Tony Awards: Black Highlights

Nikki James takes home the best featured actress award for The Book of Mormon, and more.

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Nikki Jams (BET News)

The Book of Mormon won nine Tony Awards last night, including best musical, for its "offensive yet good-natured" look at two missionaries who arrive in Uganda and encounter everything from gun-toting warlords to whole villages infected with HIV. It was also the vehicle for the only Tony to go to an African-American actress: Nikki James took home the best featured actress in a musical award for her role in it.

From BET News:

While accepting her award for featured actress in a musical, Nikki M. James thanked the people behind the Tony Awards for “changing the face of American theater.”

... James won her award for playing sweet-natured villager Nabulungi in the musical conceived by South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker. As James was being signaled to wrap up her acceptance speech and exit the stage, she balked and said in response, “I will not leave this stage!” Clearly emotional, the actress compared herself to bumblebees and said the comparison was true “because nobody told them they couldn’t. I come from a long line of bumblebees, and I’m grateful that nobody told me I couldn’t fly.”

Other notable appearances: Don Cheadle introduced the Scottsboro Boys performance, Whoopi Goldberg introduced the Sister Act performance and Chris Rock presented the award for best musical. Paul Shaffer and Martha Wash started off It's Raining Men for the cast of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

Check out The Root's gallery of black Tony winners for highlights from years past.

Read more at BET News.

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