As tinseltown's premier event for women of color, everyone who is anyone in black Hollywood came out to support one another. See our favorite stars shine bright on the glitzy gold carpet.
Victoria Rowell looked rather regal in a pillbox cap she made herself, while L'Oreal spokesmodel Kerry Washington was downright gorgeous in a 40s style Vivienne Westwood frock. Lady Lynn Whitfield's on-trend tangerine bow-tied blouse and high-waisted skirt combo was a winner as well.
A winning color combination that will always work; Jill Scott showed up with a spiky cropped haircut and paint-splattered jacket, while Kym Whitley and Vanessa Williams wore similar cross-striped abstract patterns.
It's always great to have the men come out to show their support; Grey's Anatomy star Jesse Williams dazzled the room with his icy blue eyes, while hottie Boris Kodjoe flashed his megawatt smile. A newly slimline Forrest Whitaker wore a three-piece suit, and clearly was the most dapper gentleman in the room.
Actress Yvette Nicole Brown fitted her curves in a form-fitting navy frock, while Essence Award Winner Loretta Devine slipped into a satin cobalt blue number. Thespian Anika Noni Rose is a gem in a sapphire shift.
Garcelle Beauvais wore a chic two-piece suit that was anything but masculine, while Elise Neal topped off her summer dress with a peanut butter leather bomber jacket. Tennis ace Serena Williams hit a gorgeous grand slam in this sexy strapless number.
Kimora Lee played up her perfect pins in a pink Grecian-inspired toga dress, while Brandy brought out her great gams in a cap-sleeved satin number. The lovely Lauren London paired her bright red mini-shorts with a blouse, blazer, and pumps, true to her sassy-sweet style.
Who says vibrant colors don't belong on the red (or gold in this case) carpet? Essence award winner Jennifer Hudson poured her size 6 figure into a pretty purple number, while Tatyana Ali rocked a satin baby blue dress. Comedienne Niecy Nash covered her curves in a fuchsia A-line look.
Actresses Viola Davis and Angela Bassett have much more in common than being honored by Essence, as they both wore steely gray cocktail frocks and styled their hair in bouncy bobs. Gabrielle Union went for a retro look with a lacy dress nipped in at the waist, peep-toe pumps, and a racy red pout.
Nicole Ari Parker was accompanied by her handsome husband Boris Kodjoe, and Kimberly Elise introduced the adoring paparazzi to her niece. Twins Tamera and Tia Mowry were each other's plus one, in addition to Tia's burgeoning baby bump!