|(Honorees!/Photo Credit: www.businesswire.com)|
|(Beverly Bond/Photo Credit: www.goodhairmag.com)|
|(The Smiths!/Photo Credit: www.eonline.com)|
|(Erykah Badu/Photo Credit: www.fashionbombdaily.com)|
|(Cicely Tyson/Photo Credit: www.nydailynews.com)|
|(Janelle Monáe/Photo Credit: www.vibe.com)|
|(First Lady Michelle Obama/Photo Credit: www.nydailynews.com)|
|(Ava DuVernay/Photo Credit: www.styleblazer.com)|
Did you catch last night's BLACK GIRLS ROCKS! celebratory show on BET? I definitely did and tweeted the entire two hours.
Hosted by actresses Regina King and Tracee Ellis Ross, this was one of the most inspirational (and stylish!) shows of the season. An extension of the BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™ non-profit organization, founded in 2006 by celebrity DJ and philanthropist Beverly Bond, this show is far more worthy than I believe it gets credit for. I would love to think that those who tune into a popular show, such as The Academy Awards, would also tune into this one. But the the amount of tweeting during BLACK GIRLS ROCK! is much less.
But I stay hopeful for next year!! I mean, from beautiful 'dos, awesome speeches, and amazing fashion statements, the honorees as well as the entire audience was a seriously beautiful sight to see. I felt such pride watching awards given out to both girls (Gooo Gabrielle Jordan! Young motivational speaker, author, and entrepreneur!) and and women in the field of publishing, movie-making, philanthropy, music, and acting, as all acceptance speeches dug into the concept and importance of supporting and encouraging one another. (First Lady Michelle Obama received a standing ovation as she gave a sincere speech: "Challenges and failures are necessary components of success...")
BLACK GIRLS ROCK! is the celebration of embracing who you are and pursuing your passion no matter the type of adversity you may face. And while I do acknowledge that non-black women could somehow feel marginalized simply due to the title of the show, I believe it provides empowerment for all. Lessons can be learned and inspiration can be derived from understanding that, despite the fact that racism, bigotry, and sexism still exists, there is beauty in persevering no matter what. (At least, I hope that all women would pick up on this.)
But the focus on "black girls" was developed for a reason.
According to www.blackgirlsrock.com, the non-profit's mission is pure: "BLACK GIRLS ROCK! is to change the world by empowering Black girls to lead, innovate, and serve...Committed to enriching girls through leadership, education, and positive identity development since 2006. BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™ Inc. builds the self-esteem and self-worth of young women of color by changing their outlook on life, broadening their horizons and providing tools for self-empowerment and efficacy."
A big kudos to Bond, who successfully made her vision a reality! According to the website, "BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™ is also a multifaceted movement dedicating to shifting the cultural paradigms of media/music messaging that often negatively impact women and girls." As Bond stood on stage in recognition of her contribution, she explained that it's important for young, black girls to watch this show and "see black girls that look like them...rocking out and calling shots."
And ohhhh how I fell in love with so many looks of the night. My favorites of the evening were worn by Ava DuVernay (director screenwriter, film marketer, and film distributor), Janelle Monáe (psychedelic soul and R&B singer-songwriter, composer, and record producer), and Erykah Badu (singer-songwriter, record producer, activist, and actress). Each look was completely unique! Duvernay's gown was full-length, form-fitting in a bright shade of coral/orange that brought out her smile and complimented her lovely locs. Monae wore a black and white-striped, two-piece set that provided a cool balance of classic and feminine. And the insanely talented Badu took boho-chic to an uncomparable level of vintage-esque, beautiful androgyny.
So as I continue to think about what BLACK GIRLS ROCK! means to me, I can proudly look at myself (a mixed, Jewish LA journalist and blogger who lives to inspire readers with fresh outlooks on fashion, entertainment, and culturally-related topics) and claim that I, too, ROCK.