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Did you watch "Black Girls Rock!" on BET last night? The annual award show unapologetically celebrates the brilliance, resilience and the incredible impact that Black women and girls have made and continue to make on the world.
Hosted by Queen Latifah, this year's honorees included six trailblazing women: Writer-extraordinaire Lena Waithe, supermodel Naomi Campbell, #MeToo Movement founder Tarana Burke, the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul Mary J. Blige, dance legend Judith Jamison, and pop icon Janet Jackson.
In a celebration of sisterhood and honoring those who helped pave the way, visionary filmmaker Ava DuVernay presented Waithe with the Shot Caller Award, the legendary Phylicia Rashad presented Blige with the Star Power Award, ballet phenom Misty Copeland presented Jamison with the Living Legend Award, and singer Ciara presented Jackson with the Rock Star Award. Queen Latifah presented Campbell with the Black Girl Magic Award and "Greenleaf" star Merle Dandridge presented Burke with the Community Change Agent Award. Click video or honoree's name below to watch their inspiring acceptance speech.
The brilliant screenwriter, actress and producer, Lena Waithe, describes how she lives her authentic life.
"Let's get free of the idea that we can't go after our dreams because of how we look, where we come from, who we love, or how old we are. We all have gifts… you can't live your dream if you never go after it." – Lena Waithe
Black Girls Rock! Acceptance Speech: Naomi Campbell On The Importance Of Representation In The Industry
Naomi Campbell highlights the recent success of Black people in the entertainment industry and discusses the disparity of Black women in all sectors of business.
"It's wonderful to see the progress that is happening of all the Black voices of women being heard in our society today. There's a particularly exciting example of that recently when faces were featured on multiple magazine covers of diversity around the world." – Naomi Campbell
Black Girls Rock! Acceptance Speech: Tarana Burke Thanks Mary J. Blige And Queen Latifah For Speaking Their Truth
Tarana Burke empowers other Black women and girls with her moving acceptance speech.
"Thank you sisters. Black women are magic and we rock mostly because we are resilient. We have a long history of taking what we have to make what we need."- Tarana Burke
“We rock…We come through anything and everything. There's nothing you can throw at us that we will not get through." –Mary J. Blige
Judith Jamison talks about memories of working with Alvin Ailey and how to be a Black girl who rocks!
"Know always that you don't get there by yourself. You are constantly lifted by trailblazers and mentors." –Judith Jamison
Janet Jackson praises other Black women who rock and acknowledges the young Black girls creating their own path to success.
"When I was a little girl, I’m not sure I rocked, but I was definitely inspired by the women who did."- Janet Jackson
Ledisi, Jazmine Sullivan, Cynthia Erivo, Stephanie Mills and Yolanda Adams also gave a powerful tribute to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. Watch here.
Congratulations to all the 2018 honorees and thank you Beverly Bond for creating a platform that empowers and shows Black girls everywhere that they do indeed rock.