Filmmaker Lena Waithe attends the 2018 MTV Movie And TV Awards at Barker Hangar.
Filmmaker Lena Waithe attends the 2018 MTV Movie And TV Awards at Barker Hangar.(Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for MTV)
"The Chi" creator Lena Waithe received the Trailblazer Award and took a moment to honor a few other innovators.
Waithe dedicated her award to the stars of "Paris is Burning," a documentary highlighting the drag scene in New York in the 1980s.
"A lot of people featured in this film are no longer with us, but their legacies will never die, because they live on in all of us," Waithe said.
"And every time someone says, "Shade," or talk about reading, or just decide to serve face for no reason at all, please look up to the sky and give thanks, because we owe them a huge debt of gratitude. They strutted through a brick wall so we wouldn't have to."
From her buzzed about Vanity Fair cover to her recent big-screen debut in Steven Spielberg's "Ready Player One," not to mention her critically acclaimed role in "Master of None" and her designation as the first African-American woman to win a writing Emmy for her work on that series, Waithe is garnering attention.
Rapper and actor Common, who introduced Waithe, said she mentors hundreds of young writers.
She gives "a chance to fresh, new voices, forging a new path so maybe one day there'll be more than one black, lesbian writer like herself accepting awards onstage," he said.