AceShowbiz - Niecy Nash urged women to put themselves first rather than stay in an unhappy marriage in an emotional speech at ESSENCE's Black Women in Hollywood event on Thursday, February 06.
Last December, the star filed for divorce from her second husband Jay Tucker after eight years of marriage. And speaking about the tough decision, the "Claws" star revealed she walked away from the marriage even though her family was not comfortable seeing her as a single woman.
"There was a huge myth that I inherited from the women in my family which is, 'You are nothing without a man. Get one, keep one, no matter what — blind, cripple, crazy, married or lazy — get one, baby girl, because they will validate you!'."
However, she reflected, "When I owned we were better friends than life partners, my family was quick to say, 'But you all look so good together' (and) 'Well, if the man ain't beating you, what you leaving for?'," she added. "And I replied, 'What about my happiness?' The untethering from my family's beliefs, the internet's expectations and my marriage ending caused me so much pain."
Reflecting that the "long line of women that I come from had never been taught what choosing themselves looks like," she continued: "Pain is putting things in necessary order. You've got to acknowledge how you feel. Trust that it is so much easier to walk in your shoes than it is run towards a lie."
"You've got to own the part you play. I encourage you to walk in your truth, live your trauma and live your best damn life."
Nash added she's, "the most grateful because I now know myself much better than before."
Nash was honoured alongside Beyonce Knowles's "Lemonade" and "Queen & Slim" director Melina Matsoukas, 007 star Lashana Lynch and the team behind "Pose" including Janet Mock, Mj Rodriguez, Angelica Ross and Hailie Sahar, at the event.
Kerry Washington also paid tribute to the late Hollywood icon Diahann Carroll.