Essence and the Paley Center Announce Exhibit Celebrating Black Women in Hollywood

Kerry Washington in “Scandal”

If you find yourself in Beverly Hills this month, you may just get the chance to admire Olivia Pope’s famous attire in person. Essence and the Paley Center for Media are teaming up to launch “The Power of Our Presence — An Exhibition Celebrating the 10 Year Anniversary of the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards.” The exhibit will include an iconic white trench coat worn by Kerry Washington in “Scandal,” Tracee Ellis Ross’s scrubs from “Black-ish,” and other famous costumes worn by black lead female characters on hit TV series.

A press release announced that the event will “commemorate the tenth anniversary of Essence’s esteemed Black Women in Hollywood Awards — the annual Oscar-week luncheon at the forefront of spotlighting Hollywood’s most creative and accomplished visionaries.”

“We are so honored to partner with Essence in presenting this powerful exhibit in support of its special milestone anniversary,” said Maureen J. Reidy, the Paley Center’s President and CEO. “The Paley Center is proud of its ongoing commitment to preserving and celebrating African American achievements in television. This Essence exhibit is a signature part of our Black History Month celebration, which also includes screenings, educational activities, and an onsite showcase of our own recent tribute.”

Essence President Michelle Ebanks promised that the exhibit will offer the chance to “experience the magic of the red carpet as it comes to life,” and said that the event “shines a spotlight on the most influential and pioneering women in Hollywood.”

“Archived memorabilia, photos, and footage from the luncheon’s nine-year history will be on display, including re-creations of the event’s extraordinary tablescapes, images from past honorees, special video messages from Angela Bassett and Lynn Whitfield, a compilation footage of some the event’s most touching acceptance speeches, and much more,” the press release details.

A record number of black actresses are nominated at the upcoming Oscars in the Best Supporting Actress category. Viola Davis (“Fences”), Naomie Harris (“Moonlight”), and Octavia Spencer (“Hidden Figures”) all received nods.

“The Power of Our Presence” will be open at the Paley Center’s Beverly Hills location on February 8 and run until February 28. The event is free and open to the public — and offers a great way to celebrate Black History Month. You can find more information on the Paley Center’s website.