Viola Davis, Jordin Sparks and more at ESSENCE pre-Oscar party

viola-davis-essence.jpgThe Academy Award celebrating begins long before the actual awards ceremony on Sunday night (Feb. 26). Earlier in the week, the stars came out for the 5th annual ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

"The Help" star (and Oscar nominee) Viola Davis was looking chic in white, and showing off some sassy short locks. Jordin Sparks was also looking lovely, as were Tatyana Ali and Jurnee Smollett (we hope to see that "Friday Night Lights" alum back on TV soon).

Among the honorees of this year's luncheon were actresses Kerry Washington, Paula Patton, Oscar-nominee Octavia Spencer and Pam Grier, along with "Grey's Anatomy" creator and executive producer, Shonda Rhimes.

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Photo/Video credit: Getty Images