Founded in 2006 by former celebrity DJ and model Beverly Bond, Black Girls Rock! is an annual event that celebrates and honors women of color within a number of fields in society, such as entertainment, entrepreneurship, music and medicine.
The awards include, “The ‘Rock Star’ Award”, “Living Legend”, “Young, Gifted and Black” as well as “Visionary” award.
This year’s event took place at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and was hosted by a black girl who really rocks, the talented and beautiful Taraji P. Hendson. The theme this year was a celebration of the revolutionary power of black love. Bond explained to the Huffington post,
“Black women have stood up against so much, I think that we have had to survive, we’ve had to push through, we’ve had to lead, we’ve had to tap into this spiritual energy that we are really tuned into like no other. This message of sisterhood has always been a core, a pillar of what Black Girls Rock! stands for.
‘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 than are pushing against us, pushing against people of color,” she 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.” Beverly Bond on Black Girls Rock! 2017
Other moving speeches included Solange Knowles acceptance speech for the ‘Rock star’ award where she summarised Black Girls Rock! saying, “Black girls make me feel invincible.”
Issa Rae took home the award for ‘Star power’ and empowered young black girls to stay true to themselves, “Your life will change when you focus on what makes you stand out.”
Maxine Waters received the ‘Social humanitarian’ award and inspiring words were received with a standing-0vation. The congresswoman told the audience, “I want you to know, if it was not for the love and respect shown to me by black women, those right-wing ultraconservatives … 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.”
Other honorees included Blackish star, Yara Shahidi who took home the award for young, gifted and black, businesswoman Suzanne Shank for Shot caller award and the Living legend award went to pop/soul/jazz musician Roberta Flack
The night was also filled with amazing performances by SZA, Antony Hamilton, India Arie and Tasha Cobbs.