Native Son and Cadillac are presenting the fourth annual Native Son Awards celebrating Black gay and queer men in a livestream on Native Son Channels on Facebook and YouTube on Thursday, November 19 at 5:00 pm PST/8:00 pm EST. Click here to RSVP.
The Native Son community will be joined by influencers, tastemakers, media, and more to celebrate André De Shields, Billy Porter, Edward Enninful, Lee Daniels, and Rashad Robinson.
The annual Native Son Awards celebrates Black gay and queer men who are mavericks in their profession, community, and the world. Highlighting those who have broken barriers professionally and personally, and who have become firsts in their respective industries. Native Son honors the authenticity, achievements and accomplishments, aiming to connect and celebrate the members of this influential yet long-ignored community.
This year, the honorees have made incredible contributions in the realm of arts, business, media, fashion, politics, film and television. Tony Award-winning André De Shields is a legend and a force, gracing Broadway with show stopping performances that helped pave the way for other Black gay and queer talent. The remarkable actor and singer Billy Porter has propelled a movement forward, not only as an entertainer but also as a fashion icon defying society’s outdated notions of style. Edward Enninful, OBE, and Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue, broke through countless barriers to make a name in the fashion industry, now highly regarded as one of the top voices of authority on style, taste, and culture in the world. Film and television writer and producer Lee Daniels has quite literally created worlds for the Black community in esteemed works like Empire, elevating these roles and amplifying the talents and voices. Rashad Robinson has been a crucial advocate for racial and social justice as President of Color Of Change, showing great leadership to advance the freedom, equity, and power of the Black community.
Presenters are also widely celebrated allies and friends, making contributions to advance the quality of life for their intersecting communities. Tony Award-winning dancer and choreographer George Faison honors André De Shields, bringing together the world of theater for the special night. Transgender rights activist and writer, Janet Mock, presents the Native Son Award to her fellow Pose star Billy Porter. The woman who needs no introduction, Naomi Campbell, brings longtime friend Edward Enninful to the virtual stage. A dynamic duo – playwright and actor Jordan Cooper and actor and stylist Miss Lawrence – present the award to Lee Daniels. Rounding out an evening celebrating Black lives with an exceptional group of advocates, Alicia Garza, civil rights activist and co-founder of Black Lives Matter, and Angela Rye, social justice advocate and lawyer, come together to present the award to Rashad Robinson.
Opening the evening is charismatic opera singer, Davóne Tines, performing “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Often coined the “Black national anthem,” Tines’ moving rendition is a powerful cry for liberation and pledge of unity for the Black community. Later in the program, actor and singer Dyllón Burnside best known for his work on Pose, graces the virtual stage with a beautiful performance of his debut single “Silence.” The sensual music takes the audience through his intimate path of sexual healing and affirmation of self-worth as a Black and queer man.
Members of the Black gay and queer community have very unique experiences in a society that often marginalizes, ignores, and tries to erase their very existence. Native Son seeks to inspire and empower Black gay and queer men with a mission to harness their collective power, ensuring that their voices, visibility and lived experiences are elevated and never again disregarded.
Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. Today Cadillac is growing globally, driven by an expanding product portfolio featuring distinctive design and technology. More information on Cadillac appears at http://www.cadillac.com. Cadillac’s media website with information, images and video can be found at media.cadillac.com.
About Native Son
Native Son is a movement that exemplifies the duality of being Black and gay in a society that often shuns and belittles their unique experiences. This movement aims to create a safe space where the Black gay male community can fellowship, celebrate and empower each other, and—most importantly—see themselves. From the world-renowned to the up-and-coming, Native Son aims to connect and celebrate the members of this influential, yet long ignored community in the realms of arts, business, media, fashion, politics and healthcare. Native Son Website
About Emil Wilbekin
Emil Wilbekin is the Founder of Native Son, a platform created to inspire and empower Black Gay Men. He has appeared On-Air discussing pop culture, fashion/style, entertainment and current affairs on The Today Show, NBC Channel 4 News New York, E!, VH-1, MTV, BET, CNN, The Insider, Arise 360, Revolt, and PBS. Wilbekin has an expertise in editorial creation, content curation and multimedia story telling (print, digital, social, video and live events) having served as Chief Content Officer at Afropunk, Editor-at-Large at Essence, Managing Editor of Essence.com, Editor-inChief of Giant and Giantmag.com, Style Guru at Complex Media, VP of Brand Development at Marc Eckō Enterprises, Editorial Director/Vice President of Vibe Ventures and Editor-in-Chief of Vibe Magazine. Under Wilbekin’s leadership, Vibe won the National Magazine Award for General Excellence in 2002.
Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.
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