The BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Awards is a show celebrating the achievements of brilliant, beautiful Black women and girls who stand in their truth. Produced by BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit, the event is also aimed a promoting the arts for young women of color, as well as to encourage dialogue and analysis of the ways women of color are portrayed in the media.
This year’s award show was held at the New Jersey Performing Center in Newark, New Jersey and was hosted by Tracee Ellis Ross. The honorees were Rihanna, Gladys Knight, Shonda Rhimes, Amanda Stenberg and Danai Gurira. All honorees had wonderful nuggets to share. Particularly memorable was Amandla Stenberg who said, “I remember looking in the mirror when I was a little girl and looking at all that hair and being like, ‘Why is that there?’ I wanted it to go down so much. I remember suppressing it and brushing it and being so frustrated that I was so big and so bold. I felt like I took up too much space. But because of those women [who raised me], I have learned that…my blackness does not inhibit me from being beautiful and intelligent. In fact it’s the reason why I am beautiful and intelligent.”
Also memorable was Danai Gurira who said, “I know it can get tough out there. It can get downright ugly. I have walked the path or some version of it but know that you are designed for greatness. You have a resilience that is in your DNA…whether you want it or not. You are what the world is waiting for. Whether the world acknowledges that or not. Step into your uniqueness. Protect it. Nurture it. It is precious. No one can do what you can do or contribute what you are destined and designed to contribute.”
Check out some pictures from the event and a few soundbites from guests.
Photo: Nicholas Hunt/BET/Getty Images