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Photo by Tristan Halstead for Broadway Black

There’s nothing better than a room full of Black people. Dressed to the nines. Having a good time.

You know what. I take that back.

There’s nothing better than a room full of Black people filled with the spirit of honor and celebration.

Broadway Black hosted its inaugural Tony Award Watch Party on Sunday June 12, 2016 at Row NYC Hotel. The event was designed with the purpose of highlighting and celebrating the achievements of #BroadwayBlack artists over the 2015-2016 season, and that we did.

We danced. We ate. We sang. Unified in the love of theatre— it’s magic and it’s inclusivity.

We said the names:

Daveed Diggs

Renée Elise Goldsberry

Paul Tazewell

Leslie Odom Jr.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

Cynthia Erivo

We cheered as they took to the stage representing the hard work and determination it takes to get to The Great White Way. People from all walks of life—lovers of theatre—stepped foot on our step and repeat, with melanin shining bright, as if to repeat the affirmation #WeAreBroadwayBlack. We shouted and we praised because we were represented. We are enough. And while we gathered in the heart of New York City in tuxedos and gowns, what matters the most is that some children at home saw the casts of Shuffle Along, Hamilton, and The Color Purple perform. They saw people who look like them win. The seed was planted that there’s room for them too.

That thought leaves me full.

We are truly humbled to be part of this community. It brings us joy to highlight the achievements of African-Americans on and off Broadway. We are grateful for the love and support we receive.

Out of the 7 decades of honoring the best of Broadway, this season stands out as historic. 18 #BroadwayBlack nominations. Eighteen. Wow.

We’re constantly reminded how lucky we are to be alive right now. Let’s hope and strive for the day diversity is no longer the problem, but the norm. We’ll be here, filling you in show by show.

Did you attend The Black Out Party? We’d love for you to send in any photos, stories, or feedback. See you next year!

See some of our favorites tweets and pictures from The Black Out party below! Thanks to all who came out to celebrate with us, especially our friends from Shuffle Along, The Color Purple, & Matilda The Musical.

 

Photos by Tristan Halstead for Broadway Black

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