Away with Murder’ actor Benito Martinez also spoke on the importance of AAFCA.
If Oscars wasn’t “Oscars so White” then… you wouldn’t need a platform like this,” Martinez said. “So until things change we have to continue to find our own ways to celebrate in a more intimate way for the other wonderful projects out there.”
Comedian, television personality and author Sherri Shepherd had a lot to say on the necessity on having a platform that recognizes people of color.
“Because we had “Oscars so white” last year,” Shepherd said. “Where it was like, we’re sitting there looking in the party going, why are we not allowed in the party so to have an event like this to be acknowledge, to be heard, to be seen it inspires so many people to keep going to know, you know what, they will see my film, they will see my script, they will see my talent as an actor.”
The night’s biggest honor went to Jordan Peele who won the Horizon Award for his hit film, Get Out. He also took home Best Screenplay, Best Director and Best Picture.