It was a night full of genuine sisterhood at the Alfre Woodard and Rémy Martin Annual Oscars Sistahs Soiree, where some of Hollywood’s leading ladies toasted African American women in film and honored stars Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), Oprah Winfrey (Lee Daniels’ The Butler), Naomie Harris (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), and Yolanda Ross (Go For Sisters) for their remarkable achievements in entertainment. “I’m honored to be in that room with that group of women. I mean the guest list is shocking and to be honored in that room it means a lot,” Nyong’o tells InStyle. “I’ve been looking forward to this day, so I’m keen to go down there and be with them…so it’s a great night.”

The 29 guests—which included Angela Bassett, Gabourey Sidibe, Rosario Dawson, and more— sat down around a table decorated with monochromatic red bloom centerpieces where they not only enjoyed a three-course meal of pepper-crusted seared Ahi tuna and vegan and gluten-free delicacies, but the women bonded over shared intimate conversations. “We put four [women] out as honoraries, but then have many toasts at the table. Everybody was able to stand up and say, you know what, I saw you in this this year and that was so great.  You recognize all the contributions,” Woodard explains to InStyle. “This is all the African-American women who’ve ever been nominated before in the acting category. It is for a specific reason and it was during Oscar week to get these women together first of all, so before they go out onto the carpet into the world [they] know that there are all these sisters who are pulling for them,”  she adds. “By gathering us together, that becomes our frame of reference for each other and we’re walking the same journey.” To go inside the intimate evening, look through our gallery to see what the stars had to say about their special sisterhood.

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