Three days after the Black Panther: Wankanda Forever premiere in Hollywood, the cast was honored Saturday night at the Ebony Power 100 Gala.
Film stars Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke and Dominique Thorne were onstage to receive the For The Culture Award from Creed III star Jonathan Majors at Milk Studios in Los Angeles, California, according to Billboard. In accepting the honor, Wright, who portrays Shuri commented, "They always said our stories wouldn’t reach … Boy, were they wrong. Thank you for breathing life into us and for your support. As always, Wakanda Forever!”
Issa Rae was presented the People’s Choice Award by Nia Long from The Best Man series. The Insecure creator said, “I create with us in mind. To get an award from the people I have in mind is amazing. [We must] continue to value our stories; that’s the reason I’m here.”
Spike Lee was honored with the Icon Award. Roger Guenveur Smith, who has starred in several of the director's films, including Do The Right Thing, School Daze and Malcolm X, presented the award to the trailblazing director, saying, “He continues to transform the complexion of American filmmaking.”
In accepting the honor, the Academy Award winner thanked three key women in his life. He saluted his mother for giving him discipline, his grandmother who “put me through Morehouse, NYU grad school and helped with my first films,” and his wife, Tonya Lee Lewis. “She has made it possible for me to do everything; she held it down,” he said of Tonya.
Other 100 Power honorees included Usher, H.E.R., Emmy-award winner Quinta Brunson from Abbott Elementary, and Nigerian artist Tems, co-writer of Rihanna's new single, "Lift Me Up" from the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack.