Winfrey, 'Beasts' actress honored at Essence lunch

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 21, 2013 at 10:18 pm •  Published: February 21, 2013
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"Real fearless and fierce women admit mistakes and work to correct them," she said. "We stand up and we use our voices for things other than self-promotion. We don't stand by and let racism and sexism and homophobia run rampant on our watch. Real fierce and fearless women celebrate and compliment other women and we recognize and embrace the notion that their shine in no way diminishes our light, and actually makes our light shine brighter."

Actress Naomie Harris, who plays Eve Moneypenny in "Skyfall," was among those touched by Union's words.

"I'm in the place you were," Harris said as she accepted the Shining Star award. "I feel as though I have traveled thousands of miles to actually listen to that speech, to learn, to be inspired and to be reminded of who I am."

Writer-producer Mara Brock-Akil cried throughout her acceptance speech, saying, "All I ever wanted to do was tell our story."

Other stars attending the luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel included Blair Underwood, Laila Ali, Star Jones, Jill Scott and Tracee Ellis Ross.

Grammy-winning singer Miguel performed his winning hit, "Adore," and rapper-actor Common did an impromptu freestyle during a brief technical difficulty, working the names of the six honorees into a quick rap.

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AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/APSandy .

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Online:

http://www.essence.com