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Big congratulations are in order for Emmy Award winner Lena Waithe, who will serve as the American Black Film Festival’s ambassador in 2023.

“I am so honored to have been chosen as ABFF’s 2023 Festival Ambassador,” Waithe said in a statement. “I am excited to collaborate with the festival to shine a light on unique and groundbreaking stories and the creatives behind them.”

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Nicole Friday, the festival’s producer and president, commended Waithe for her support of underrepresented writers in Hollywood.

“Lena is a powerhouse in the film and television industry and a trailblazer for emerging creative artists,” she said in a statement. “Her commitment to elevate diverse voices personifies ABFF’s commitment to diversify Hollywood.”

Waithe previously received the Industry Renaissance Award at the 2020 ABFF Honors, which celebrates “content creators whose exemplary work in film and television contributes to changing perceptions of people of color in the entertainment industry,” according to the press release.

She joins a stellar list of celebrity creatives who have acted as past ABFF ambassadors, including Issa Rae, Halle Berry, Mary J. Blige, Idris Elba, Tracee Ellis Ross, Regina Hall, La La Anthony, Jay Ellis, Morris Chestnut, Omari Hardwick, Common, Taraji P. Henson, and Earvin “Magic” Johnson.

Waithe’s other screen credits include The Chi and Twenties, both of which she created. She made history at the 2017 Emmys when she became the first Black woman to win Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for her work on Master of None.

Photo by: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

She also wrote Queen & Slim, Melina Matsoukas’ first-ever feature-length film, which follows a Black couple who flee after killing a white police officer in self-defense.

The 27th annual ABFF will take place in Miami Beach from June 14–18, followed by a virtual event on ABFF PLAY from June 19–25.

Please join us as we congratulate Lena Waithe on this accomplishment!

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