The BET Black Girls Rock! Award ceremony saw Rihanna celebrating the power of Black women with many other stalwarts from different industries. The singer was awarded with the Rock Star Award at the event.
She came on stage to collect her award and thanked her mother and grandmother and went on to address them as two of the strongest black women she has ever been associated with.
She even took the opportunity to extend her heart-felt gratitude to the organizers of the award for taking the initiative to celebrate black women since the world doesn’t appreciate them enough. She also talked to her fans about not letting themselves change and allowing their persona to be their guiding force.
She sent a strong message to the audience saying that in a world with so many people, there is always the scope to get changed or tarnished by society, but the only thing that stopped her from falling prey to it is that she held on to her self-identity.
She said that knowing who she is has helped her keep sane and has made her humble. There is always this urge to be like someone else, but when one learns to love one’s self completely, that urge automatically goes away.
According to Billboard, Rihanna joked about being a role model. She said that this was one tag that was never associated with her, but with the award that she was given, she knows that she can go ahead to inspire a lot of young women to be themselves and win the battle.
Along with Rihanna, Shonda Rhimes was another popular face who was awarded. She is the brain behind popular television series like Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away With Murder and Scandal. Shonda Rhimes is a powerful force in the television industry and she has been a game-changer.
She had brought along her daughter with her since she wanted her to sit in the audience and feel the energy that is there. She said that everyone counts and everyone has a story to fall back on and a story that they have the power to construct. Even Grammy award winner Monica, brought her daughter along for the event and even got her on stage after her performance.
Other awardees for the night were Gladys Knight, Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, Patrisse Cullors, who are the Black Lives Matter founders. Even Amandla Stenberg, from The Hunger Games was awarded; so was Danai Gurira from Walking Dead.
The event saw Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton make an appearance. She said that she has been inspired and moved by a lot of strong black leaders. Hillary Clinton earned a lot of applause when she went ahead and called the black women change makers and ground shakers and said that they were always a step ahead and are very strong individuals.
Clinton went on to talk about how in spite of all the barriers that stop African Americans and especially the black women, the very fact that they have taken the step to organize something that celebrates black women in every sphere of life, shows how they have tackled every barrier, without actually confronting them.
Black Girls Rock! was founded in 2006 by former model and DJ, Beverly Bond. The award function celebrates black women in the field of entertainment, health, entrepreneurship and visionary activities. The award was first aired on national television in 2010. Ever since then it has grown from pillar to post and is a prestigious and coveted award to be associated with.