The city of Los Angeles honored Tiffany Haddish and Jeffrey Osborne at the opening ceremony for its 2020 African American Heritage Month celebrations.
The two were among politicians and community activists who packed City Hall on Feb. 5 for the hours-long ceremony recognizing five prominent African Americans. Haddish, a native of South Los Angeles, received the Trailblazer Award.
The actress and comedian grew up in foster care. During her acceptance speech, she thanked taxpayers and said L.A. County’s foster care system prepared her for some of life’s challenges.
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“Thank you to every citizen here in Los Angeles who supports [me], and even if you don’t support, just thank you to taxpayers because I wouldn’t be here if y’all didn’t pay taxes,” Haddish said jokingly.
“I’ll tell you, the foster care system is something else,” she continued. “I think it prepared me for this journey that I’m on right now. It prepared me in so many ways, living with so many different types of people, being in different environments really prepared me for entertainment because I’m always surrounded by different types of people and there’s a lot of rejection. So I’m strong with rejection. I can take a no, and I’ll figure out another way to get my yes.”
[Watch Haddish’s speech below]
Osborne, famous for songs like “On The Wings of Love” and “You Should Be Mine (Woo Woo Song),” posed for pictures with Garcetti and three African American council members. The Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter said he was humbled to receive the city’s Living Legend Award.
“This is even more special to me because I get to receive this while I’m alive,” Osborne told the assembled crowd. “So for me to be here and be able to appreciate this is more special than you could ever imagine.”
Proud to present the Living Legend Award to @_JeffreyOsborne at our African American Heritage Month celebration. Jeffrey’s contributions to the world of music are as powerful as his efforts to expand access to music & arts education. Thank you for all you do! #BlackHistoryMonth pic.twitter.com/NCeTM8I07Q
— MayorOfLA (@MayorOfLA) February 5, 2020
During the ceremony, three Hall of Fame Awards were given to local business and community leaders, including the Honorable Michael A. Lawson, Esq., president of the Los Angeles Urban League; Sandra Evers-Manly, president of the Northrop Grumman Foundation; and Thomas Parham, Ph.D., president of California State University Dominguez Hills.
The city of Los Angeles has held African American Heritage Month celebrations since 1949.