The celebration of Black girl magic was in full swing during the Tuesday night airing of BET’s annual Black Girls Rock! Award show. Since Beverly Bond launched Black Girls Rock in 2006, the award show has become one of it’s biggest events that celebrate the beauty, brilliance and boldness of Black girls and women everywhere.
“This message of sisterhood has always been a core, a pillar of what Black Girls Rock! stands for”, Beverly Bond told HuffPost after the show (which was taped on August 5 at the auditorium of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center).
Hosted by actress Taraji P. Henson, this year’s honorees included: $2-trillion businesswoman Suzanne Shank (Shot Caller Award), actress Issa Rae (Star Power Award), actress Yara Shahidi (Young, Gifted and Black Award), singer Roberta Flack (Living Legend Award), singer Solange Knowles (Rock Star Award), Founders of the Black and Missing Foundation, Natalie and Derrica Wilson (Community Change Agents Award) and Congresswoman Maxine Waters (Social Humanitarian Award).
For the first time ever on the Black Girls Rock stage, Black men presented awards to the honorees, as Bond wanted to use the platform to also celebrate the “revolutionary power of Black love.”
Photo credit: Jason Kempin/Getty Images
“Black love is revolutionary’ is the theme for this year and I chose it specifically because of all the things that are going on in the world that are forces that are pushing against us, pushing against people of color,” Bond said. “I thought it was very important for us this year to come together as a community and to have support of all of those in our community.”
Watch the empowering acceptance speeches from this year’s honorees below. Remember to pause the other videos first before watching each clip, as some videos will play at the same time.
“What others think is my disadvantage, is actually my advantage.”-Suzanne Shank
“My life changed when I focused on what I was good at, what I liked most about myself and what made me stand out.”- Issa Rae
“Our community of smart, powerful, insightful, fierce Black girls is a community that exists without definition.”- Yara Shahidi
“You are beautiful… you are more than enough, and you are our future. I believe in you.”- Roberta Flack
“Black women make me feel invincible. It’s the way we walk and talk … It’s the way we uplift each other.” – Solange Knowles
“We all have a responsibility to help us find us.”- Natalia and Derrica Wilson
“I want you to know, if it was not for the love and respect shown to me by Black women, those right-wing ultra conservatives … they would have me believe I’m too Black, I’m too confrontational, I’m too tough, and I’m too disrespectful of them. But now I know I’m simply a strong, Black woman.”- Congresswoman Maxine Water
Congratulations to all of this year’s honorees! And thank you all for using your platform to give a voice to the voiceless and show Black girls everywhere that they do indeed ROCK!