Black Girls Rock! (BGR) on BET is like watching my own personal Academy Awards of excellence by women in education, health, music, tech, politics and the list continues. Women of color are vastly underrepresented and largely forgotten for top honors although they are everyday innovators and game changers in a wide array of industries. BGR puts them all under one roof to be celebrated for exhibiting boldness by defying all odds stacked against them and impacting young girls (and me) watching from home.
I become so misty-eyed watching these great trailblazers utilize their courage to reach new heights that often takes several women a lifetime to possess and shower into the world. The tears of joy are truly from inspiration in knowing that they not only look like me, but were once like me; a dreamer with a burning desire to fulfill a goal. Hearing their stories and great words of wisdom symbolizes the truth that can put a little fire under all women to walk into our destiny.
Beverly Bond, Founder and Executive Director of BlackGirlsRock, Inc.
“Black Girls Rock is not just an ornamental phrase used to cloak ourselves in vanity. It is a critical and necessary affirmation. Because when you grow up black, and a girl, you come to recognize that there is a privilege associated with race and gender. And as a black girl, you learn that because of skin, and the body that you were born in, society has placed you at the bottom of this hierarchy. So, saying that we rock is a response to the tremendous neglect that black girls feel, when they grow up in a society where they are underrepresented, misrepresented or completely overlooked. When girls tune into Black Girls Rock! on BET they get the message that black girls matter. They see phenomenal women who look like them, rocking out and calling shots. “
Nadia Lopez, Mott Hall Bridges Academy Principal
2015 Black Girls Rock “Change Agent” Award Recipient
“The she that is great whether recognized or not, lives in all of us. She is significant. She is heroic and she is exquisite. God fashioned each of us with gifts and talents and abilities.”
Dr. Helene Gayle, President and CEO of CARE
2015 Black Girls Rock “Social Humanitarian” Award Recipient
“Sometimes the road is hard but if you remember why you started on that road then I think you’ll get to the end of the journey successfully.”
Ava DuVernay, Academy Award Nominated Director
2015 Black Girls Rock “Shot Caller” Award Recipient
“When I am feeling shaky, at any moment. In a meeting, on the set, I just go into leading lady stance. Heroine stance. Hold my head up and put my shoulders back and I close my eyes and I think to myself ‘lights: that’s my spirit, camera: that’s my mind, action: that’s my life.’ Lights, camera, action, onward.”
Jada Pinkett-Smith, Actress
2015 Black Girls Rock “Star Power”Award Recipient
“We are the women that marched from cotton fields into fields of: medicine, politics, law, education, entertainment. We even found a way to march ourselves into the White House as the First Lady of the United States of America. I say we because it’s my belief we do this together. Any achievement that any woman makes is an achievement for us all. Any slight that any of us takes is a slight to us all. “
First Lady Michelle Obama
“I want you to live life on your own terms, according to your own script. I want you to use those tests in your lives today to make you stronger for the bigger challenges tomorrow because trust me, those challenges will come. No one just glides their way from success to success. Not me, not the President…anyone that has achieved anything in life knows that challenges and failures are necessary components of success. They know that when things get hard, that’s not always a sign that you’re doing something wrong, it’s often a sign that you’re doing something right. Because those hard times are what shape you into the person you’re meant to be.”
Cicely Tyson, Actress
2015 Black Girls Rock “Living Legend” Award Recipient
“The moment anyone tries to demean or degrade you in any way, you have to know how great you are. No one is going to bother to put you down if you are not a threat to them.”
THIS IS WHY I ROCK!