Pop star Rihanna and soul icon Gladys Knight were among the honorees at the 2016 Black Girls Rock! See Most Empowering Moments

| April 3, 2016 | 0 Comments

BLACK GIRLS ROCK! the global women’s empowerment movement and a nonprofit mentoring organization has been going strong for the past 10 years. Founder/esteemed Beverly Bond has made it her mission to fuel the next generation of young black girls to become leaders, change agents, and champions.

In 2006, Bond launched the awards show, which honorees continue to pave the way for Black women across the world. The awards show has become an annual on-screen fist pump to women of color.

Below are the most epic and empowering moments from Black Girls Rock!, which airs on BET on April 5 at 8/7c.

Kyemah McEyntyre Debuts Another Stunning Afrocentric Dress at Black Girls Rock

Kyemah McEntyre is back at it again with another beautifully designed and painted dress. Her last look for the BET Honors featured a fun black-and-white painting. This dress for the Black Girls Rock ceremony comes complete with a cape and full-color portrait of a Black woman with hair of foliage and first raised.

This dress is also made of canvas.

Kyeman is currently a student at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City.

BOOM ✊🏾👊🏾 #darkandlovely #blackgirlsrock

A photo posted by Kyemah McEntyre (@mindofkye_) on

Gladys Knight honored with Living Legend Award, performs medley of hits

Chasing Destiny creator Kelly Rowland presented Gladys Knight the fitting Living Legend Award with Dionne Warwick. She also revealed that they met holding up towels for each other to change behind the stage decades ago at a small theater in Brooklyn. Gladys accepted the award, saying it was the “greatest trophy she ever received.” Later, Knight tore down the stage by performing a medley of her greatest hits including “Midnight Train to Georgia,” “If I Were Your Woman” and “Love Overboard.”

Hillary Clinton declares “Black girls rock!”

After Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter Jazmine Sullivan gave a pitch perfect performance of her song, “Mona Lisa,” presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton took the stage. Welcomed with a standing ovation and unabashed support, Clinton riled up the audience by declaring, “The entire world knows what you know, and that is, black girls rock!” After addressing the national crises in Flint, she revealed her life was changed by strong leaders like Dr. Maya Angelou and Michelle Obama before encouraging the audience to go out and vote. Her appearance was a surprise no one saw coming—except for those who ran in to the Secret Service at the venue.

Clinton also introduced the incomparable founder of Black Girls Rock!, Beverly Bond. Bond thanked the audience for supporting her vision to empower young women across the nation for the past 10 years. Her speech was equal parts daunting and inspiring as she reminded young girls about the difficulties of the journey they face ahead. “We are told our black is not beautiful, but our features can be bought and sold to enhance other people,” she offered. “I started Black Girls Rock! because I love us and believe in us.”

Rihanna bags the Rock Star Award

RiRi was bestowed the Rock Star Award for her entrepreneurial spirit and success in both the fashion and music worlds. The Bajan beauty thanked her mother and grandmother for being strong role models in her life. She also thanked Black Girls Rock! organizers for honoring women of color.

“Thank you so much for celebrating us in a world that doesn’t celebrate us enough,” she said (via Associated Press). “The minute you learn to love yourself you will not want to be anybody else.”

“Role model is not the title they like to give me…(but) I think I can inspire a lot of young women to be themselves and that is half the battle,” she added. “Hopefully one day I’ll be raising my own little black girl who rocks.”

Gladys Knight, who performed a selection of her classic songs, was presented with the Living Legend Award. “It is the best award, the greatest trophy that I’ve ever received,” she told the crowd. “More than a Grammy. More than so many other awards that I’ve gotten that I appreciate.”

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Rihanna onstage at Black Girls Rock! 2016 at New Jersey Performing Arts Center on April 1, 2016 in Newark, New Jersey. Paras Griffin/WireImage

Lauryn Hill’s surprise performance as she closes the show

Lauryn Hill made a triumphant return to the stage with a medley of two new songs and a reprise of her hit song, “Lost Ones.” Her voice and lyrics still resonate as strongly as they did when The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill dropped in 1998, providing a fitting finale for Black Girls Rock!

Other honorees included television producer Shonda Rhimes (Shot Caller Award), The Walking Dead actress Danai Gurira (Star Power Award), actress and activist Amandla Stenberg (Young Gifted and Black Award) and Black Lives Matter founders Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi (Community Change Agent Award).

Among the performers who rocked the mic included R&B singers Monica, Brandy, Andra Day, Jazmine Sullivan, and Marsha Ambrosius.

Black Girls Rock! airs on BET on April 5 at 8/7c.

The #Blackish family is in here heavy!!! @yarashahidi #BlackGirlsRock #BGR

A video posted by BET Networks (@bet) on

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Category: culture & society

About the Author ()

Darnell Moore has extensively studied music and urban culture both academically and professionally for over 20 years. His writings and posts have appeared in many major urban publications. Moore is the founder and creator of Memoirs of an Urban Gentleman. Contact him , http://darnellmmusic@gmail.com/ or https://twitter.com/@darnellmmusic/

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