ABFF Honors is an annual awards show saluting excellence in motion pictures and television. Presented as part of the industry's awards season, the event celebrates individuals of African descent who have made distinguished contributions to American culture through their work, as well as the year's best movies and television shows. ABFF Honors, which stems from the American Black Film Festival (ABFF), was created by Jeff Friday, to promote camaraderie among multicultural artists in Hollywood.
For more than two decades the ABFF has been the standard bearer of excellence in independent black cinema, having premiered the work and supported the careers of many of today's most successful artists, including Ryan Coogler (Black Panther), Anthony Anderson (Blackish), Will Packer (Girls Trip), Issa Rae (Insecure), Omari Hardwick (Power) and Raoul Peck (I Am Not Your Negro). Today, it is the pre-eminent pipeline for black talent—in front of and behind the camera—significantly expanding the range of talent in the entertainment industry at large.
The ABFF Honors evening begins with red carpet arrivals, followed by an elegant and spirited awards dinner where the following competitive awards and special honors are presented:
In just two years, ABFF Honors has become one of the most talked about nights in Hollywood, attracting top-tier talent and press coverage in mainstream as well as African American media outlets including, LA Times, Essence, Variety, Deadline, Time Inc. and many others. The inaugural show, honoring Don Cheadle, Regina King, and Diahann Carroll, along with ABFF alumni Will Packer and Ryan Coogler, had its broadcast premiere on the BET Network in February 2016. The 2017 ceremony, which also aired on BET, paid tribute to Denzel Washington, Queen Latifah, Terrence Howard, Issa Rae, and F. Gary Gray.
The many high-profile presenters and guests have included Viola Davis, Kerry Washington, Robert Downey Jr., Jamie Foxx, Ice Cube, Cicely Tyson, Lee Daniels, Anthony Anderson, Regina Hall, Taye Diggs, Octavia Spencer, Keke Palmer, Nia Long, Morris Chestnut, Omari Hardwick, and Pharrell Williams among others.
Jeff Friday, president & CEO, ABFF Ventures and Suzanne de Passe, CEO of de Passe Jones Entertainment serve as the show's executive producers.