Essence Black Women in Hollywood to Honor Danielle Brooks, Halle Bailey & More

ESSENCE to Honor Danielle Brooks, Halle Bailey, Nkechi Okoro Carroll & Kathryn Busby at the 17th Annual Black Women in Hollywood Awards hosted by Method Man

It’s that time of year again! ESSENCE will be celebrating the cinematic achievements of those in Hollywood this year, at the 17th annual ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards on Thursday, March 7th, at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

Hosted by celebrated actor, Grammy Award winning rapper and entrepreneur, Cliff “Method Man” Smith, the highly anticipated event returns to Hollywood to recognize women who are making their undeniable mark in film and television and amplifies their stride in defining what it means to be a Black woman in Hollywood.

This year’s honorees include: 

  • Academy Award nominated actress & Grammy Award winner, Danielle Brooks
  • Six-time Grammy nominated singer and leading-actress Halle Bailey
  • Industry powerhouse and President of Original Programming for STARZ,  Kathryn Busby
  • acclaimed screenwriter and showrunner of All American, All American: Homecoming and Found, Nkechi Okra Carroll 

ESSENCE will continue its celebration of Black film & television luminaries at the fifth annual ESSENCE Hollywood House, which will be held on Friday, March 8, 2024 at 3322 La Cienega Place in Los Angeles. The experience for aspiring filmmakers, actors and TV & film enthusiasts, will include a day of networking, mentoring and skill-building to educate and inspire the community, while highlighting the vast spectrum of Black excellence. Industry thought leaders, executives and celebrities will take part in thoughtful programming including fireside chats, panel discussions, speed mentoring sessions, and more, providing attendees with real-life action plans for growth within the industry. Los Angeles based attendees can register at: and virtual attendees can stream the festivities live on, X, Facebook and YouTube.


Danielle Brooks is an Award-winning actress and singer whose immense talent and dedication to her craft continues to pave a way for diversity and inclusion on stage and on screen.

She currently stars in THE COLOR PURPLE, the Warner Bros. feature film adaption of the distinguished Broadway musical, directed by Blitz Bazawule and produced by Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg. Brooks reprises her iconic role of ‘Sofia’, portraying another powerhouse, memorable performance that has garnered her Golden Globe, Critics Choice Award, SAG Award, BAFTA Film Award, and Academy Award nominations for “Best Supporting Actress”.

Halle Bailey is a force of nature. As one-half of the five-time Grammy-nominated Chloe x Halle, her writing and vocal contributions helped propel the group to be one of the most beloved and critically acclaimed artists in recent history. Fresh off their highly anticipated sophomore album the Ungodly HourHalle was cast in the live action remake of the Disney classic film The Little Mermaid. Halle Bailey will play the beloved character of Ariel. Upon this announcement, young women of color all over the world were inspired.

Kathryn Busby is President of Original Programming for STARZ.Based in the company’s Santa Monica office, Busby is responsible for leading the programming and development team for the global premium streaming platform and delivering on its programming mandate committed to narratives by, about and for women and underrepresented audiences.

Prior to joining STARZ, Busby was Executive Vice President of Sony’s TriStar Television where she developed and oversaw premium projects that featured diverse, authentic characters and that championed underrepresented voices. Some of her noteworthy projects include The After Party, starring Tiffany Haddish and Sam Richardson from Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, a Malcolm X series based on the novels X: A Novel and The Awakening of Malcolm X from his daughter Ilyasah Shabazz and a series based on Kirstin Chen’s crime novel Counterfeit.

Nkechi Okoro Carroll is the founder of Rock My Soul Productions and is the creator/executive producer of the Warner Bros. Television (WBTV) drama series Found, which debuted earlier this Fall on NBC. The series was recently renewed for a second season. She is also the executive producer/showrunner of the WBTV dramas All American and All American: Homecoming, which rank as The CW’s #1 and #2 series among key demographics of Adults 18–34 and Adults 18–49. Prior to her TV writing career, Okoro Carroll worked for the Federal Reserve, where her responsibilities included managing the reserve position for the U.S. banking system and analyzing the impact of monetary policy decisions on the domestic money markets. All of which she did while still writing and producing plays in New York.

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