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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Mo’Nique honored by Atlanta Urban League

33416_1443595002474_1011078506_1301950_1255889_nShe has already collected Oscar and Golden Globe statues but Saturday’s tribute from the Atlanta Urban League made actress-comedienne-talk show host Mo’Nique emotional nonetheless.

“When you get your community to say, ‘we honor you,’ it’s a privilege,” she told us during a short interview ahead of time. “It’s humbling.”

Mo’Nique won best supporting actress awards for her role in the Tyler Perry-Oprah Winfrey presented film “Precious,” and hosts “The Mo’Nique Show” on BET. The show’s positive nature explains its success, she said.

“There are a lot of amazing talk shows, but we’re a celebration of live and love,” she said. “When you’re ready to talk about life and love, you’ll come see us.”

So, who does she want to work with next? “I don’t consider this work,” she said. “I would love to play with Don Cheadle. Don, if you’re reading this, dammit, I’ve said it too many times. You haven’t called me!”

Mo'Nique took time to meet with young journalist Kelcie Willis, who was there reporting for the VOX teen newspaper

Mo'Nique took time to meet with young journalist Kelcie Willis, who was there reporting for the VOX teen newspaper

A number of notable guests attended Saturday’s Spirit of the League luncheon, held at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis and emceed by HLN anchor Richelle Carey and Ryan Smith, host of Tru TV’s “In Session.”

Atlanta Urban League president and CEO Nancy Flake Johnson, board chair Cole W. Carroll, board vice chair Noni Ellison-Southall and board member Gail Nutt all gave welcoming remarks. Trumpet Awards founder Xernona Clayton, former NBA star Kevin Willis and U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper were among the guests.

Roger Bobb, executive vice president of Tyler Perry Studios, referenced the Oscars triumph in his introductory remarks.

“I had the privilege of being at the Kodak Theatre that night, and I don’t mind telling you we all acted a fool when Mo’Nique won!” On a serious note he said her role as the abusive Mary Jones was one of the finest performances he’s ever seen. Bobb and William L. Hawthorne served as honorary co-chairs of  the event.

The invocation was delivered by former Ambassador and Mayor Andy Young, who managed to pack humor and a history lesson in his few minutes before the audience.

Mo'Nique had to leave early but took time to take pictures with members of the Marriott's staff, including Melissa Banks.

Mo'Nique had to leave early but took time to take pictures with members of the Marriott's staff, including Melissa Banks.

“I tried to get Gail Nutt to invite some of the younger local pastors to give the invocation, and then I realized that giving an invocation is giving thanks,” Young said. Noting that the Marriott’s location used to be the site of a hospital, he said, “Right about where we are is where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. learned he had won the Nobel Prize.”

King had gone to the doctor for a check-up when he received the call, Young explained.

The transition from hospital site to hotel site occurred while Young was in office, inspiring a funny anecdote: “They were trying to tell me where I could park. I said, ‘Look, son, I broke ground on this. I dug the first ditch. Back off, leave my car along, I need to go pray for these folks!”

City Councilman Michael Julian Bond attended on Mayor Kasim Reed’s behalf and presented Mo’Nique with the Phoenix Award, the city’s highest honor. A video of film clips and interviews preceded Mo’Nique’s appearance before the crowd.

"OK, give me all the fellas!" Mo'Nique said as she posed with guys on the Marriott's staff.

"OK, give me all the fellas!" Mo'Nique said as she posed with guys on the Marriott's staff.

“I was watching the video and I said, ‘Who are they talking about?’ and I looked up at a little fat black girl from Baltimore,” Mo’Nique said. “I’ve gotten a lot of ‘you can’t,’ ‘you won’t,’ ‘you’re too big,’ ‘you’re black, ‘you’re a woman,’ and I took all that and I kept my focus and said, something’s going to work out.”

She wiped tears away with a tissue several times during her comments. “Dream big,” she said. “I came to Atlanta when my baby was 2, with no money, driving a U-Haul. My baby is 20 now and we’re not driving any more U-Haul trucks.”

18 comments Add your comment

django

June 26th, 2010
6:53 pm

..and this is the reason why the ‘Civil Rights” community are irrelevant, out of touch and of no interest to the general populus..while youre busy licking the egos of these ppl that have no value to the community we’re out here dealin with real issues…hopefully that savage had the decency to shave her legs this time

be happy

June 26th, 2010
7:32 pm

be happy for her unshaved legs and all she went for her dreams and i am so happy for her

Katrina

June 26th, 2010
8:14 pm

It is apparent that the person that made the very negative comment did not have a ticket to the event therefore was not there to hear what Monique humbly had to say, or hear the honorable Andrew Young speak upon where we have come from and our struggles, and the fantastic stories of the other awardees…all I can say is Wow!!! I sure hope that this person is not contributing to anything that has to do with our “Civil Rights” because what they failed to realize was that Monique was given an award becasue she represents how far woman have come in the entertainment industry which was largely in part due to what was done by the Civil Rights movement and strong black women like Monique that refuse to let people steal their dreams..

