It’s the BET Awards weekend, and L.A. is the place to be, according to power-house entertainment marketer and entrepreneur Miss Diddy. “It’s always been a time when people come from all major markets and they want to be in the city and everything like that,” the LA Native tells xoNecole.
That’s why every year, Miss Diddy kicks off BET Awards weekend by hosting her annual LA event, A Toast to Black Hollywood. Founded in 2014 initially as A Toast to Young Hollywood, the event was born from Miss Diddy’s desire to celebrate people who typically don’t get the recognition they deserve for their impact on the culture. “Years ago …it really started for me to really give an ode to the people that were moving the culture forward,” she says. “So the executives, the people behind the scenes, the people who had a big effect on my career as well.”
In the event’s first year, the honorees included Meagan Good, Baron Davis, Eric Bellinger, and Steve Rifkind. This year’s honorees include Valeisha Jones, Nina Parker, Cynthia Bailey, and Shayla Cowan, among other movers and shakers in the industry.
After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Miss Diddy is relaunching the event under its new name, A Toast to Black Hollywood – a shift that came in response to everything that happened post-2020, including the protests against police brutality. “As soon as everything kinda changed in the world during the time of the pandemic, and everything that happened as a culture and as a community, I wanted to make sure to change the name to A Toast to Black Hollywood,” Miss Diddy tells xoNecole. “We’re being really intentional about our messaging moving forward and what’s important to us as a community.”
Alongside the new name for the event, Miss Diddy also prides herself in the charity work she does for the community. “I’ve partnered with the mayor of Compton, Asia Brown, to do many community initiatives,” she says. “Whether it’s Thanksgiving, making sure we’re feeding families, handing out turkeys, serving the elderly. Whether it’s Christmastime and I’ve partnered with Champion for them to give us so much clothes for the community. Mattel is one of my partners that come and give our kids in Compton so many toys.”
Since the beginning of her career as an entertainment marketer, Miss Diddy has had a front row seat to culture defining moments. “When Kanye started Good Music, I started over in the promotion department with [West’s Co-manager] John Monopoly and just built my career from there.” It wouldn’t be long before Miss Diddy would begin facilitating her own legendary moments.
When reflecting on what moment from over the years at The Toast to Black Hollywood event stands out to her, Miss Diddy points to 2018 when the event honored Lauren London who was attended by her partner, the late rapper Nipsey Hussle. “Nipsey was there and just having a great time with us. He was so proud of Lauren and so proud of me.”
Miss Diddy credits her drive and tenacity to her Los Angeles rearing. “It’s a place I was born in, grew up in, raised in, and became successful in – extremely successful,” she says. “This is where people come to make their dreams come true. They come here to be in the city that we built with our hands. Everything about Los Angeles has shaped who I am.” With the forthcoming Toast to Black Hollywood event and all the work she continues to do in her career, Miss Diddy is certain to always put on for her city.
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