Black Girls Rock continues to empower


Tracee Ellis Ross and Regina King graced the stage in long, sequined gowns as the co-hosts of the 2011 Black Girls Rock Awards.

This year’s show, held at the Paradise Theatre in New York, was more star-studded than ever before. Everyone from BET’s Debra Lee to Tichina Arnold to LaLa Anthony came out to honor and empower women of color.

Last night, the M.A.D. in “mad black women” took on a new meaning: Make a Difference. Women of all ages were honored for their commitments to their communities and excellent academic achievements.

Equipped with an all-female band, the show opened with Erykah Badu singing a remixed version of her 1997 hit, “Appletree.” Other girls rocking the stage included Mary J Blige, Estelle, Melanie Fiona, Elle Varner, Mary Mary, Pastor Shirley Caesar and Jill Scott, who received a standing ovation after her performance of “Hate on Me.”

The night’s honorees included Academy Award nominee, Taraji P. Henson; actress and singer, Tatyana Ali; activist, Angela Davis; WNBA president, Laurel Richie; directors of the Rebecca Project for Human Rights, Imani Walker and Malika Saada Saar and gospel recording artist, Pastor Shirley Caesar, who, in her acceptance speech, personally thanked Black Girls Rock founder Beverly Bond for listening to the voice in her head that said do something to uplift Black women.

Beverly, who also serves as CEO of Black Girls Rock Inc., created the organization in 2006 to spark positive role models and remix the images of Black women prevalent in media. This year marks the second television broadcast of the award show. Make sure you check it out on BET when it airs on November 6.

—Myeisha Essex


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