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Black film critics to honor Mariah Carey, George C. Wolfe and Stacey Abrams

Stacey Abrams (Photo by A.R. Shaw for Steed Media)

Singer Mariah Carey, politician and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams, director George C. Wolfe and Netflix will be the special achievement honorees at this year’s 12th annual African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) Awards.

The AAFCA’s special achievement honors are presented to salute the excellence of a body of work and recognize noteworthy contributions in any given year.

AAFCA CEO and President Gil Robertson told Variety that this year’s honorees are “very intentional in wanting to utilize their talents for good, for information and with the intention to uplift and empower.”

Carey will receive the Innovator Award for her storied career which was further highlighted last year with the release of her memoir The Meaning of Mariah Carey and her “Magical Christmas Special” on Apple TV Plus. “She’s also presented opportunities behind the camera for a lot of Black technicians and creatives,” Robertson said. “It’s all about being able to open the door for others, and she’s certainly done that and provided job opportunities to Black crews and other Black creators.”

Wolfe will earn the Salute to Excellence award for his directorial storytelling in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Robertson applauded the Tony-winning director for his visionary work on stage and screen. “For many actors, their pathway to success begins in the theater, and Mr. Wolfe has certainly been a part of the development process for a lot of big names that we know today in the TV and film space,” he said. “He’s such a brilliant man and director — from ‘Lackawanna Blues’ to ‘Angels in America’ to what he did with ‘Ma Rainey’ — telling stories that reflect in it to a great degree our history in this country as Black people.”

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