The African American Film Critics Association has revealed the winners behind its third annual TV Honors, including CBS’s “The Equalizer,” starring Queen Latifah, as best new show and HBO’s “A Black Lady Sketch Show,” created by and starring Robin Thede, as best comedy.
Also from HBO, “Lovecraft Country” stars Jurnee Smollett and Jonathan Majors were named best actress and best actor, while Amazon Prime Video’s “Sylvie’s Love” was selected best movie and Barry Jenkins was named best director for Amazon’s “The Underground Railroad,” which was also named best limited series. Ava DuVernay’s OWN series “Queen Sugar” was awarded AAFCA’s first Impact Award, as well as best drama and best TV writing.
“This year’s honorees reflect a healthy variety of content that is not only entertaining but also mirrors the diversity of storytelling within the Black community,” said AAFCA co-founder and President Gil Robertson. “The TV Honors jury recognizes a multitude of voices, both emerging and established, whose work attests to the heterogeneity of the Black experience. We, at AAFCA, are excited by these winners, as well as the previously announced Special Achievement honorees, because we are most hopeful that the vast array of offerings this year point to a permanent shift in the quality and depth of storytelling capturing the Black experience on television.”
Here is the full list of 2021 AAFCA TV Honors winners:
• Best Actress: Jurnee Smollett, “Lovecraft Country,” HBO
• Best Actor: Jonathan Majors, “Lovecraft Country,” HBO
• Best Drama: “Queen Sugar,” OWN
• Best Comedy: “A Black Lady Sketch Show,” HBO
• Best New Show: “The Equalizer,” CBS
• Best Limited Series: “The Underground Railroad,” Amazon Prime Video
• Best Docuseries: “Exterminate All the Brutes,” HBO and “High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America,” Netflix
• Best Writing: “Queen Sugar,” OWN
• Best Director: Barry Jenkins, “The Underground Railroad,” Amazon Prime Video
• Best Movie: “Sylvie’s Love,” Amazon Prime Video
“It’s a robust slate that we believe is reflective of a new normal regarding diversity and inclusion for TV,” Robertson added.
Yvette Nicole Brown will host this year’s AAFCA TV Honors, with a verified vaccinated audience, at the California Yacht Club in Marina Del Rey on Saturday, August 21, at 11 a.m. The guest list will be at 50 percent capacity from previous years, and a COVID Counselor will be on-site throughout the program.
“Yvette is such a natural,” Robertson said. “Her wit, her humor, and her ability to make people feel at ease are so essential to pulling off a successful show, especially during these times. We, at AAFCA, are delighted to have her.”
Added Brown: “I am honored that the African American Film Critics Association asked me to host this year’s TV Honors Ceremony. The AAFCA celebrates the best and brightest of our community. They honor our excellence, craft and yes, magic. It is my sincere pleasure & joy to be a part of that magic this year.”
As previously announced, here are the special achievement honorees for the 3rd annual AAFCA TV Honors:
Steve McQueen will receive the 2021 AAFCA TV Honors Special Achievement Game Changer Award for “Small Axe,” his Amazon Studios five-part limited series.
Wanda Sykes (“The Upshaws”) will receive the 2021 AAFCA TV Honors Special Achievement Salute to Excellence Award for expanding the parameters of diversity and inclusion for both the Black and LGBTQ communities.
Naomi Ackie will receive the 2021 AAFCA TV Honors Special Achievement Horizon Award for her standout performances in “Master of None” and “Small Axe.”
Michaela Coel is the recipient of the 2021 AAFCA TV Honors Special Achievement Breakout Creative Award for her limited series “I May Destroy You.”
“Lupin,” Netflix’s cat-and-mouse series set in Paris and starring Omar Sy, nabs 2021 AAFCA TV Honors Special Achievement Best International Production Award.
“Queen Sugar” is the recipient of the 2021 AAFCA TV Honor’s Impact Award.
HBO/HBO Max earns the 2021 AAFCA TV Honors Special Achievement Inclusion Award.