Diahann Carroll, Cheryl Boone Isaacs Honored at 'House of Flowers' Dinner

8:01 AM PST 10/20/2013 by Sharifa Godfrey
Diahann Carroll speaking at the House of Flowers dinner on Oct. 19.

Angela Bassett, Regina King, Anika Noni Rose and BET CEO Debra Lee were among the invited guests.

Some of the top African-American women in entertainment, business and philanthropy mingled at a "House of Flowers" dinner honoring Diahann Carroll and Cheryl Boone Isaacs on Saturday. 

Hosted by television producer Tracey Edmonds and film and television producer Debra Martin Chase, the private dinner was held at Edmonds' home as a celebration of sisterhood and female empowerment.

"A lot of times there is so much superficial competition, because there are so few opportunities for women of color to succeed in the industry, so you've got to compete versus help each other. It was really beautiful that I got this opportunity to share this evening with Debra Chase, who is a fellow producer," said Edmonds.

Q&A: New Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs on Her Historic Election

The theme of the evening, "House of Flowers," was inspired by Truman Capote's Broadway play, in which Carroll made her acting debut in 1954.

"I don't think that people who are 78 years of age are going to be around forever, but I'm going to make a damn good try of it," Carroll said during her thank you remarks. Her career in television and on stage spans more than six decades, paving the way for many of the women in attendance at the intimate event. 

Isaacs described the evening as a "historical night" and "first of its kind." She made her own history earlier this year as the first African-American woman to be elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Isaacs was excited about meeting fellow honoree Carroll for the first time.

Top entertainment manager Dolores Robinson joked about not going out in Hollywood for fear of seeing the same people all the time. "But this is different; you don't see nights like this," she added. 

Other guests included legendary model Beverly Johnson, Debbie Allen, Suzanne dePasse, Access Hollywood's Shaun Robinson, former White House social secretary Desiree Rodgers, Pauletta Washington, wife of Denzel Washington, and Samuel L. Jackson's wife, LaTanya Richardson Jackson.

"If I were still in my 20s, I would stay later," said Carroll as she gave goodbye hugs a little before midnight. After a 30-year hiatus, Carroll is set to return to Broadway to play Denzel Washington's mother in Raison in the Sun. Rose also will star.

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