This honoree delivered such poignant words while accepting her award.
On the same night that actress Aja Naomi King was coming through in the 2-hour season finale of How To Get Away With Murder (HTGAWM), she was also slaying red carpets and giving an inspiring speech during the ESSENCE 10th Annual Black Women In Hollywood Awards.
On Thursday night, the trained actress and Yale-graduate was one of the honorees alongside Insecure‘s Issa Rae,music artist and Hidden Figures star Janelle Monaé, and Black-ish star Yara Shahidi.
Her nearly seven-minute moving speech told the powerful story of how she overcomes negative thinking while being ‘afraid, but boldly making a choice to living brightly.’
“I don’t know why I’m so eager to undermine my own talents. I guess because it feels easier to reduce my abilities than to step to the greatness of my purpose,” she emotionally said.
She shared how fearful it can be to live out your dreams because “now I have something to lose.”
“In order for me to survive in this industry and in this world, in order for me to thrive, I have to stop believing that the root of my talent is a tree growing inside of someone else’s yard,” she said.
The 32-year-old actress also paid tribute to her three co-honorees with a special message.
“Thank you Janelle for sharing with us the depth of your soul …thank you Issa for giving us insight into the scope of all of our experiences … thank you Yara, it’s a joy to watch you as you make your voice and your presence known,” she said.
As HTGAWM fans were anxiously preparing to find out during the finale who killed Wes (played by Alfred Enoch), King made jokes saying that she found his killer during the Awards ceremony.
Before landing her major roles in ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder and Nate Parker’s Birth of A Nation, King also starred in the films The Rewrite, Four and The Blacklist.