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Music

Greek Descent, Grammy-Winning Director Melina Matsoukas to Be Honored by Essence

January 10, 2020

NEW YORK – Emmy winner Niecy Nash, the groundbreaking cast of the hit TV series “Pose,” Grammy-winning music video director Melina Matsoukas and “Captain Marvel” actress Lashana Lynch will be honored at the 2020 Black Women in Hollywood Awards.

Essence Communications, the media company dedicated to black women that hosts the annual pre-Oscars luncheon, announced Thursday that the event will take place Feb. 6 at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, California — three days before the 92nd Academy Awards.

“Pose” writer-director-producer Janet Mock will be honored at the event alongside members of the show’s cast, including Mj Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Dominique Jackson, Angelica Ross and Hailie Sahar. Billy Porter, who won an Emmy for his role on “Pose” last year, will be a presenter at the awards luncheon.

“ESSENCE is thrilled to commemorate the creative and critical achievements of Black women as originators, nurturers, makers and creators during our 13th Black Women in Hollywood awards luncheon,” MoAna Luu, the company’s chief content and creative officer, said in a statement. “Whether they’re reclaiming our culture or dismantling traditional gender ideas, each of our honorees uplift us as they present their unique gifts on the screen and behind the camera. As ESSENCE celebrates 50 years of the power of our presence, we are proud to salute them all.”

Nash earned an Emmy nomination for her performance in last year’s “When They See Us” and won a Daytime Emmy for the home makeover show “Clean House.”

Matsoukas made her directorial debut with the film “Queen & Slim” last year and won Grammys for directing videos for Rihanna and Beyonce. Lynch is set to appear in the James Bond film “No Time to Die,” to hit U.S. theaters on April 10.

Matsoukas grew up in Co-op City a housing development in the Bronx. Her father worked as a builder, and her mother taught math in a local high school. When Matsoukas was eight, the family moved to Hackensack, New Jersey. Her father is of half Greek and half Jewish descent, and her mother is of Afro-Cuban and Afro-Jamaican descent. Both her name and surname are Greek: Μελίνα Ματσούκα. She earned her degree at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and completed her graduate work at the AFI Conservatory with an MFA in cinematography. Her graduate thesis was on music videos.

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