Gabrielle Union Fierce and Fearless through adversity

Senegal Mabry Special to the AmNews | 6/25/2013, 11:35 a.m.
Gabrielle Union, a female African American actor famous for her role as Syd in Bad...
Gabrielle Union Fierce and Fearless through adversity

Gabrielle Union, a female African American actor famous for her role as Syd in Bad bad boys 2, has been gaining much attention for a speech she gave at the the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Pre-Oscars Luncheon.

The ESSENCE's Black Women in Hollywood pre-Oscars luncheon was held to honor the amazing Black women who have had particularly special presence in the acting community. Some of the honorees of the night, included Union who received the Fierce and Fearless Award, and Oprah Winfrey, who was given the Vanguard Award to symbolize how she has made away for African Americans into stardom.

Union, gained a lot of attention with her acceptance speech where she told audience how grateful she has been for the bonds of sisterhood that have grounded her through the pressures of Hollywood.

"We live in a town that rewards pretending. I had been pretending to be fierce and fearless for a very long time. I was a victim masquerading as a survivor. I stayed when I should have run. I was quiet when I should have spoken up. I turned a blind eye to injustice instead of having the courage to stand up for what's right. I used to shrink in the presence of other dope beautiful women. It's easy to pretend 'to be fierce and fearless because living your truth takes real courage. Real fearless and fierce women admit mistakes and they work to correct them.

We stand up and we use our voices for things other than self promotion. We don't stand by and let racism and sexism and homophobia run rapid on our watch. Real fearless and fierce women complement other women and we recognize and embrace that their shine in no way diminishes our light and that it actually makes our light shine brighter. So many of us in this room are sisters. We don't always get to see each other and its good to see you here today. Women who we've laughed with, cried with, and struggled with, thank you for not turning your back on me, thank you for not tap dancing on my misery, even when I wasn't always returning the favor."

The actress sorrowfully reflected upon her own misdeeds and wholeheartedly complemented the other Black female actors who have supported her through the overwhelming pressures of Hollywood. During a sit down with ESSENCE Gabrielle was asked what does it mean for her to be a black woman in Hollywood?

Union said, "It depends on the day. Today, it's about celebration, sisterhood and togetherness and lifting each other up. Tomorrow, when we are all back fighting for the same job, I hope we take some of this spirit into the room with us. When the light is shining on one, it really just makes the light shine brighter on all of us."