Oprah Winfrey attends the Sixth Annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Awards Luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel on February 21, 2013 in Beverly Hills

Oprah Winfrey attends the Sixth Annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Awards Luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel on February 21, 2013 in Beverly Hills

*With her plush dog-shaped purse in tow, 9-year-old Oscar nominee Quvenzhane Wallis rubbed shoulders with Oprah Winfrey, Alfre Woodard and other celebs Thursday at Essence magazine’s sixth annual Black Women in Hollywood awards luncheon.

Wallis, who stars in best-picture contender “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” was among the magazine’s six honorees along with Gabrielle Union, Mara Brock-Akil, Naomie Harris, Oprah Winfrey and Alfre Woodard.

Actress Qvenzhane Wallis attends the Sixth Annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Awards Luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel on February 21, 2013 in Beverly Hills

Actress Qvenzhane Wallis attends the Sixth Annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Awards Luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel on February 21, 2013 in Beverly Hills

Standing on a step so she could speak at the podium, Quvenzhane thanked God, “Beasts” director Behn Zeitlin and “my baby sitter that was on set,” according to the AP.

Quvenzhane is the youngest best-actress nominee in Oscar history and one of only 10 African-Americans ever recognized in the category.

Winfrey was teary-eyed as she took the stage after being introduced by the graduating class of her namesake Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. “I am humbled by this day,” she said. “There’s nothing better than being honored by your own.”

Oprah Winfrey (C) and students from her school in Africa attend the Sixth Annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Awards Luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel on February 21, 2013 in Beverly Hills

Oprah Winfrey and students from her school in Africa attend the Sixth Annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Awards Luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel on February 21, 2013 in Beverly Hills

Essence President Michelle Ebanks said the afternoon’s honorees “are changing the very definition of power” with their presence in Hollywood.

Woodard said she always recognized herself in the pages of Essence and recalled that when she and actresses C.C.H. Pounder and Loretta Divine first arrived in Hollywood, “they didn’t know what to do with (us).”

“We were young and gifted and looking way the hell black,” Woodard said. “And we still have our original noses!”

Actress Alfre Woodard (L) and her guest attend the Sixth Annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Awards Luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel on February 21, 2013 in Beverly Hills

Actress Alfre Woodard (L) and her guest attend the Sixth Annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Awards Luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel on February 21, 2013 in Beverly Hills

Actress Gabrielle Union moved the audience as she accepted the Fierce & Fearless award. Union said she had long pretended to be fierce and fearless but actually reveled in gossip and “took joy in people’s pain and tap-danced on their misery.” She said she posed for photos in such a way to “minimize my blackness” and didn’t speak out against racism in school or in Hollywood when she was younger.

“Real fearless and fierce women admit mistakes and work to correct them,” she said. “We stand up and we use our voices for things other than self-promotion. We don’t stand by and let racism and sexism and homophobia run rampant on our watch. Real fierce and fearless women celebrate and compliment other women and we recognize and embrace the notion that their shine in no way diminishes our light, and actually makes our light shine brighter.”

Actress Gabrielle Union attends the Sixth Annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Awards Luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel on February 21, 2013 in Beverly Hills

Actress Gabrielle Union attends the Sixth Annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Awards Luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel on February 21, 2013 in Beverly Hills

Actress Naomie Harris, who plays Eve Moneypenny in “Skyfall,” was among those touched by Union’s words.

“I’m in the place you were,” Harris said as she accepted the Shining Star award. “I feel as though I have traveled thousands of miles to actually listen to that speech, to learn, to be inspired and to be reminded of who I am.”

Actress Naomie Harris attends the Sixth Annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Awards Luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel on February 21, 2013 in Beverly Hills

Actress Naomie Harris attends the Sixth Annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Awards Luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel on February 21, 2013 in Beverly Hills

Writer-producer Mara Brock-Akil cried throughout her acceptance speech, saying, “All I ever wanted to do was tell our story.”

Other stars attending the luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel included Blair Underwood, Laila Ali, Star Jones, Jill Scott and Tracee Ellis Ross.

Grammy-winning singer Miguel performed his winning hit, “Adore,” and rapper-actor Common did an impromptu freestyle during a brief technical difficulty, working the names of the six honorees into a quick rap.

View more pics below:

Cast of 'Girlfriends' reunite! (L-R) Actresses Jill Marie Jones, Persia White, Golden Brooks and Tracee Ellis Ross attend the Sixth Annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Awards Luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel on February 21, 2013 in Beverly Hills

Cast of ‘Girlfriends’ reunited: (L-R) Actresses Jill Marie Jones, Persia White, Golden Brooks and Tracee Ellis Ross

Recording artist/actress Jill Scott attends the Sixth Annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Awards Luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel on February 21, 2013 in Beverly Hills

Recording artist/actress Jill Scott

Actor/Rapper Common

Actor/Rapper Common

Actress Garcelle Beauvais attends the Sixth Annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Awards Luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel on February 21, 2013 in Beverly Hills

Actress Garcelle Beauvais
Actress Holly Robinson Peete attends the Sixth Annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Awards Luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel on February 21, 2013 in Beverly Hills

Actress Holly Robinson Peete

Recording artist Kelly Rowland

Recording artist Kelly Rowland

Model Naomi Campbell

Model Naomi Campbell

Actress Meagan Good

Actress Meagan Good

Actress C.C.H. Pounder

Actress C.C.H. Pounder

Actress Loretta Devine

Actress Loretta Devine

Actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell

Actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell

Professional boxer Laila Ali

Professional boxer Laila Ali

Star Jones

Star Jones

Actress Salli Richardson-Whitfield

Actress Salli Richardson-Whitfield

Actress Anika Noni Rose

Actress Anika Noni Rose

Actress Shanola Hampton of Showtime's "Shameless"

Actress Shanola Hampton of Showtime’s “Shameless”

Erica of Mary Mary (R) and her sister/stylist Goo Goo

Erica of Mary Mary (R) and her sister/stylist Goo Goo

Actress Keke Palmer

Actress Keke Palmer

Actress Lorraine Toussaint

Actress Lorraine Toussaint

Actress Regina Hall

Actress Regina Hall

Television reporter Shaun Robinson

Television reporter Shaun Robinson

Actress Tatyana Ali

Actress Tatyana Ali

Actor Michael Ealy

Actor Michael Ealy

Actress Tamera Mowry

Actress Tamera Mowry

Actress Tia Mowry

Actress Tia Mowry

Actress Nicey Nash

Actress Nicey Nash

Actress Yvette Nicole Brown

Actress Yvette Nicole Brown

Actress Claudia Jordan

Actress Claudia Jordan

Actress Wendy Raquel Robinson

Actress Wendy Raquel Robinson