Last night EBONY's 2022 Power 100 exuded the magnificence of Black culture by honoring those who have committed to positively moving it forward. Hosted at Milk Studios in Los Angeles, California, Black Hollywood's best and brightest set the tone and celebrated the splendor of Black achievement. It was a phenomenal evening that will forever live in the hearts and minds of all who attended and were honored for their efforts to "move Black forward."
Here are a few of the greatest moments from the illustrious evening.
Tony Award-Winner Myles Frost Brought the Heat in an Opening Performance
With Michael Jackson' signature vocals and moves, actor and singer Myles Frost kicked off the event with gusto. While performing, it was abundantly clear that Frost was not only the best person to star as Jackson on Broadway in MJ the Musical, but that his star potential was only just beginning. The crowd jammed alongside him as he embodied the aura and talent of the legendary gloved one.
Host Amber Ruffin Led the Evening With Grace and Laughter
Amber Ruffin has the most perfect comedic timing and flair. With a balance of commentary, truth and wit, the comedian and late night host kept the audience on its toes while indulging the crowd with thoughts they may have conceived but never spoke aloud. With a seam-busting opening monologue and seriously funny commentary throughout the evening, Ruffin was a genuine treat and a fantastic choice to push the festivities along.
The Cast of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Paid Homage to Chadwick Boseman
Fresh off of the premiere of their latest Black Panther installment, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira and Letitia Wright graciously accepted EBONY's Power 100 For The Culture Award while paying homage to their late brother and comrade Chadwick Boseman. Wright paid a beautiful tribute to his work and acknowledged the challenge that comes with publicly speaking about her dear friend while simultaneously striving to uplift his legacy. She also spoke on the impact of the film since it's release and how they continue to push forward a project they love and deeply believe in.
"[Through Black Panther] we saw ourselves in ways that we would have never imagined," Wright said. "We saw ourselves for the first time beautiful, glorious, and wonderful because that’s exactly who we are. They always said that we wouldn’t reach, that our stories couldn’t reach, but boy were they wrong. I wanna thank you for supporting us a second time. This second time wasn't easy. We embarked on this journey without our brother; it's a journey that has been really difficult to speak about on this press run. As we accept this award we give it back to the heavens and up our brother and we say thank you."
Tamika Palmer and Wanda Cooper-Jones Reminded Us That Black Lives Do Indeed Matter
Tamika Palmer, the mother of Breonna Taylor, and Wanda Cooper-Jones, Ahmaud Arbery's mother, accepted the EBONY Power 100 Social Justice Award. Following a riveting and chill-inducing introduction from actor and activist Kendrick Sampson, the two mothers reminded the audience of the importance of uplifting their children's legacies and that the fight still continues. Their tenacity and strength was a much needed reminder of the resilience of our community and of our collective power.
A Slowed Down Melody of Tobe Nwigwe's Dopest Hits
If it's one thing EBONY's June 2021 cover star Tobe Nwigwe is gonna do, it's bring the house down. Performing slower renditions of his most popular songs such as Catfish Blackened With Grits and Fye Fye (At The Crib), Nwigwe's mint green aesthetic mixed with the soulfulness of his background singers and dopeness of his wife made for an entrancing and exciting performance. A brief appearance by his children added a bit of familial sweetness to his crowd-pleasing act.