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The goddesses of black entertainment came out and glowed at Essence’s Black Women in Hollywood Awards on Thursday night in Los Angeles. See all the red carpet looks from Tracee Ellis Ross, Viola Davis and more women who continually make us wonder how they do it.

I love the platinum cropped fro on Cynthia Erivo, who’s in a chic wrap dress from Kenzo’s latest spring/summer collection. Tracee Ellis Ross wore a sheer layered look that gives her a delectable cake/ice queen vibe. Teyonah Parris is perfect in tribal print with cool cap sleeves.


Shonda Rhimes is skilled at picking out red carpet outfits that could also be sported at sophisticated garden parties. Janelle Monáe stuck to her black and white motif, this time with a cool race-car driver getup. Tina Lawson looks classic and sharp and is the master and mother of everything.

Insecure’s Yvonne Orji is an absolute winner in bright resort wear. Stylist June Ambrose is also part of the color-popping crew, and Debbie Allen is literally just wearing fabric and still comes across like the cool auntie. They all look like beautiful freshly-picked flowers.

Kofi Siriboe, from Ava DuVernay’s OWN series Queen Sugar, is a delight to stare at, all the time. Atlanta’s Keith Stanfield looks fly in a topcoat and wonderful floral tie. This is one of the few times I’m truly not feeling Common; the chocolate pinstripes scream Steve Harvey and, yes, that’s some kind of fringe hanging from his shirt. Even more unsavory, Pharrell’s been rocking a creeper mustache lately and clothes that men wear while standing in the middle of a street staring into windows.

The silhouette of M.C. Lyte’s dress works for her and probably wouldn’t for me. Amber Stevens West opted for simple, smooth white. I would like this lace mermaid gown on Aja Naomi King better sans sleeves. Alfre Woodard is another red carpet vet who pull offs garden chic style.

Viola Davis, in Christian Siriano, is inevitably lustrous whenever she wears bright colors.

Alfred Enoch went for the no-tie look of comfort, while NFL player Antoine Harris and actor Alano Miller are plain in basic subdued suits.

Damn, Shaun Robinson. Seems like Vanessa Simmons was feeling Elvira-ish, in a corset that appears to be a trend. Yvette Nicole Brown shines despite all the fabric and Sherri Shepherd wore a nice cinched tulle LBD.

Orange Is the New Black’s Vicky Jeudy, Logan Browning, director Melina Matsoukas and Apple Music exec Bozoma Saint John chose romantic gowns in lovely shades of “nude.”


Here’s the rest of the OITNB crew: Danielle Brooks (the standout among them in velvet), Samira Wiley, Laverne Cox and Adrienne C. Moore.

Meagan Good found a charming impressionist-painting style wide-legged pant and crop top combo. Gabrielle Denis’s and Aisha Tyler’s dresses similarly look like artistic canvases. Quvenzhane Wallis is only 13. Feel old.

Gabrielle Union (in Prada), Jurnee Smollett and Issa Rae wore striking black ensembles. Issa Rae is especially stunning in lace and her makeup is remarkable.

Black-ish star Yara Shadidi is classy in Chanel with dramatic sleeves.

Not a fan of Mona Scott Young’s and Letoya Luckett’s dresses, but their faces are glowing nonetheless. Loni Love’s sparkly cropped blazer and jumpsuit is a great pairing, but Vanessa Bell Calloway leather and fringe kinda misses here.