ABFF Honors: Award Winning Actor Rob Morgan, (Just Mercy, The Photograph) Gives ‘Shout Out’ to Chicago 'Steppers' [VIDEO]

ABFF Honors:  Award Winning Actor Rob Morgan, (Just Mercy, The Photograph) Gives ‘Shout Out’ to Chicago 'Steppers' [VIDEO]
Award Winning Actor Rob Morgan, dances to DVIDEO 79 Productions' Daina Howze for an interview at the American Black Film Festival Honors Award Ceremony, February 23rd at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, LA.

The 4th Annual American Black Film Festival Honors was held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel this past Sunday, February 23rd.  The annual awards presentation celebrates African American artists who have made distinguished contributions to the entertainment industry, as champions of diversity in Hollywood.

Award winning Actor Rob Morgan (Mudbound, Stranger Things, Just Mercy). Courtesy Getty Images.

Award winning Actor Rob Morgan (Mudbound, Stranger Things, Just Mercy). Courtesy Getty Images.

The event started with a red carpet presentation staged for the media, where credentialed news journalists, photographers, print and online outlets were invited to take photographs and conduct one on one interviews.

rob-morgan-just-mercyrob-morgan-mudbound-posterMulti-award winning actor Rob Morgan, known for Mudbound, Stranger Things and The Photograph, took to the red carpet before he and his cast mates received the ABFF Movie Of The Year Award for Just Mercy.

“We’re ‘Chicago Now’!  We got to get some steppin’ in, right?  When Rob saw the ‘ChicagoNow’ news placard, he danced toward DVIDEO 79 Productions' Associate Producer Daina Howze, when they both got tangled in microphone cables after a few of his ‘steppin’ twirls’.   “I’m chained up to a microphone.  What do you know about steppin’?,” Daina laughed. “We need some music!”  {VIDEO}

Just Mercy Producer and Writer Bryan Stevenson speaks to the media at the 51st NAACP Image Awards. Photographer Daina Howze. Courtesdy DVIDEO 79 Productions.

Just Mercy Producer and Writer Bryan Stevenson speaks to the media at the 51st NAACP Image Awards. Photographer Daina Howze. Courtesy DVIDEO 79 Productions.

DVIDEO 79 Productions' Daina Howze and Don Howze covers media and red carpet event at the 51st NAACP Image Awards.

DVIDEO 79 Productions' Daina Howze and Don Howze covers media and red carpet event at the 51st NAACP Image Awards on February 22nd, at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, Pasadena, CA.

“I call it 'the Black Salsa',” explains Rob. “That's what I love about steppin’, its about that connection between a man and a woman.  Especially in our community.”  The Chicago ‘steppin’  dance style is enjoyed by couples who gracefully showcase rhythmic dance moves to either slow or fast music.  It originated in Chicago over 40 years ago and been a mainstay in the city's African American communities. {VIDEO}

Though Rob lives on the east coast, he still has fond memories of partying on Chicago’s south side at the local steppin' clubs. “I used to go to the 50 Yard Line in the Chi {sic} Chicago, hung out with Pete, Chatman, Tick Man and all those steppers.”

Rob is referring to the pioneers of steppin';  DJ Sam Chatman, who promoted the style as a deejay in the '70's and Pete Frazier who currently spearheads Chicago's annual World's Largest Steppers Contest.  Rob admits that his passion for steppin’ keeps him on the dance floor in his home town.  “I’ve been taking classes in New York.  We have a big steppin’ crowd there- and in New Jersey. So we steppers man, we love steppin’!

Other American Black Film Festival honorees and award recipients that graced the red carpet  include Oscar winner Jamie Foxx,  who was presented with the prestigious Excellence in the Arts Award, Oscar winner Louis Gossett Jr. with the Hollywood Legacy Award, Emmy winner Lena Waithe with the Industry Renaissance Award, and Oscar nominee Cynthia Erivo with the Rising Star Award.  ABFF also presented HBO’s The Wire with the Classic Television Award and the highly successful film, Just Mercy with the Movie of the Year Award.

About the Author:  Don Howze is an Emmy Award Winning Film/Tape Editor and Associate Professor of Journalism and Television Production.  Don is the producer and director of the upcoming film documentary The Production Crew, funded in part by the Field Foundation of Illinois.  imdb.me/dondvideo

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