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Every year Essence holds a luncheon during the week leading up to the Academy Awards to honor black women in Hollywood, and this year the magazine has chosen to recognize some well-known actresses who had a huge breakout year in 2011.
Kerry Washington will be honored with the Vanguard Award, recognizing her impressive career. In April, she’ll star in the ABC drama “Scandal,” and she’ll also appear in Quentin Tarantino’s new film, “Django Unchained.”
Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Octavia Spencer will receive the award for Breakthrough Performance for her work in “The Help.” “Mission Impossible” and “Jumping the Broom” star Paula Patton will be honored with the Shining Star Award, and “Foxy Brown” actress Pam Grier will be given the Legend Award. Shonda Rhimes, creator and executive producer of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice” will receive the Visionary Award. ABC recently ordered a pilot for Rhimes’ new drama series, “Gilded Lillys” and last fall, the network purchased their fourth Rhimes series, “The Circle.”
The luncheon will take place Feb. 23 at the Beverly Hills Hotel, with live streaming on Essence.com from 11:30 am to 12:30pm PST.
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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