“I need some music!” Ryan Jamaal Swain insisted as he danced up on stage to receive the Represent Pride award at the Urban One Honors.
Hosted at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland on Dec. 5th, 2019 [televised yesterday, Jan. 20th, 2020] many gathered to celebrate those who have made extraordinary contributions to entertainment, media, fashion, and more! Alongside celebrating these individuals and it’s 40 year history of Radio One, Urban One Founder and Chairwoman, Cathy Hughes decided to add another special award to this second annual show.
Pose star and Howard Alum, Ryan Jamaal Swain received the first ever “Represent Pride” award to celebrate the many milestones and great accomplishments that have taken place in the LGBT community over the last few decades. Swain’s dear friend and mentor, Billy Porter, had the privilege to speak on his behalf as he granted him the award.
“Ryan is a product of what we built...” Porter begins as he interviews with Represent One the night of the award show. He continues to say how empowered and bold Swain is and how lucky he feels to not only have paved the way for this generation of LGBT members, but to be able to “reap the benefit of the work that I’ve put in for decades and decades, while also seeing it manifest...”
Swain then got on stage and opened up about growing up in Alabama, attending Howard University and the impact being part of the “queer people of color” has in his life. He closed by shouting out Cathy Hughes and thanking Janet Mock and his Pose/FX family “to be bold enough to push a cast of queer and transgendered folks of color on to prime time television..."
Alongside Swain and Porter, were a few other African American luminaries and honorees such as Sylvia Rhone (Lifetime Achievement Honor); Grammy Award-winning recording artist and producer Missy Elliott (Music Innovation Honor); Academy Award-winning actor Jamie Foxx (Entertainment Icon Honor); and Grammy Award-winning artist Chance the Rapper (Represent Change Honor).
The Urban One Honors on TV One will continue to serve as an annual commemoration of the achievements of black and brown people and broadcast their contributions to our culture and global society.
Watch the Full Speech Below: