Zendaya Honored at ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards

Zendaya is being honored at the 14th annual ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards. The awards show, which streamed as a virtual experience Thursday night, donned the theme, “Mastering Our Stories,” which focused on “the resiliency of Black women in Hollywood through the years – including during the unprecedented pandemic.” Zendaya was one of five honorees at Thursday night’s show including Whoopi Goldberg and Andra Day.

The Euphoria star was presented the award by her “dear friend” Yahya Abdul-Mateen II who she thanked as she accepted the award.

“This award means absolutely so, so much to me,” Zendaya gushed. “To be acknowledged by ESSENCE and by so many people that I admire and I appreciate means the world to me. I wish that I could be in a room full of all of you and talk to you and see your faces and hug you and thank you.”

The EMMY-winning actress went on to not only thank her fellow honorees, but every Black woman that she’s come in contact with at the awards show, thanking them for “being everything that you are.”

“I know that we’re receiving the awards, but I really feel like I owe every single honoree, every Black woman that I’ve been able to come in contact with when I entered this building, a huge thank you,” she went on to say. “Thank you for existing, thank you for being everything that you are.”


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Zendaya and her Euphoria co-star, Storm Reid, had an emotional reunion on the red carpet ahead of the awards show. A tear-eyed Reid thanked Zendaya for her constant inspiration. 

“There’s lots of people that came into my life….ah, I’m gonna cry,” Reid struggled to say. “There’s lot of people…why am I crying! I hate crying!”

The Malcolm & Marie actress walked over and comforted the young actress, wiping away her co-stars tears before encouraging Reid not to cry. 

“It’s so cute! Don’t cry!” Zendaya pleaded. Reid composed herself before continuing with her tribute to one of the night’s award recipients.

“There’s lots of people that came into my life when Wrinkle [in Time] came out. And they were like, ‘Oh yeah, I’m here to support you,'” she shared. “But you were one of those people that stuck to that. So for that, thank you.”


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