On Sunday evening, people gathered in their living rooms to watch the celebration of Black Excellence in the form of women. While the night had to compete with the opening Sunday of NFL football, there were still millions who watched the pre-recorded Black Girls Rock! Awards show from August 25. The New York based organization hosted their annual celebratory night in Newark, NJ at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.
The host for the event was the spirited and talent Claws actress, Niecy Nash. Recently, Niecy Nash also starred in the critically acclaimed Netflix series When They See Us. Having her as the host of such an event was more than appropriate. She said of being selected to host the event, "I am thrilled to host this year’s Black Girls Rock! Awards. We are celebrating Black women who serve the world with style, grace, class and sass! Our honorees are truly shining bright. In a room full of Black girl magic anything could happen! This is going to be an amazing event!”
On the night, there were many musical performances by the likes of India Arie, Erykah Badu, Elle Varner, Monica, Mumu Fresh, Common, and the rising, hot, and talented Ari Lennox among others.
However, as with any award show, there are a few people who were standouts for the night as awardees. The award recipients for the night included Angela Bassett, who received the Icon Award, Regina King the Oscar, Golden Globe, and Emmy-winning actress, and director received the Star Power Award. Other honorees include Grammy Award winner Ciara who was honored with the Rock Star Award, Debra Martin Chase received the Shot Caller Award, H.E.R, the Grammy-winning musician H.E.R. was gifted with the Young Gifted and Black Award, and activists The Mothers of The Movement Sybrina Fulton, Geneva Reed Veal, Gwen Carr, Lucy McBath, Maria Hamilton and Cleopatra Pendleton-Cowley all received the Community Change Agent Award.
To introduce Angela Bassett, Regina King took to the mic and said, "She inspired generations of female empowerment." After reaching the stage, Angela spoke on purpose and how she decided as a teen that being an actress was her purpose. She was never willing to compromise her integrity. She said her mom and aunt taught her, "there will be times when you face insurmountable obstacles, but thats when you dig deep into your soul for the courage and the fortitude to keep going and to never, never forget that despite life's detours you are destined for greatness." She said, it is important that we continue to support events that life us up, that recognize our contributions and that help us feel a connectivity allowing us to see one another even when we sometimes cant see ourselves. Angela ended her fiery speech by saying, "Loudly, be persistent and win!"
As we reflect on the night, we must remember daily that, BLACK GIRLS ROCK!