On the awards season calendar, there are a few shows set to specifically honor Black excellence. And because we are not a monolith, each show is unique, celebrating a different aspect of Black life and culture. Among these are the 30th Anniversary Bounce Trumpet Awards, which are set to take place April 23 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, then air on Juneteenth, June 19 at 7 p.m. ET on Bounce. The Root has exclusively learned that honorees for this year’s show include entertainment legends Courtney B. Vance and Stan Lathan, academic superstar Zaila Avant-garde and inspiring public servants Sen. Raphael Warnock, Sen. Jon Ossof and Princess Sarah Culberson.
Courtney B. Vance will receive the Excellence in Film Award, and it’s hard to imagine someone more deserving. In addition to his memorable performances in Lovecraft Country, The People vs O.J. Simpson and The Preacher’s Wife, Vance also works as a producer bringing us projects like Smithsonian Channel’s recent One Thousand Years of Slavery. When you think about it, have you ever seen a bad Courtney B. Vance performance? No, you haven’t. Because they don’t exist. Next up he can be seen in the AMC/AllBlk drama 61st Street. The Tony and Emmy-winner plays a lawyer helping a young basketball star survive a corrupt criminal justice system.
2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee winner Zaila Avant-garde is set to get the Rising Star Award. On her way to becoming the first Black American to win the competition, she charmed the world with her enthusiasm and genuine likeability. We really don’t celebrate kids enough for being successful in academics, which makes this moment extra special for Black girls everywhere.
If you’ve enjoyed Black comedy on TV in the last 30 years, you have Stan Lathan to thank. He will receive the Living Legend Award for creating Def Comedy Jam, directing comedy specials for Dave Chapelle and Cedric The Entertainer, as well as series like Martin, Moesha, The Parkers, Real Husbands of Hollywood and Roc. It’s not just that those are among the most popular comedy series of the last 30 years, it’s that they represent how he’s been showcasing so many aspects of Black culture in that time. He’s been telling our stories on TV since his career started in the ‘80s.
Senators Raphael Warnock (D-GA), and Jon Ossoff (D-GA) will be honored with the Xernona Clayton Award of Distinction for “succeeding against immense odds, fighting for change and working to improve the lives of all.” The Impact Award goes to Princess Sarah Culberson for her work with her non-profit Sierra Leone Rising to offer aid during the 2014 Ebola crisis and 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s fitting that we will honor Black excellence and achievement on a day that is a commemoration of such a significant moment in our history as African Americans,” said Cheryle Harrison, head of Bounce. “We appreciate everyone’s patience in our having to adjust this year’s schedule. Health and safety are a priority for our guests, honorees, and staff.”
Presenters include Tamron Hall, Sanaa Lathan and J.B. Smoove, with performances from Mary Mary, Tank and P.J. Morton.
The 30th Anniversary Bounce Trumpet Awards will air Sunday, June 19 at 7 p.m. ET on Bounce.