Rich Polk/Getty Images

“I challenge you not to deny yourselves ... we must survive because we love you.” Those were Aja Naomi King’s last words as she left the podium in a room filled with the glow of radiating love and #BlackGirlMagic, also known as the 10th Annual Essence Black Women in Hollywood event.

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On Thursday evening, King, an MFA graduate of Yale, was in great company with fellow honorees including Insecure’s Issa Rae, music artist and Hidden Figures co-star Janelle Monáe, and Black-ish star and Teen Vogue writer Yara Shahidi.

Issa Rae, Aja Naomi King, Yara Shahidi and Janelle Monáe (Rich Polk/Getty Images for Essence)

Billed as one of Oscar week’s “must attend” star-studded events, the red-carpet event included appearances from celebrities such as event host Gabrielle Union and Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Keesha Sharp, Laverne Cox, Alfre Woodard, Holly Robinson Peete, Sherri Shepherd, Tyrese Gibson, Alfred Enoch, LeToya Luckett, Quvenzhané Wallis, Tina Knowles-Lawson, Loni Love and Margaret Avery.

Presenters during the program included Viola Davis, Shonda Rhimes, Pharrell Williams, Common, Tracee Ellis Ross, Debbie Allen and Tony Award winner Cynthia Erivo, who offered a soul-stirring performance between honoree acceptance speeches.

Throughout the night, #BlackGirlMagic was the common theme, with a message of supporting others in the struggle for inequality and inclusion. If there was ever a time to come together in sisterhood, the program made it clear that the time is now.

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In the words of Ellis Ross, “It’s easy to stay woke ... it’s what to do with your wokeness now.”

Take a behind-the-scenes look at the red-carpet activity that was posted on Facebook Live:

The show will air March 5 at 10 p.m. ET on OWN.