Jane

June 26th, 2010
8:22 pm

She was great in Precious, but she needs to drop the ghetto gurl, loud mouth stuff. It gets old really quickly.

EJ

June 26th, 2010
9:24 pm

Jane? I agree…there is talent but the way she uses it is not always acceptable for young people and some older people……it really gets old after a while…..entertainment has to change if our youth will enjoy a healthy and safe quality of life………

Grat MoniqueFan

June 27th, 2010
10:55 am

Monique if you are reading this…CONGRATULATIONS for this and all of the awards you are and will continue to receive…You truly inspire girl! Stay strong to who you are and keep on trucking!

To all of the haters…BACK OFF!!!!!

None can wear her shoestrings…You go girl!

Eric

June 27th, 2010
11:59 am

To django, Jane and EJ ….. All negative comments that have absolutely nothing do with this article. It amazes me more each day how far the south HAS NOT come. Monique is who she is, just like any other actor or comedian. She covered a major hurdle with this film, yet there are still ignorant folks in the world who will just try to find anything negative to say to demean her.

MONIQUE – FROM ONE NATIVE BALTIMOREAN TO ANOTHER….DO THE DAMN THING BABY!

Clayton

June 27th, 2010
1:00 pm

I for one have to agree with Eric…I get so TIRED of the “hoity toity” segment of the black populace.

Jennifer Miller

June 27th, 2010
3:45 pm

Congratulations Mo’Nique! Thank you for showing us that if you have dreams you should never be ashamed to go after them, never give up and always work hard. People think show business is easy but you have hung in there and did the darn thang! I saw you at the Diana Ross concert and all I could do was be so proud to see two beautiful black idols of mine and to see you too in the same place was a treat. I’m glad my daughter was with me to witness the magic. You and your husband came to see someone that you admire, Diana Ross and then everyone in my section took notice that you were taking your seat and I heard people saying Wow, Monique came to see Diana Ross, how awesome is that-from one generation to the next generation is all I could say. I was so proud to share that moment with my 13 year old daughter. Keep giving us your great art of entertainment. Forever a supporter, believer, dreamer and doer. Thank you Monique and Sydney! Jennifer Miller

rod

June 27th, 2010
5:57 pm

Let me get this straight. We have a 500 pound chick who doesnt shave her legs, lets her husband fool around and likes men and women and gets an award. I bet Martin Luther King Jr. is questioning this one from up above.

GA Girl

June 27th, 2010
6:31 pm

The Spirit of the League was amazing! Mo’Nique was very gracious of the award and the tribute. Her speech was powerful. So, if there’s anyone out there whose being critical, you should’ve been there on yesterday. Can’t wait to see who will be honored next year!

deb

June 28th, 2010
10:21 am

Rod, your ignorance is showing. Her lifestyle was not the reason for the award. As far as you assuming that Dr King is questioning this one, you should know that he believed in acceptance of everyone.

White Boy

June 28th, 2010
3:55 pm

Hey rod, maybe you will win next year…since you’ve done so much for the community! By the way Martin Luther King Jr. and is died and not questioning anything from anywhere. Let us know when you get back from fantasy land…rod.

White Boy

June 28th, 2010
3:56 pm

Hey rod, maybe you will win next year…since you’ve done so much for the community! By the way Martin Luther King Jr. and is dead and not questioning anything from anywhere. Let us know when you get back from fantasy land…rod.

Big Jim

June 28th, 2010
4:24 pm

Yet another example of women putting too emphasis on
celebrities. Why can this sow,sorry for insulting pigs, be talked
of in the same vein as MLK?!

It would be nice to drop that played hood persona, but what would
black women idolize then?

I never knew why Precious got the attention it got. Tyler Perry/Oprah
Winfrey are overly influential women who cater to the “damaged goods”
segment of America.

CWILLI

June 29th, 2010
8:41 am

I think it’a ashame when people can speak so negative about someone whom they have never met, and go by hear say. WOW what has this world coming to. Mo’nique love you girl hairy legs and all if you like I love it’s your choice. Who said you have to shave your legs or anything else for that matter. You know some of the attitudes should be shaved how about that. To be honest I don’t think anyone actually said that I think it was put in here to stir the pot. “Gotcha” all those negative haters are truly lovers they made cause they don’t have the shine and the only way they can get it is be “Negative”.

Big Jim

June 29th, 2010
12:28 pm

defending someone you don’t know without
having the facts,or any affiliation with the
one being roasted makes you look stupid
in my opinion.

defending someone who can afford their own
defense is messed up. if a celebrity, no
matter how bloated she is, told you to jump
off of a bridge, you would do it.

since Obama, everyone seems to think criticism
just started yesterday. get over it.

rod

June 29th, 2010
5:27 pm

I know more about Kings beliefs than 3/4 of the city of Atlanta