Ahead of the 54th NAACP Image Awards, Sheryl Lee Ralph discussed the importance and legacy of Black Hollywood on the red carpet. While speaking with VIBE on Saturday evening (Feb. 25), the legendary actress explained the economic power of collaboration and community.
“When we all start pooling our money, when we all start making films together, when we all start spreading the word that we are not a monolith, that there are so many different levels to who we are as people, especially Black people. That’s Black Hollywood to me,” exclaimed the 66-year-old.
“It’s not just friendships, it’s just not just award shows. It’s us being able to be a part of this machine on our own and really survive. Oscar Micheaux was Black Hollywood, Sidney Poitier, Ruby D, Ossie Davis, that was Black Hollywood. They were working together and making money. That’s Black Hollywood.”
The Abbott Elementary star shared how she’s considered publishing a coffee table book of life quotes and discussed the work she looks forward to.
“More stories. More stories about us. More stories that elevate us. I want for us a high bar because you know that bar was set real high for us at one point,” she detailed.
“We had nothing, and we were the people that were able to have a Black Wall Street. But then folks came for us in the night under hoods because they were ashamed to show who they really are, and destroyed what we built. And guess what we did? We rose up again. We’re in that time right now. Don’t be fooled.”
The Moesha actress attended the 2023 NAACP award red carpet with her daughter and stylist Ivy Coco Maurice wearing an orange beaded gown designed by PISTIS Ghana.
After winning the Outstanding Comedy Series Image Award with the Abbott Elementary cast, Ralph and her costar Janelle James also presented the Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series award to Nicco Annan for his role in P-Valley.